Birmingham beat out Nashville, Tennessee and Huntsville to land a new $30 million pharmaceutical manufacturing company that is projected to employee about 200 people and bring millions in revenue to the region.
Governor Robert Bentley, joined by Mayor William Bell and Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens, made the announcement Tuesday during the Governor’s Luncheon hosted by the Birmingham Business Alliance at The Club.
Mayor Bell said the city was able to attract Oxford Pharmaceuticals through collaboration with state, county and other entities, such as UAB. He looks to have more economic development announcements in the future with collaborative efforts underway.
“We see this as a gateway,” Bell said in a press conference following the announcement. Just as the development of the Mercedes plant more than 20 years ago led to other automotive manufacturing companies and related businesses, the region can benefit by attracting other pharmaceutical manufacturers, he said.
John Shultz, president of Oxford Pharmaceuticals, said they were attracted to Birmingham by the incentives offered and the spirit of cooperation among the area’s leaders. The region’s reputation as a center for medicine, research and development was a significant factor in the decision to locate in Birmingham, Shultz said.
The company will start-up in the Innovation Depot and move into its new facility in an industrial park in the Oxmoor Valley once it’s completed, Shultz said. It has several hurdles to cross with regulatory agencies; however he looks to begin production and distribution of generic drugs by 2016.