BLOUNTVILLE — Build a spec building and industrial prospects will come, local economic development officials say.
A proposed $1.5 million speculative light industrial building — on about $1.5 million worth of land in the Gateway Commerce Park near the intersection of Interstates 81 and 26 — moved a step closer to reality Thursday.
That was when the NETWORKS — Sullivan Partnership board unanimously voted to empower the NETWORKS Executive Board to move forward with the project as it sees fit. NETWORKS is a joint effort of Sullivan County, Kingsport, Bristol, Tenn., and Bluff City.
“We have been considering this for years,” NETWORKS Chief Executive Officer Richard Venable said, adding that industries looking to locate or relocate in a community are mostly interested in a building, not a greenfield. The park also is known as Partnership Park III.
“We’re competing with 15,000 communities out there and everybody has a greenfield,” Venable said. “Not everybody has a building.”
The 88,000-square-foot project would cost about $1.5 million for the building, including some grading work, although Venable said the total could go up to $1.8 million if additional grading is needed.
“People are visual thinkers. If they can see it, they can attach to it,” said NETWORKS Chairman Charlie Floyd, head of the Domtar paper plant in Kingsport.
Read more in the Friday print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.