Rankin First | Economic Development Authority | P.O. Box 129 | Brandon, MS 39043 USA | 601-825-5335
| 601-825-5335

Rankin County eyes seven major projects, land acquisition for 2023

Feb. 24, 2023

Source: Clarion Ledger

Economic development in Rankin County could have a record year if all goes according to plan.

As of now, Rankin First, the economic development arm for the county, is working on seven projects that could be announced by the end of 2023. Three of those may make a decision during the first two quarters of 2023, according to Rankin First executive director Tom Troxler.

In 2022, Rankin County had $8.7 billion in [sales tax] growth and finished the year with the lowest unemployment rate in the state of Mississippi.

It continues to hang its hat on expansion of the health care industry in the area, including at Women’s Hospital, G.I. Associates, Mississippi Sports Medicine and others.

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Tom Troxler is the executive director of the Rankin First Economic Development Authority

There was also the success of recruiting Tesla to open its first Mississippi dealership in 2022.

“This all means more and better jobs for everyone, whether in Pelahatchie, Brandon, Flowood, really everywhere,” Troxler said.

Troxler hopes be able to acquire more than 200 acres of land for industrial projects in 2023. He also said he would like to attract a "distribution-type plant" with a spec building in an industrial park in Rankin County.

"We have a good group that is building that facility for us and we are very excited about that," Troxler said. "There just aren't any good quality buildings left for recruitment in the Jackson area. So, having this new spec building will be a big deal. I know Joey (Deason with the Madison County Economic Development Authority) has one about done. We will have ours done this year and we will be able to start showing it and marketing it."

He says he is hoping for at least two medical projects that could come to fruition in the first half of the year as well as the expansion of existing companies.

"We are really excited about 2023," Troxler said. "If everything goes well, we will add lots of jobs and several billion dollars in investments across the county."

While he wouldn't put an exact number on the investments that could come to Ranking County, Troxler said projects he is targeting for 2023 completion range from more than $1 billion down to $35 million.

He went on to say that historically, 80% of new business comes from existing customers and that making sure companies and businesses already in place have the ability to expand and grow.

"That was definitely the case in 2022 and we know there are plans already in place for more of that in 2023," Troxler said.

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Troxler also said he expects exponential growth along the East Metro Parkway, which runs from Lakeland Drive in Flowood to Interstate-20 in Pearl.

"There's a lot of potential there with a lot of interest and movement for the future," Troxler said.

He is also grateful for the business climate of the county and the metro area, which lends itself to economic growth.

"You pick up the Wall Street Journal or the Clarion Ledger every day and you see massive layoffs in certain sectors across the country," Troxler said. "But we are not having those same issues in Rankin County. For us right now, with the unemployment rate the way it has been, we are in a position to look for more quality jobs than anything else."

Rankin County's unemployment rate, which was 2.5% in December, could also be a challenge.

"Honestly, some big companies that want to move here that want to employ 2,500-3,000 people might look else where because of how few people we have looking for jobs," Troxler said. "So, that's why were looking to improve the jobs and the companies that we already have and continue to bring in jobs realted to the medical industry, which we have been blessed to grow the last few years."

Medical industry jobs bring salaries of around $100,00 a year, which helps Troxler and others recruit people to move into the county from other places, which, in turn, helps schools, the tax base and the real estate community.

"You never now how it all will work out, but are working hard to try and make it all come together," Troxler said. "And we talk a lot about the big projects and the impacts they would and will make, but we are particularly blessed with a huge small business sector that contributes so much to our economy."

Troxler credits the small retail and corporate development for the surge in quality of life in Rankin County over the past 20 years.

"We wouldn't be where we are today without that," he said. "That's really what attracts people and even the big industrial projects. What we have built is what will bring more projects in the future. And also people can choose where they want to live and work from home and we believe we have built a community that people want to live in.



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