LIVINGSTON – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced Tuesday the counties chosen to participate in the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP). Launched earlier this year, the goal of PEP is to improve the inventory of industrial sites and buildings by evaluating potential properties, advising counties on where investment may be most beneficial and what steps are needed to address issues.
In the Upper Cumberland, both Cumberland and Overton were selected. Other counties include Carroll, Hamblen, , Shelby and Sumner.
“Developing and maintaining industrial properties is one of the most vital things communities can do when it comes to potential business recruitment,” TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “By working with counties throughout the state to evaluate and improve their sites, we ensure that a steady pipeline of market-ready inventory exists for future economic growth.”
Based on the principles of the department’s Select Tennessee Site Certification Program and with the assistance of the site selection firm Austin Consulting, PEP will benefit counties through emphasizing the importance of and assisting with planning for the future.
“The counties that go through PEP are committed to doing what it takes to make themselves more marketable, which in turn will increase their competitiveness to attract new business, investment and jobs,” TNECD Site Development Director Leanne Cox said. “I look forward to working with them to help strengthen Tennessee’s recruitment efforts.”
“The Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program is designed to help communities throughout the state with assistance from a site selection firm who has the ability to target properties for future industrial development,” added Austin Consulting Managing Director Frank Spano. “TNECD deserves special recognition for implementing this type of forward-thinking program that will assist all counties to critically assess new and existing industrial sites for the next generation of economic development.”
For counties selected to participate, the program includes: an educational webinar on the site selection process; a review and on-site visit by Austin Consulting; and a comprehensive assessment addressing each property’s strengths, weaknesses and recommended next steps to improve marketability.
“Developing and maintaining industrial properties is one of the most vital things communities can do when it comes to potential business recruitment.” – TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd
Selection is based on the ability to demonstrate local need and market demand for industrial properties and also on the county’s ability to assemble viable properties with market potential.
The application process begins with the submission of a letter of interest. Upon receipt of the letter, counties will be provided with the application. Completed applications for the spring 2016 round are due in March.