City grants Business Park 4 acres to MK Distributors ahead of $1M distribution center relocation projectby J.D. Bailey on 07/26/22
he Magnolia City Council on Monday approved a measure to grant four acres of city-owned land at the Harvey Couch Business Park to MK Distributors, Inc., ahead of a planned $1 million expansion project for the regional alcohol and malt-beverage distributor.
The project is expected to be completed within five years. It will relocate the Pine Bluff-based company’s south Arkansas distribution center to Magnolia, according to the motion passed this week.
To complete the project, MK Distributors required additional acreage at the former South Arkansas ICEE Company property. The alcohol distribution company purchased the parcel in May for $525,000, according to Columbia County tax records.
The former ICEE property currently contains a 15,000 square-foot building and 3.25 acres at 105 Harvey Couch Blvd. The city’s adjacent four acres is needed for the wholesaler's planned distribution center expansion and relocation project, according to Magnolia Economic Development Director Ellie Baker.
“We are basically granting them -- through the local economic development funds -- the (city-owned) property,” she said, “in turn for them creating jobs and spending the money locally to build the $1 million facility that they plan to do.”
The property, according to the city, was appraised at $10,000 per acre. In total, the city owns over 200 acres at the Harvey Couch Business Park. The land was granted to the city after the former Magnolia Economic Development Corporation ceased operation in 2018, and local economic development efforts were absorbed into the local government.
According to the motion passed Monday, Mk Distributors plans to expand upon facility already at the former South Arkansas ICEE property.
For the granted land, MK Distributors has promised to complete its expansion project within five years. The company also cannot flip the land within the same time period. As part of the warranty deed, if these parameters are not met, the property could be returned to the city.
“I spoke with the president of the company last week, and he’s expecting to be able to (complete the project) before the five years is up,” said Baker.
The city’s agreement with MK Distributors also states that the company must increase its workforce at the Magnolia facility by at least 15 employees over the next five years.