Couple hopes to attract biz to Florala

Published 12:03 am Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Laurel Hill couple with roots in textile manufacturing has purchased the former Quick manufacturing building in Florala and hopes to help attract jobs to the town.

Alectia Sharp said she and her husband, Mike, kept watching as the building, which has been closed for at least two years, disappear behind weeds.

“We had seen the building in driving by it, and commented, ‘Gosh, it’s just going downhill,’ ” Mrs. Sharp said. “It was just a turn of events. We looked at it as an investment, and an opportunity to turn it.”

So far, their efforts to get the property cleaned up and staged for marketing has drawn high praise from Florala’s leaders. And next week, the owners are inviting economic development leaders, Realtors, and others who are interested to an open house, set for 4 until 6 p.m. on Tues., Aug. 26.

Mrs. Sharp said she and her husband thought the timing might be right, with the real estate market rebounding, and aerospace and automotive sectors improving.

“The building has good bones,” she said. “It’s a great building. It’s not brand new, but it’s one of the best buildings in this area. It’s set up for industry.”

Mrs. Sharp said she and her husband have 25 years of experience in manufacturing women’s clothing. Retired now, she said they saw this as both an investment and an interesting project.

The 21,500 sq. ft. facility is located on the Hwy. 331 corridor. They have enlisted Paul Codges or EXIT Realty in Montgomery, to help market the property.

Just as they watched much of the textile industry move offshore, Mrs. Sharp said she and her husband believe they will watch some of that come back.

“Re-shoring is what they’re calling it,” she said. “We have preached that for years and years and years. If companies would take a real, hard look at those numbers, they might be surprised to find they’re not saving that much.”

The Covington County Economic Development Commission also is helping the Sharps market the building.