Second site in Jackson County certified and ready for business
Marianna/Jackson County Distribution/Construction Services Park aerial

The Marianna/Jackson County Distribution/Construction Services Park has become the second certified site in Jackson County through Gulf Power’s Florida First Sites program.

Florida First Sites was created in 2013 to help communities prepare locations to attract new industries and new jobs to the region. Fourteen sites were initially submitted from public and private landowners.

Of those 14 sites, eight have been certified in Northwest Florida under the program.

The combined industrial park is 460 acres and is currently home to companies such as Family Dollar Distribution Center, Arizona Chemical and Hanson Precast Concrete. It is adjacent to Interstate 10 with 213 developable acres available.

“This already valuable piece of property has now increased its value by going through the tough process of becoming a certified industrial park,” said Kenny Stephens, Jackson County Commission chair. “Having a certified park like this shows potential businesses that we’re not only open for business, but that we’re ready to support their growth in our area.”

Gulf Power hired McCallum Sweeney, a nationally recognized site consultant firm, to offer an objective third-party analysis of the submitted sites. The consulting firm evaluates the properties, identifies improvements that must be made and then certifies the sites once they have met all the program requirements.

The City of Marianna and the Jackson County Board of County Commissioners partnered with Gulf Power to pay one-half of the McCallum Sweeney certification fees.

“This Marianna/Jackson County park brings us to a total of eight certified sites in Northwest Florida through the Florida First Sites program,” said Stan Connally, Gulf Power president and CEO. “Having these properties available and the prework complete allows our area to better compete for projects around the state, country and the world.”

Landowners had one year to complete the identified improvements: everything from obtaining permits, improving topography and producing engineering reports to making sure adequate utilities are available to the site.

“This certification process wouldn’t have been possible without the grant we received from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity,” said Jackson County administrator Ted Lakey. “Because of this grant and the efforts of our Jackson County Development Council, we now have a second certified site in Jackson County that will help promote the potential our area has to offer.” 

The seven other Northwest Florida sites that have obtained certification include one more in Jackson County, two in Bay and Santa Rosa counties and one each in Okaloosa and Walton counties. All of these sites are now being marketed to potential companies by Gulf Power, as well as local economic development agencies and chambers of commerce. 

For more information on all of the sites, visit

Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 447,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at