SPARTA – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced Tuesday eight counties chosen to participate in this spring’s Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP) – and the Upper Cumberland’s Van Buren and White were among those selected.
Launched in 2015, the purpose of PEP is to improve the inventory of industrial sites and buildings in Tennessee by evaluating potential properties, advising counties on where investment may be most beneficial and what’s needed to address issues.
Additional counties selected included Fayette, Humphreys, Lawrence, Maury, Scott and Unicoi.
“We are excited to announce the eight counties that have been selected to participate in the PEP Spring Round,” TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “By assisting counties across the state in evaluating and improving their sites, we can make sure these communities will be better equipped to attract potential new business and create 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 by emphasizing the importance of and assisting with planning for future industrial development.
“This program will provide eight counties with the tools they need to make themselves more marketable to potential new business,” TNECD Site Development Director Leanne Cox said. “I look forward to working with all of the counties who have been selected to participate in the program, and I am excited to see them enhance our state’s efforts in recruiting and expanding businesses in Tennessee.”
For counties selected to participate, the program includes an educational webinar on the site selection process, an on-site visit by Austin Consulting and a comprehensive assessment addressing each property’s strengths, weaknesses and recommended next steps to improve marketability.
Selection was based on demonstrated local need 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 intent, which is accepted at any time. Upon receipt of the letter, counties will be provided with the application.
Last September, Cumberland and Overton were selected for the program, PEP’s inaugural year.