Southern Steel Products Builds New Plant

Southern Steel Products, LLC, a newly formed steel processing and distribution company, is making a $1.1 million capital investment to build a new plant in East Gadsden.

David Forsythe, managing member, said the new company was formed only after the Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority provided help to make a transition possible. “We could not have done it without the IDA,” Forsythe said.

When SSP was formed in February, Forsythe said, there was concern about the present 200 Lake Street location in East Gadsden on the Coosa River between Broad Street and Meighan Boulevard, the property formerly occupied by Regional Metals. The City of Gadsden sought this parcel as part of the East Gadsden redevelopment project. He said Southern Steel purchased the assets of Regional after the IDA structured a deal for the company to construct a new 50,000-square-foot plant on an 11.7 acre site in the Gadsden Industrial Complex.

Forsythe said currently SSP has eight employees and will be expanding to ten when the move is made to their new facility at 459 Industrial Parkway in the Gadsden Industrial Complex. He said he expects employment to grow to 20 within the next six to eight months. The company plans to service a 75-mile radius of Gadsden with a full line of steel products and services, including sawing, shearing, burning, drilling and forming.

Forsythe’s future business assessment is highly optimistic. He said, “This area is growing, primarily because of the booming automotive business. We are excited to be a part of the growth of Gadsden and we’re glad our investment is bringing new employment opportunities to the area.”

IDA Executive Director Mike McCain said the agency provided information and assistance to company officials to bring about a decision to make the investment in Gadsden to build a new facility, and credited Deborah Howard, director of research and industry assistance, for her work. He said the actions of city government made the company’s plans a reality and recognized the assistance provided by Mayor Steve Means, members of the city council and the Gadsden Industrial Development Board, City Planner Charles Ball, City Engineer Ron Crocker and City Attorney Roger Kirby.