By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor
CROSSVILLE – Brad Allamong, president and CEO of Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, is anxiously awaiting the day the local 20-acre, pad-ready development site is listed among the state’s available certified sites.
A little more than a month after city, county, and state leaders, along with members of Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development, celebrated the official groundbreaking of a roughly 200,000 square-foot pad-ready site, work is already underway to prep the site. The site could bolster Crossville’s chances of landing a big industrial tenant.
“That figure of 200,000 square feet fits in the sweet spot of what folks that were looking for industrial sites wanted in terms of a building,” Allamong said, noting the careful review of RFIs, or requests for information, submitted by prospective industrial or manufacturing companies.
The industrial pad site, located in the city’s interchange business park, was made possible with grant funds including $500,000 from TNECD.
While some communities opt to build spec buildings, Allamong says less-is-more and a pad-ready-site, which is simply leveled land, approach is the way to go.
“You’ve not made a commitment on a building which may have the dock doors in the wrong place or may not have the right height,” he said. “I say, take it as far as you need to before commitments are being made that you can’t turn back from.”
The thought is, the less customized the site is, the more likely it is to appeal to a broader range of potential tenants. Another pro to foregoing the spec building, Allamong says, is avoiding the additional costs of constructing a building that may not even fit the needs of potential, interested clients.
But what potential tenants could call Crossville and, ultimately, the pad site home?
According to a workforce analysis study conducted of the area in May 2017 by Younger Associates, potential industry matches include fabricated metal product manufacturing, electrical equipment component manufacturing, motor vehicle manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and food manufacturing. Those industrial manufacturing companies eyeing Crossville as the location for a new facility are also eligible for incentives for choosing the city – roughly $5,000 for each job created.
Work is already underway on the site to clear it for pad-ready status. Meanwhile, city and county leaders are working to secure Select Tennessee site certification. To be designated a Select Tennessee site, a property must meet strict criteria and have certain surveys and geotechnical reports completed and available.
According to Allamong, Austin Consulting, the firm behind reviewing potential Select Tennessee properties, has already conducted its site visit.
“(We) had some additional work to achieve that designation – some preliminary site studies,” Allamong said. “It’s been step-by-step-by-step to get to this point. Having something like (Select Tennessee designation) in your back pocket is hugely valuable.”
There are currently 44 certified sites in the state; two of which are located in the Upper Cumberland region. Those sites are located in Warren County at the Mountain View Industrial Park and offer 52 and 26 acres, respectively, of developable land.
The Crossville pad-ready site is located along Interstate 40, across from Stonepeak Ceramics. Site work is expected to wrap in the coming months.