New development coming to Tuskegee I-85 exit

Updated: Nov. 8, 2017 at 10:27 AM CST
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(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - Tuesday we took our Hometown Spotlight series to the city of Tuskegee.

During the spotlight, Mayor Tony Haygood announced a new development will finally start building at exit 38 off Interstate 85.

"We've signed an agreement with a contractor to start the infrastructure at the end of this month and we also signed an agreement with Premier Kings to start what we expect to be a Popeye's in the spring," Haygood said.

Haygood expects the dirt to start turning by the end of November. "We've already signed a contract with Popeye's. So we have great expectations that finally we're going to see something happen."

The location, right off the interstate, it critical to the City of Tuskegee and Macon County.

"There's a lot of money, a lot of cars running through the spine of Macon County every day," explained Joe Turnham, Director of the Macon County Economic Development Authority. "This will bring revenue to the city, the county, and will also give our citizens, as well as travelers, some choices of lodging and fuel and food."

City leaders also discussed the potential for Tuskegee's Moton Field to be the new home of a Leonardo DRS plant, if the global aerospace and defense firm secure a big government contract.

"The award from the air force should be announced by March," Turnham expects.

The plant would build T-100 fighter jets. "You're speaking about 750 jobs right off the northwest end of the runway, where the plant would be located, a $200 to $250 million plant," Haygood explained. "Then you're talking about 20 to 23 tier one and tier two suppliers in the area."

Next week, Tuskegee City leaders will travel to Italy to see first-hand what could end up in their town.

"We'll see the plant, we'll see the aircraft in production for the Polish Air Force and the Italian Air Force," said Turnham. "We'll actually get to see the jobs that are there, the skill sets that are needed, the aircraft perform, what tooling will be required."

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