ALABAMA REAL ESTATE JOURNAL

Business Park Development Announced in Opelika Opportunity Zone

A new business park development is underway at 3000 Hi Park Drive, just northeast of the Auburn University Regional Airport in Opelika, Ala. The business park is between Pepperell Parkway and Frederick Road and is located in a qualified opportunity zone. Hillstone Advantage Partners, LLC is developing the business park and is expected to have the first building available in the 2nd quarter of 2020.

The thirteen-acre site is expected to hold approximately 10 buildings varying in size from 7,000 to 45,000 square feet. The multi-tenant or single tenant buildings have a variety of uses including showroom, flex space, warehousing, and light industrial.

The location of the site was chosen based on the rapidly growing economy in the Auburn-Opelika area. Recent investments include companies in the aerospace and automotive industries. Additionally, the site will be in close proximity to Auburn University, Auburn University Regional Airport, rail service, I-85, and Highway 280, making it convenient for tenants to access multiple transportation modes. The Auburn-Opelika area’s location also makes it easy to serve regional customers in Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala.; Columbus, Ga; Atlanta; and the Florida panhandle.

The business park will neighbor Packaging Corporation of America and will boast the title of one of the first business parks in Alabama that is being developed within an opportunity zone, which offers potential tax advantages and savings to companies that operate in the park.

John Eyster of Pointe CRE and Rush Denson of The Denson Group of Opelika, Ala. have teamed up to help market the development at Hi Pack Business Park. “The tax benefits that are present for not only investors, but also businesses are very attractive,” said Eyster. While the types of industries that will be occupying the property are still unknown, Eyster is honored to be at the forefront of opportunity zones in Alabama. “We believe we are the first group to be developing a business park within an opportunity zone. We hope to be an example for future opportunity zone developments.”

In 2017, Congress created the Opportunity Zone program to encourage investment in areas that are experiencing economic distress. Opportunity zones mainly provide tax deferrals for investors, but companies operating in opportunity zones can benefit from the program as well.

The business park is part of over $1 billion in current and future opportunity zone developments in Alabama’s 158 Opportunity Zones. The project at Hi Park Drive could be the start of many more opportunity zone developments going forward.

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