Industrial Development Board executive director Don Alexander gave an update on the Novares building and Elam Industrial Site at the Warren County Commission meeting this month.
Alexander says they have had eight visits by companies interested in the Novares site and they are working hard to replace the jobs lost due to the company’s departure. Novares employed 58, according to the latest Business Directory, and has said it will be winding down operations here next month.
“There have been eight different companies not only expressing interest, but actually visiting the old Novares site,” said Alexander. “There is a great deal of interest in that building because it takes so long to build one and the costs are going up exceedingly. So there has been a great deal of interest in that building. Out of the eight, I think four are still very interested in it so we will continue to see a great deal of interest in that building and I think before long we will have a corporate neighbor in there.”
In his report, Alexander said prospective industries feel that reduced time to production with an existing facility along with rising costs of construction for a new building are two factors which should have the building occupied shortly after Novares leaves.
“I think what you are going to have if you have four interested in it, you are going to have one that is very pleased and three that are disappointed so we are going to take one of those three and make them a corporate neighbor in the speculative building. At least that is the plan,” said Alexander.
The Novares building is 100,000 square feet and is fully operational. The spec building is 50,000 square feet and still needs finishing work done.
The IDB is in the application process for a grant that will allow them to match funds needed to do tests at Elam Industrial Site, an over 200-acre site at the Coffee County line that is undeveloped.
“We are at this time in the application process for an invest prep grant which is administered by Tennessee Valley Authority. If we land, or I will say when we land, this grant it will help us with the matching funds to provide a test of hydrological, which is like wetlands, archeological, which studies the land around it as far as what has been there in the past, and then also the endangered species that might habitat there," said Alexander.