Warren County has an impressive portfolio of existing industrial buildings, a new spec building, which is No. 4, and three new sites that comprise the available inventory for our Industrial Development Board (IDB).
Executive director Don Alexander and his 10-person IDB board of directors are capably promoting this availability. Let’s look at the options in more detail.
1. 144,000-square-foot plant in Depot Bottom (was BRC), built around 1885
New Spec Building
Finished in 2020; 50,000 square feet on 23 acres; up to 42-foot height in the center; no floor or offices – can be added; located on Progress Blvd. in the Mountain View Industrial Park; can be easily expanded.
Available New Sites
1. 50 acre site, “pad ready” located across the road from the spec building No. 4 off Progress Blvd.
2. 44 acres located behind spec building No. 4 acquired through a recent land purchase.
3. 213 acres known as Elam Industrial Site located west of Morrison next to the Coffee County line. IDB has been working on desired infrastructure for this site – rail spur, access road, etc. It is viewed as a prime site.
If all these building and sites had new owners/ tenants, Warren County’s industrial recruiting would be viewed as a huge success. Having an Automation & Robotics Training Center; the state-leading CTE (career technical education) program at Warren County High School, and ambitious programs at both TCAT and Motlow campuses in McMinnville are major assets to assist in the recruiting effort.
IDB’s website is www.warrencountyecd.com. This is an up-to-date website with a “Sites” section that presents available building and sites. There is also a TVA website that provides a strong assist to IDB – www.properties.tvasites.com. TVA strongly supports economic and community development.
There are 10 people on the IDB Board – five appointed by the Mayor of McMinnville and five appointed by the Warren County Executive. All positions are appointed for six-year terms. A board member may consider an additional term(s), but that requires a new appointment. There are three board members at the end of their current term. The full board is as follows:
1. Tommy Foster (up for appointment)
2. Sandra Haynes (up for appointment)
3. Brent Nunley (up for appointment)
4. Trevor Galligan (board chair)
5. Jenny Nefrada (board wice chair)
6. Andy Knowles (board secretary)
7. Brent McKay
8. Carrie Huckeby
9. Jeff Golden
10. Scott MacDonald
Ryan Lorance, Justin Walling and Greg Smartt were named last week to fill the seats currently occupied by Foster, Haynes and Nunley. They will assume their duties on the IDB in September.
IDB has operated as a self-funded entity for the last two years. Members are doing future planning on how they could utilize the funds obtained through the sale of the spec building to sustain their ongoing efforts. They have the discipline to operate within their means.
The stated mission for IDB is as follows:
• Create jobs
• Broaden the tax base
• Increase livability for Warren County citizens
On the job front, IDB is committed to expansion of existing industries, recruitment of new industries, and additional retail businesses.
To successfully recruit new industries requires an expanding availability of desired housing. New developments in this area are as follows:
1. The Warren County Planning Commission recently gave a pre-approval for a 99-home development to a Florida developer on the Rocky River to the east of Rock Island; across the road on highway 70.
2. Lake Karen, across from highway 30 and the 70S bypass, was recently sold to a developer for building several upscale homes around the lake.
3. Three different building companies have talked to IDB about building new homes that retail from $175,000 to $285,000. This price range is viewed as a priority.
4. ISHA is doing extensive construction on the mountaintop.
5. Warren County is still waiting for construction to begin on a new National Guard Armory next to Reddick Brown Ford. This will be a big project.
Overall, this writer is excited with all the prospects as the economy comes out of the 2020 COVID pandemic. BRAC congratulates Don Alexander and the IDB for their leadership in crafting this strategy. Truly, better times are on the horizon for Warren County.