TVA’s Muscle Shoals Property Auction Complete

There’s a new future in store for TVA’s Muscle Shoals reservation, which was returned to the private sector for economic development in the Quad Cities area.

APRIL 20, 2018—The Tennessee Valley Authority announced today the sale of approximately 900 acres of the utility’s Muscle Shoals Reservation, in Colbert County, Ala., to Muscles Shoals Holdings LLC for $5 million. Muscle Shoals Holdings has approximately 90-days to close on the property pending a permit release from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

"We care about the Quad Cities’ success, and selling this property is an economic investment in the community while preserving local recreational opportunities," said David Bowling, TVA vice president Land and River Management. Bowling confirmed that TVA will retain roughly 2,000 acres of property, including the nationally recognized Rockpile Recreational Area and buildings that provide workspace for nearly 500 employees.

The reservation’s new future stems from TVA’s new strategic real estate program, which looks for opportunities to right-size the company’s real estate portfolio and divest of unused property to better serve local communities. “One of TVA’s core missions is economic development,” Bowling explained. If TVA has property that is no longer used or needed for future business, it makes sense to partner with communities to sell these properties to help stimulate private investment.”   

Recent TVA sales include the Edney building in Chattanooga, Tenn., which is now the centerpiece for Chattanooga’s innovation district, and the 600-acre Google site at TVA’s Widows Creek Fossil Plant, near Stevenson, Ala.   

New Possibilities

The auction ends TVA’s six-year project to prepare the land for sale and complete city zoning requirements. "The hard work is done and now it is time to see the fruits of our labor," said Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford. “Hatch Boulevard and Second Street are some of the most heavily travelled streets in our area. With the number of potential customers who drive by this site every day, I’m excited to see the opportunity that the private sector has to develop this site.” 

TVA set the minimum auction price at $3.85 million. The utility retained the CBRE real estate group to market the property nationally. In order to participate in the auction, bidders had to provide a Letter of Intent, which included financial qualifications, a $250,000 earnest money deposit and an overview of the bidder’s intended property use.    

TVA’s reservation, near the Wilson Dam, has played a significant role in Muscle Shoals history. In 1921, Henry Ford wanted to acquire Wilson Dam to build automobiles in the Shoals. TVA used the site for fertilizer research which lasted into the 1950s—many of the farming and fertilizer practices developed on the reservation are still used today. During World War II and the Korean Conflict the site was critical to ammunition production.  

Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford is mindful of the site’s storied past but is looking towards the future: "In 1963 President Kennedy stood on the reservation and said ‘the initials T-V-A stand for progress and the people of this area are not afraid of progress.’ Selling this property to attract new businesses and jobs to the Quad Cities continues TVA’s commitment to progress."

A New Beginning for the Muscle Shoals Reservation

For over 100 years, a 1,000-acre parcel in Colbert County, Ala., has been home to those who’ve worked to tame a river, harness electricity, win world wars and feed a nation. As it prepares to start a new chapter, it's a good time to look back at Muscle Shoals’ history. Read more about its storied past.