For the first time in more than 40 years, Jefferson City has a site of substantial size to market to industries, thanks to the sale of private land to the city.
As a result of a July 11 transaction with Jefferson Court LLC, the Jefferson City Industrial Development Board holds the deed to a 69-acre tract located behind Walmart, between North Chucky Pike and Odyssey Road.
The purchase price of $1.425 million was secured using a $1.140 million interest-free loan leveraged by Appalachian Electric Cooperative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Another $285K came from AEC’s Revolving Loan Fund, an ongoing resource that can be tapped into by local communities seeking financing for projects that will retain and create employment in rural areas.
The IDB has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the State of Tennessee’s Department of Economic & Community Development and is anticipating an “InvestPrep” grant award from TVA. Funding from both sources will be used for site development—grading, access roads, and other enhancements that will make the property market-ready.
Jefferson City Manager John Johnson said, “Everyone on the IDB has worked so hard to make this happen. It’s a real game-changer for our city.”
According to IDB Chair Don Miller, a lot of the credit goes to AEC:
“The Co-op’s support has been key, every step of the way. It just wouldn’t have happened without their help.” He said he believes that his fellow IDB members will look back on this as a legacy project.
“We’ll be proud to say we had a part in something that will have such a lasting impact on our community,” Miller said
The transaction may be complete, but the work continues.
The IDB has submitted an application to have the property designated as a “Select Tennessee Certified Site.” If approved, the certification carries with it a range of important benefits.
“This program is designed to do what it takes to get sites to a different level, when it comes to the state of preparedness necessary for corporate investment,” Miller said. “A prospective industry will look at this property and have the rock-solid assurance of knowing that it’s ready to go.”
TNECD works with a consulting firm to market Tennessee Certified Sites to a targeted group of site selection consultants and business leaders with ties to key industries.
In characterizing the significance of the property purchase, Johnson contends that this milestone is just the beginning of what may lie ahead for the city’s prospects:
“This type of achievement has the tendency to sort of ‘build on itself.’ We fully expect that this successful offering will open up other possibilities, in terms of both development and funding opportunities in the future,” he said.