Ground broken on new Somerset Commerce Park

0
209
reaking ground for the new SPEDA Commerce Park are, from left, SPEDA President and CEO Chris Girdler, SPEDA board members Seth Atwell and Cody Gibson, Somerset City Council members Jerry Wheeldon, David Burdine and Amanda Bullock, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley, SPEDA board member Michelle Allen, Pulaski County magistrates Mark Ranshaw and Jason Turpen, SPEDA board chairman Brook Ping, Doug Gooch with AGE Engineering, Shane Weddle with Weddle Enterprises, and SPEDA Chief Accounting Officer Jessica Carlton.

Formerly known as the Garner property in the Pine Hill and Barnesburg Road area, SPEDA Commerce Park is a 142-acre development that will offer certified build-ready sites to industrial prospects. The park’s first tenant, the Kentucky National Guard, announced in August its intentions to build a new regional readiness center and field maintenance shop there on 18 acres.

- Advertisement -

Following a bidding process, the SPEDA board of directors selected AGE Engineering Services Inc. as the firm that will develop the park, with Weddle Enterprises partnering on the design-build portion of the project. SPEDA President and CEO Chris Girdler said his organization is aggressively applying for grant funds to develop the park — moving swiftly to prepare build-ready sites while also conducting site tours with prospective clients and site selectors that seem to be promising and productive.

SPEDA purchased the property from Pulaski County Fiscal Court in March for just less than $1.19 million, the same price the county purchased it for in 2019. The county purchased the property to give SPEDA, then a new city-county partnership, time to establish itself as an organization.

Girdler said he greatly appreciates the help and support of the community’s elected leaders — Pulaski County Fiscal Court, Judge-Executive Steve Kelley, Somerset City Council and Mayor Alan Keck — for making the park a reality.

“Being able to see our county and city governments work so well together is a beautiful thing and will continue to pay tremendous dividends for us as we move this community forward together,” Girdler said. “The SPEDA Commerce Park will be a valuable asset for Somerset, Pulaski County and the entire region. We will be able to offer prospective businesses and organizations certified build-ready sites, a strategic location, and continue our community’s progress as a leader in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

SPEDA Commerce Park offers potential industrial prospects attractive four-lane road access that will be enhanced by the construction of two interchanges at the Ky. 80 and Ky. 461 intersection. The $69 million road project, which will relieve congestion at the nearby Valley Oak Commerce Complex, is expected to be complete in 2023.

Kelley said it is exciting to see the progress taking place in Somerset and Pulaski County.

“As a lifelong resident, I have never witnessed the growth taking place right before our eyes,” he said. “Yet we remain the wholesome, friendly, conservative area we all have known for so long. Collaboration is the key to our success. I am thankful to be such a small part of a huge effort taking place in our county.”

Keck pointed to SPEDA Commerce Park as an example of successful efforts to grow and prepare for the future.

“In spite of a challenging environment, we are continuing to grow and excel,” Keck said. “I am so thankful for the leadership at SPEDA and excited to have new opportunities to push and promote. Our best days are truly ahead.”

SPEDA President and CEO Chris Girdler speaks community leaders before they break ground for the new SPEDA Commerce Park.