Richmond cuts ribbon on build-ready industrial site

Site near I-75 was approved for Product Development Initiative funding in 2019

UPDATE POSTED NOVEMBER 23, 2021 AT 6:09 P.M.

RICHMOND, K.y (WTVQ) – A build-ready site in Richmond is officially ready for companies to move in and create jobs. This afternoon, Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman, local leaders, and builders had a ribbon-cutting for the 21-acre plot in the Richmond Industrial Park South III. Builders say it’s a 174,000 square footpad with all utilities. This is one of only 19 sites of its kind in the state and this is conveniently located just three miles from the interstate. Richmond industrial board president John McPhearson says the foundation can be put down at any time along with some roots.

‘We provide them for a big set of reports, including all the preparations, the grading, this is graded to a certain percentage of slope, so and it’s all ready, just come in and build. It probably shortens a typical building project by six months,” says McPhearson.

Builders say there’s still room for more build-ready sites in the industrial park and that they’ll continue to develop.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED NOVEMBER 23, 2021 AT 2:42 P.M.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Richmond and Madison County officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on the community’s first Build-Ready-certified site, positioning the location to attract new business to the region.

The Madison County tract, located in Richmond Industrial Park South III, builds on the growing list of sites certified by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development (KCED) and available statewide for companies looking to quickly begin construction and start operation as soon as possible.

“We are building on our historic economic momentum, and with that we continue to build our foundation for even more growth in the years ahead,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Build-Ready sites ensure companies can start construction quickly and begin operation without costly delays so often associated with new-location projects. It’s yet another important piece toward creating quality jobs for Kentuckians.”

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman attended Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting and said the event highlights a statewide effort to keep Kentucky competitive well into the future.

“Kentucky is home to businesses from so many different sectors, ranging in size from Fortune 500 companies to startups. One thing these companies all have in common is a need to move quickly when it comes time to grow their business,” Coleman said. “Across the commonwealth we are seeing development of sites and buildings to solidify and strengthen our position as a great place to do business, and proving companies have the support needed for long-term success.”

The Richmond tract includes a 174,500-square-foot building pad on 21.5 acres, zoned for industrial use, and includes access to water, sewer, natural gas, electric and high-speed internet. The site is located less than three miles from Interstate Highway 75 and provides easy access to Interstate Highway 64 and Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport.

In 2019, the Madison County site was selected for funding through the Product Development Initiative (PDI).

PDI was created through a partnership between KCED and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED) to provide competitive grants to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments to supplement site and building improvement projects.

PDI aims to create jobs and corporate investment by enhancing the quality and quantity of Kentucky’s available sites and buildings. It also encourages collaboration among Kentucky economic developers and stakeholders with an emphasis on speed-to-market to help new and expanding businesses quickly find suitable locations in Kentucky.

Matt Tackett, president and CEO of KAED, lauded community leaders for taking the site a step further beyond its approval through the PDI program.

“As we build on a strong year of economic growth in Kentucky, communities have more opportunity than ever to attract quality employers to their region,” Tackett said. “PDI is a tremendous resource to continue that growth, as it provides strategic investments, which allow us to offer companies quick, risk-free site selection experiences. KAED congratulates Richmond and Madison County for winning a PDI grant and rolling that momentum forward with this Build-Ready announcement.”

To be Build-Ready certified, a site must include a pad ready to accommodate a building of 50,000 square feet with the ability to expand to 100,000 square feet or more – and utilities extending to the site’s edge. Applicants – usually a city, county or economic development group – must have previously filed the necessary permits, including water, environmental and geotechnical, as well as preliminary building plans, cost estimates and schedule projections. Applicants also are asked to provide a rendering of a potential building for the site.

In addition to the new site in Richmond, the commonwealth is home to 17 other Build-Ready sites. Multiple other locations across the state are currently working toward certification.

To date, six former Build-Ready-certified sites, including tracts located in Graves, Laurel and Washington counties and three sites in Warren County, have been selected by companies for new location projects, allowing companies to bring their operations online in a quick, cost-efficient manner.

Madison County Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor pointed to the collaboration needed to prepare the community for future growth.

“I couldn’t be more excited that we now have a Build-Ready site in the Richmond Industrial Park,” Judge/Executive Taylor said. “It makes us even more marketable to industry looking for a home. This is just another opportunity for us to work alongside the City of Richmond to attract new business, create jobs and build a better Madison County, especially as we prepare for a post-CSEPP community.”

Richmond Mayor Robert Blythe said the site will help bring a quality employer to the area.

“We are proud of the many industrial plant operations and related jobs that are already located in the Richmond area,” Mayor Blythe said. “The construction of this Build-Ready site in the Richmond Industrial Park will further increase our competitive edge as we continue to recruit new business opportunities for our thriving community.”

Rob Minerich, Richmond city manager, noted the impact of PDI funding on the site’s development.

“The partnership efforts with the PDI program are much appreciated here in the local community,” Minerich said. “The funding from the PDI program along with local matching funds provided by the City of Richmond has allowed an important project to become a reality.”

John McPhearson, president of the Richmond Industrial Development Corp. (RIDC), said the site meets growing demand within the site selection process.

“In our efforts to recruit new and expanding industries, we have learned that prospects desire sites that are readied for immediate development,” McPhearson said. “This Build-Ready site will help us attract prospects requiring land that can be built upon within shorter than average timelines.”

David Stipes, executive director of RIDC, said the project furthers local efforts to upgrade the industrial park.

“This certified Build-Ready Site is just one of several key infrastructure projects that have been completed in the Richmond Industrial Park South III,” Stipes said.

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