Beyond the Build


Smaller Markets Making a Comeback

As I recently posted, I spent 10 days at home with the virus. After that experience, I’m not sure how anyone thinks working at home is sustainable. Many on our team told me they sure were glad we have kept our office open this year. There’s energy, frequency of good conversation and social interaction, none of which you get at home. I like to say that at work, 1 +1 = 3 in terms of creativity.

With that said, I do believe that the beneficiaries of the changed working environment will be smaller markets where companies can thrive with lower cost of occupancy, develop a workforce and enjoy lower cost-of-living. There may not be quite as many amenities as you would find in a more dense area, but there is a great quality of life without the burdens of traffic and other things that go along with the populous city. We are working with just such a city in Brewton, Alabama. In partnership with their leaders, we are transforming a network of decade-old buildings into a home for a new company whose offices are presently in a large MSA. It will ultimately employ about 300 and bring the tech market to this city.

While you may never have gotten to Brewton, there is lots going on there along with great Mayoral and city leadership. They call it “Brewton Reborn,” and I second this. We think you will see other smaller markets benefit after some of the experiences of this year, for good reason, just like Brewton.

{Image Source: City of Brewton}

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.