November 1, 2017

Communities preparing for industrial growth earn Build-Ready certificates

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Among the dozen or more ways to attract new business and jobs to a community, preparation leads the pack.

Kentucky’s Build-Ready program – designed to streamline site selection, construction and opening of new industrial facilities – helps communities prepare for industrial development projects. This year Build-Ready this year has seen a surge of activity with sites in four cities statewide earning the certification; Campbellsville, Ashland, Princeton and Mount Sterling.

“Build-Ready supports our efforts to drive economic development to all 120 Kentucky counties. The surge in certifications this year indicates communities recognize the importance of preparation when seeking to attract new industrial enterprises,” said Terry Gill, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “I congratulate these communities on making their sites Build-Ready eligible, and I look forward to seeing increased interest from potential employers.”

Online for a little more than three years, Build-Ready creates a process for addressing needs and concerns before they arise. This proactive preparation of sites allows companies to bypass much of the process required to establish new locations and paves the way for timely site-selection decisions.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development recently designated its 15th Build-Ready site, a 10-acre tract (expandable to 48 acres) in the Princeton Industrial Park in Caldwell County.

The Mount Sterling site announcement was the state’s fourth this year, closely following the Princeton site’s Build-Ready certification in early October, the Ashland tract in EastPark Industrial Center in July and the Campbellsville site in June.

With a Build-Ready site, the local community has moved to streamline the permitting process by acting in advance to:

Identify a site
Construct a pad of at least 50,000 square feet, expandable to at least 100,000 square feet
Ensure proper zoning is in place
Resolve all environmental issues
Provide an engineer-approved plat of the property and develop site and building plans
Extend utilities to the site or establish plans to do so
Plan road access to the site
Outline project costs and the construction timeline

These steps can prove to a prospective company that unknown obstacles have been removed, that due diligence has been conducted on the site, and that the project implementation timeline has been significantly accelerated.

“Build-Ready sites are an important resource that will attract businesses to a rebounding Eastern Kentucky,” Sen. Robin Webb, of Grayson, said during the Ashland announcement. “The aggressive recruitment climate in which the northeast region competes requires innovative and wise investment such as this project.”

Sen. Dorsey Ridley, of Henderson, offered similar remarks after the Princeton site was designated in mid-September.

“This innovative and wise investment is a welcoming invitation to new business and an indication of the area’s strong commitment to positive growth,” he said. “This Build-Ready site definitely gives Princeton and Caldwell County a competitive edge in today’s aggressive recruitment climate.”

Montgomery County Judge-Executive Wallace Johnson said the new Mount Sterling site is the latest tool at the community’s disposal.

“Our county is the economic engine for this region due to our industrial base and people commuting into Montgomery County to work and shop,” Judge Johnson said. “This Build-Ready site gives us another advantage to attract another name brand industry to Mount Sterling and we are truly excited about that.”

Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young commented on the significance of the certification.

“I’m confident our Build-Ready designation will help attract new companies and jobs in Campbellsville,” he said. “Prospective companies know this certification saves them time, allowing construction to begin almost immediately, putting them in operation quicker.”

Build-Ready certification efforts continue on multiple other sites. Current certified sites include:

Princeton Industrial Park
EastPark Industrial Park, Ashland
Highland Glen Industrial Park, Glasgow
Bluegrass Crossings Regional Business Centre, Beaver Dam
4 Star Regional Industrial Park, Henderson
Hickory Industrial Park, Mayfield
Shelton Industrial Park, Russellville
Progress Park, Horse Cave
Mount Sterling, Montgomery County
Muhlenberg County Industrial Park, Greenville
Commerce Industrial Park, Hopkinsville
Heartland Commerce and Technology Park, Campbellsville
Washington County Commerce Park, Springfield
Kentucky Transpark, Bowling Green (three sites)

Because of high levels of interest in Bowling Green’s sites, local officials have further advanced a previously certified site by constructing a speculative building.

“That move is yet another example of Kentucky communities working in advance to meet the demands of business expansions and new locations,” Gill said. “I encourage communities across Kentucky to take advantage of the Build-Ready program.”

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