By Tony McCray
Mayor Henry Hawkins announced the proposed sale of the former Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company property in Century to an organic farming company moving its headquarters from Charlotte, North Carolina. Steven and Kitidra Simpkins, or Steve the Urban Farmer as he is called in Charlotte, is committed to moving “Pisces Organic Farms” to Century and serving as the impetus for the creation of 300 plus jobs. According to Simpkins the property has 330,200 square feet in eight buildings on 38 acres and it is zoned industrial.
Mayor Hawkins was introduced to Simpkins who was initially involved in his relocation search in Santa Rosa County. With just seven months in office the purchase of the Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company property in the works, and with a motivated buyer like Simpkins the new mayor appears to be the “positive change leader” the Town of Century needs for economic growth. Hawkins sees the project as the long-awaited boost to the Century economy that will serve as a catalyst for additional positive community revitalization.
In an interview with the Gulf Coast Voice, Simpkins stated, “We are involved in discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because the property is a Brownfield site, however, I believe we may begin operations in Century by the end of September. Our management team is moving here, because we are truly committed to this project.” Pisces Organic Farms started out in 2012 as a 501©3 and in 2014 established a limited liability corporation or LLC to manage the farming business on the day-to-day operational level. “We wanted to move to a warmer weather climate and Century is a match for our business objective” stated Simpkins. Mayor Hawkins’ parting comment to the Voice was, “Keep an eye on Century and watch us grow.”