ECD Announces Second Round of Select Tennessee Certified SitesTuesday, August 13, 2013 | 12:00 pm
NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced the next five Select Tennessee Certified Sites. The Select Tennessee program was launched in June 2012 with the goal of helping Tennessee communities prepare available sites for investment and expansion. The program sets a consistent and rigorous standard upon which companies can rely in making critical location decisions. The five sites are:
• Aviation Park, Site 1: Sullivan County (Cargo Center Drive, Blountville)
• Aerotropolis Logistics Park Site: Shelby County (4542 American Way, Memphis)
• Cardiff Valley Road Site: Roane County (Cardiff Valley Road, Rockwood)
• North Etowah Industrial Park Site: McMinn County (Industrial Drive, Etowah)
• Northwest Tennessee Regional Industrial Center: Obion County (Highway 51 & State Road 21, Union City)
"In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, Tennessee must continue to set itself apart on every level. Beyond our state's ideal location, high quality workforce, low tax rate and business-friendly environment, we know having an attractive site ready to go may make the difference in attracting new investment or expansion,” ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “By choosing one of these five Select Tennessee Certified Sites, companies have the certainty that the Select Tennessee site will be operational in the shortest possible timeframe. This certification to international standards has been performed by world class leading site selection firms Austin Consulting and The Foote Consulting Group. And in today's competitive environment, this distinction will set us apart from an internationally competitive field."
The program acknowledges that companies looking to expand or relocate their operations often eliminate less prepared sites and addresses this issue by ensuring sites meet a specific standard. Among the qualifications needed to become certified, a site must have at least 20 developable acres, proper zoning in place to allow for ease of development, all utilities at the site or a formal plan to extend to the site, and truck quality road access.
A hallmark of the program is ensuring that Tennessee sites are ready for development, whether through marketing those ready for a prospect or providing guidance for uncertified cites to achieve a higher level of preparedness.
ECD has partnered with Austin Consulting and The Foote Consulting Group to administer the program.
“Site preparedness is a very important consideration factor for companies in determining where to build their next facility,” Austin Consulting Location Consultant Brandon Talbert said. “The stringent industry development standards which these sites were required to meet, combined with the comprehensive review and documentation process, greatly improves the competitive position of these communities and the state of Tennessee.”
“Expanding companies and site selectors alike want to see sites that are ready to go right now and often do not have the time to go through a lengthy review process”, Foote Consulting Group, LLC President and CEO, Deane C. Foote said. “The Select Tennessee Certified Sites program assures these companies and site selectors that they are seeing some of the very best sites in the nation, the "cream of the crop", all ready to go now! The result will be more successful project locations, more jobs and more capital investment for Tennessee.”
There are now eleven Select Tennessee Certified Sites available in nine different counties across the state. The Select Tennessee program accepts applications twice a year. The next round of applications can be submitted in January 2014; however, interested communities must begin the formal application process by sending in their letter of intent. The letter of intent can be sent in by email to Select.Tennessee@tn.gov at any time. Communities interested in applying to the Certified Sites program can visit www.SelectTennessee.com.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies, which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.