Work under way at Sevier County industrial park site

Nov. 20, 2013 @ 11:20 PM

Clearing and grading work is under way at the site of the county’s next industrial park, and it’s already drawing interest from potential new industries. Now the Economic Development Council is considering whether to give it a name that reflects its proximity to Interstate 40.

The 115-acre tract is located just a few miles north of Exit 407 on Snyder Road. Accessibility to the interstate was one of the biggest attractions for the site when Sevier County Commission purchased it earlier this year at a price of $7.5 million from former County Commissioner Ken Whaley.

Whaley agreed to grade the property to the county’s specifications and build a road bed, and crews have been working at the site the last few weeks.

The EDC has already started marketing the property, and said it’s been drawing interest from the types of industrial prospects the county hasn’t seen in recent years.

“We’re finally competing in this market,” Assistant Director David Wear said. “Before this property was purchased, we weren’t even able to do that.”

They’ve shown the property to several industries looking for locations in Tennessee. There’s little information available on the companies, however, because they ask for site information through the state so they can keep plans to move confidential.

Still, the interest they’ve gotten so far is an encouraging sign that the new site will attract some new industries and new jobs to the county.

The next step for the board is choosing a name for the site, and Newton recommended one that features Interstate 40.

With the way modern search engines work, that could put them to the top of the searches for some industries without paying to get there, he noted.

“What better way to market our park than to say where it is in the name,” he asked the board.

They will consider names at an upcoming meeting.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com