The Tennessee Valley Authority is preparing to sell much of the land where it was first created in 1933 as the federal utility continues to pare its holdings in an era of leaner government and stagnant power demand.
TVA said Wednesday it has hired CBRE real estate services to market about 900 acres of its Muscle Shoals Reservation property in northwest Alabama near the Wilson Dam where TVA was headquartered when it was first created by President Franklin Roosevelt.
The land near the Tennessee River was once used for munitions production for World War II and later for fertilizer research. But the TVA board declared the property surplus in 2012 after TVA ended its federally funded programs in 1999 and phased out much of its natural resources projects once housed on the property.
TVA sold 12 acres of the site in 2015, part of which was purchased by the TVA Community Credit Union.
TVA will retain possession of the nationally recognized Rockpile Recreational Area and other reservation property in order to provide workspace for more than 600 employees at the site at the power services facility and other TVA offices in Northwest Alabama.
"Our primary goal in selling the site is to provide the best long-term economic return to our community while preserving local recreational opportunities," Heather Montgomery, TVA project manager, said in a statement Wednesday.
TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler said the utility has not set a price for the property as yet, but hopes to conduct an auction to sell the land to the highest bidder by late August.
Last November, TVA sold its unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in Northeast Alabama for $135 million to former Chattanooga developer Franklin L. Haney.
TVA determined it will not need the power that Bellefonte will generate since demand for electricity is barely increasing and could actually decline if more consumers adopt energy conservation measures or install solar, wind or other distributed energy sources at their homes and businesses.
Montgomery said TVA has spent the past couple of years getting the land at Muscle Shoals ready for sale and allowing the nearby cities of Sheffield and Muscle Shoals time to complete implementation of zoning for the land.
"The property is shovel-ready," Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford said in a statement. "With a strong local labor force, access to 177,000 homes within an hour's drive time and industrial-grade water access, the property is prime real estate for businesses who want to come to the quad-city area."
The property includes office, laboratory and warehouse space and could be used for a variety of purposes, Fiedler said.
The property has been in federal ownership for almost 100 years and was transferred to TVA when the agency was established in May 1933.
"TVA has a long history supporting our community," Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford said. "The auction can bring new life to the property by attracting new businesses and jobs—which we need now and into the future."
Interested buyers can obtain qualifications and property information by calling CBRE at (615) 248-3500, or contacting company via its website: muscleshoals cbre.com.
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6340.