Site certification could help bring new jobs and investment to Greene Co.

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GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- A bare plot of land in Greeneville could soon become a center for economic development.

Hardin Industrial Complex on Terry Leonard Drive is one of four “Select Tennessee Certified Sites” recently designated by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Vaughn & Melton provided News Channel 11 with drone footage of Hardin Industrial Complex.

“Our hope for the site is that we’re able to work with our community partners to land an industry here, to create jobs, to enhance our economy and to just move Greeneville and Greene County forward,” said Dana Wilds, a business development specialist with the Greene County Partnership.

The “Select Tennessee” program was launched in 2012 to help communities prepare industrial sites for private investment.

Hardin Industrial Complex doesn’t have any business prospects yet but Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison said the state will help market the property to a wide variety of manufacturers.

To date, the state says 23 companies have invested over $1.8 billion to construct facilities on certified sites, resulting in more than 7,200 new job commitments.

Currently, there are 61 designated zones statewide and six in Northeast Tennessee. Hardin Industrial Complex is the first in Greene County.

Learn more about “Select Tennessee Certified Sites” in Northeast Tennessee here.

Wilds said the property was chosen by a consultant after several options were submitted. She said it took nearly two years to develop the property using a $450 thousand grant from the state.

“A lot of companies, business and industry are looking for sort of a pad- ready, shovel-ready site where they can come in and have their business or industry custom built to suit their needs,” said Morisson.

“It just really puts us at an advantage that we didn’t have previously,” said Wilds.

Wilds said sites have to meet several standards before being designated by the state.

There have to be onsite utilities or a formal plan to extend services. The land has to be at least 20 acres and the surrounding roads have to be accessible to trucks.

Wilds said Hardin Industrial Complex is adjacent to 11E, about 12 miles from I-81 and about a mile from the Greeneville Municipal Airport.

The space is just over 20 acres with about 11 “developable acres.”

She said the property is publicly owned by the Town of Greeneville and already had access to utilities before the project began.

Environmental conditions also had to be documented before the property was certified.

Plus, a boundary survey, topographic maps and a geotechnical analysis had to be completed.

“Those typically can take a 3 to 6-month process in order to get all of your studies back so going through that early shows that if an industry needs to come in and move very quickly, we’re able to do that for them,” Wilds said.

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