FRANKFORT, Ky. – A site in the EastPark industrial park near Ashland recently became the 14th location statewide to earn Kentucky’s Build-Ready certification, signaling to potential occupants that the location includes features that would greatly reduce construction time and cost.
The 45-acre tract, expandable to 132 acres, includes a 100,000 square-foot building pad that can accommodate a manufacturing facility of 50,000 square feet or more. The site, zoned for heavy industrial use, includes access to water, sewer, natural gas and electric. It also provides logistical advantages, as it is fewer than 3 miles from I-64 and approximately 13 miles from the Greenup/Boyd Riverport at Wurtland on the Ohio River.
“Build-Ready certification for this site near Ashland, combined with the area’s premier location advantages, will bring more attention from prospective businesses,” said Terry Gill, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, which administrates the Build-Ready program. “The area already offers a number of qualities that have proven attractive to manufacturers. The addition of a Build-Ready site in the area will further strengthen northeastern Kentucky’s ability to land an additional business.”
All Build-Ready sites include a pad 50,000 square feet or greater – expandable to 100,000 square feet or more – and utilities that extend to the site’s edge. The designation also means necessary permits, including water, environmental, archeological, and geotechnical are on file, as well as preliminary building plans, cost estimates and schedule projections.
The applicant – usually a city, county or economic-development group – must also provide a rendering of a potential building for the site.
At just over three years old, the Build-Ready program has certified 14 locations across the state including the Ashland site. Efforts toward certification continue on at least a half-dozen other sites.
Sen. Robin Webb, of Grayson, said the designation will help the region to remain competitive for major projects.
“The Build-Ready site at East Park Industrial Center is a welcoming invitation to business that indicates a strong regional commitment for positive growth,” Sen. Webb said. “The aggressive recruitment climate in which the northeast region competes requires innovative and wise investment such as this project.”
Rep. Danny Bentley, of Russell, noted that Build-Ready certification can help quickly bring jobs to the region.
“Build-Ready sites are an important resource that will attract businesses to a rebounding Eastern Kentucky,” Rep. Bentley said. “The program saves time and resources by cutting out onerous red tape, allowing companies to start hiring Kentuckians as soon as possible. I commend the Cabinet for Economic Development for locating a Build-Ready site in EastPark and I look forward to the continuing revitalization of Eastern Kentucky.”
Rep. Jill York, of Grayson, welcomed the Build-Ready designation.
“This site certification is critical for our region to attract interest from key industries in the growing manufacturing, service, and tech sectors,” she said. “Our region is finally rebounding from years of job losses with good growth, and the Build-Ready status will provide even more jobs for Carter, Greenup, Boyd and Lawrence counties.”
Greenup County Judge-Executive Robert Carpenter commented on the significance of the designation.
“Announcements like this make for great days in Northeastern Kentucky,” he said. “A Build-Ready site is a major asset for EastPark. It moves the park to the top of a potential company’s list and makes locating here a very simple decision.”
Boyd County Judge-Executive Steve Towler said the region welcomes economic growth.
“The Build-Ready certification in EastPark is one more step to show the world we are ready for growth and development,” he said.
Carter County Judge-Executive Mike Malone said this is the latest indication that efforts are being made to make Eastern Kentucky more attractive to business.
“I cannot put into words how excited I am to see the success in Eastern Kentucky,” Judge-Executive Malone said. “This certification really helps us take advantage of the tremendous momentum.”
Ashland Mayor Steve Gilmore added, “By working together, we are rebuilding the economy of Eastern Kentucky.”
Kentucky’s other Build-Ready sites include tracts in the Highland Glen Industrial Park in Glasgow, the Bluegrass Crossings Regional Business Centre in Beaver Dam, the 4 Star Regional Industrial Park in Henderson, the Hickory Industrial Park in Mayfield, the Shelton Industrial Park in Russellville, Progress Park in Horse Cave, Muhlenberg County Industrial Park in Greenville, Commerce Industrial Park in Hopkinsville, Heartland Commerce and Technology Park in Campbellsville and three sites in the Kentucky Transpark in Bowling Green.
Due to high levels of interest in Bowling Green’s three Build-Ready locations, local officials advanced one previous site further with the construction of a speculative building. It represents an example of Kentucky communities working to advance to meet the demands of business expansions and new locations.
For more information on the Build-Ready program, visit www.thinkkentucky.com/selectkentucky/buildready/.
A detailed community profile for Boyd and Greenup counties can be viewed at http://bit.ly/BoydGreenup.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2015 totaled a state record $5.1 billion, spurring more than 16,000 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.