Industry and business growth in Marshall County could help fill empty spaces

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Recent growth in Marshall County could help fill empty buildings that have been that way for months.

The Kennametal plant closed just over a year ago in Grant. Pilgrims in Boaz closed in January of 2014. County economic development officials are actively recruiting for those buildings.

The former Pilgrims building is a unique sell, and is taking time. “It has to be probably something in the food industry,” Marshall County Economic Development Council President Matt Arnold says.

Officials say they are seeing interest in the former Kennametal building. “We just submitted that on a project week before last, and we should get some hits out of that,” Arnold says.

While there are empty spaces, there is growth that can help in that recruitment. “We’re seeing a lot of activity, particularly in expansions,” Arnold says, “We’ve got several companies that are expanding.”

TS Tech in Boaz is working on a 24 million dollar expansion. The Guntersville Municipal Airport is expanding to allow the capabilities for most corporate jets to land and use the space, and that’s a selling point in recruitment. The Shoppes of Albertville is nearing completion.

That is just some of the activity in the county. It’s a selling tool — showing the success that can be had in Marshall County — and it’s an avenue economic development officials are using to help fill those empty spaces.

County economic development officials say there are an estimated 900 new jobs that were created by new companies and expanding companies in Marshall County last year.