New Steel Mill Builders Stay at Campground
The building of ThyssenKrupp AG’s $5 billion steel mill arrived at an opportune moment for the Mobile, Ala., area’s construction industry, throwing a life preserver to some firms that otherwise might have gone without work, the Mobile Press-Register reported.
It’s also been a boon to other businesses, from equipment rental firms and industrial supply houses to hotels and restaurants.
By building the project during a particularly deep construction bust, the German steelmaker has benefited from intense competition among contractors and lower materials costs. The poor economy has probably saved ThyssenKrupp money, even though the budget for the project rose to $5 billion from $3.7 billion when it was announced.
Though the peak of construction may have passed, substantial work is likely to continue at the 3,600-acre site on the Mobile-Washington county line for two years or more.
Kathy Beckurs, manager at the I-65 RV Campground in Creola, estimated that 90% of occupants at the 87-space campground are connected to ThyssenKrupp, with some renters staying longer than 18 months.
The project has also been a boon to the six new hotels that have opened in Saraland and Satsuma in recent years. Randy Gould, the general manager of the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Satsuma, said that for the first year after the hotel opened in March 2009, ThyssenKrupp contractors were 65% to 70% of business. Local investors actually built the La Quinta there because of the plant, Gould said.