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According to the Examiners of Public Accounts, the ABC Board of Alabama leases more space than any other state agency.

In the 2020-2021 annual report, Chief Examiner Rachel Laurie Riddle found that the total cost of leases between state agencies and private entities was $45,659,837.43. Of that, the ABC Board is responsible for $11,222,139.89. Those leases include ABC Stores, office space and storage.

The 148 store leases for ABC Board stores across the state cost $10,179,301 per year. The ABC Board leased two office spaces for a total of $127,608 a year, and one storage lease cost $915,230.40 a year.

State agencies are not required by law to advertise needs for office space, but the Examiners of Public Accounts stated such needs should be made through public advertisement to ensure more options and competitive pricing.

SEE ALSO: Despite struggles to justify existence, Alabama ABC Board insists it protects 'the general public's health, safety and welfare'

The ABC Board has a real estate committee, and the committee chairman makes decisions on leases, including location, pricing and remodeling of stores and warehouses. Current chairman William Thigpen said the ABC Board is looking for property in Birmingham, specifically in the Lakeshore area.

"What we are looking for is about 1.2 to 1.3 acres to put a 15,800 square foot warehouse on in that area," said Thigpen.

The Alabama Legislature created the ABC Board following the ratification of the 21st Amendment that ended Prohibition, giving the state government control of the sale of alcoholic beverages. The state is one of 17 control states in the nation. 

The board makes its money from the sale of products to retailers and individual consumers in the state.

In its last annual report for the fiscal year 2019-2020, the ABC Board reported it distributed $315 million to state and local governments.

For information on becoming a landlord for the ABC Board, click here.

You can view a complete list of leases with the state of Alabama by clicking here.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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