Tennessee is setting its sights on economic growth as it earmarked $65 million for site readiness in the state’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year. Of the said amount, $20.5 million is set aside to buy and invest in the “Middle Tennessee I-24 Industrial Site” in Coffee County. Tennessee also ramps up its efforts to attract electric vehicle and manufacturing projects by allocating $45 million towards infrastructure improvement and property development throughout the state.
Memphis Business Journal further reported:
“It was a pretty bold ask, but we felt it was important,” said Stuart McWhorter, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development. “Having [site] inventory, in some cases, makes or breaks the deal.”
Site readiness was key in luring Ford to West Tennessee to build BlueOval City. Ford executives cited the Megasite of West Tennessee’s shovel-readiness in the days immediately following the announcement of the EV facility. Mark Herbison, president and CEO of Covington-based HTL Advantage, who has been credited with spearheading the recruitment of Ford, said that workforce availability in Jackson and Memphis was an important factor, as well.
Additional new projects are now coming to West Tennessee, with the most recent being EV battery material supplier 6K Energy in Jackson.
The Coffee County megasite is “the last one in the state of Tennessee of that size, and one of the last in the Southeast.” That’s according to Stephen Crook, executive director of the Industrial Board of Coffee County, in comments he made at a public meeting earlier this year, per the Tullahoma News.