SARA, 3 businesses want Sitel building

Published 1:03 am Thursday, January 12, 2017

South Alabama Regional Airport and three other businesses are seeking to purchase the Sitel building in Sanford.

SARA Co-Director Jed Blackwell told the airport board Wednesday that he and Covington County Economic Development Commission President Rick Clifton talked and they are interested in the building.

“We talked to Sitel corporate about them deeding it at no cost,” Blackwell said. “They weren’t interested in that, and told us to make an offer.”

Blackwell said that the city of Andalusia deeded the property to Sitel previously.

“They also told us that three other call center companies had contacted them,” Blackwell said.

Sitel is expected to make a decision on selling the property around April. The company previously announced it would close its local facility in April, a decision that will affect more than 350 employees.

Clifton said CCEDC is evaluating what it can do.

The company is encouraging current employees to apply for work-from-home positions, and there has been some effort to establish work space for those who choose this option. However, Blackwell and Clifton said that Sitel corporate officials told them that for security reasons, those who are doing the work from home option, must actually work from home.

Clifton said they were working to ensure that the Internet speed and connectivity needed is available for those who choose the work at home option.