Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted continued momentum of the state’s site development efforts with the announcement of a new Build-Ready location in Wayne County, positioning the region for future economic success.
The site, located at 1777 Kentucky Highway 90 in Monticello, adds to the growing list of properties certified as Build-Ready by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and available statewide for companies looking to quickly begin construction and start operation as soon as possible.
“Being proactive in the site selection process makes Kentucky a destination for quality companies to expand and relocate,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our dedication and investment in Build-Ready sites are setting up communities across the commonwealth for future economic opportunities and access to quality jobs. The success of Kentucky’s economy starts with the groundwork we are laying today, and I am very excited about the direction we are headed. I look forward to welcoming companies to this property and seeing the positive impact these businesses will bring to the community.”
The new site includes 35 acres within Monticello city limits, which will make up the new Monticello-Wayne County Business Park, where the 150,000-square-foot Build-Ready pad will be located. The pad is located on Lot No. 1 of 3 in the available 35 acres, giving the park the ability to expand the lot if needed or create additional Build-Ready sites. The property sits only half a mile from KY 90, a designated truck network road. Additionally, the site is just 18 miles from the nearest freight rail and 54 miles from Interstate Highway 75.
Utilities include an 8-inch sewer line that serves the site just 950 feet away. The property also includes availability of a 6-inch waterline with a 10-inch waterline available 1,400-feet from the property. Excess water capacity of the property is over 1.4 million gallons per day.
Wayne County Judge/Executive Mike Anderson said he appreciates the collaborative effort that brought this site to Wayne County.
“As judge/executive, I wish to thank the industrial development authority for its vision, the Wayne County Fiscal Court for their votes to use the RDAP funds to purchase 35 acres of land for the site, MSE Engineering and the Lake Cumberland Area Development District for their assistance in grant writing to make this certification possible,” said Judge Anderson. “Outside of natural gas, Wayne County needs this Build-Ready site to advertise for new business.”
Monticello Mayor Tracie Sexton said he is excited about the new site and the impact it will have on the community.
“I'm hopeful that this Build-Ready site will help bring new industry to Monticello,” said Mayor Sexton. “I greatly appreciate the time and efforts that the board members on the industrial development authority have invested in this project.”
Frank Phillips, chairman of Monticello-Wayne County Industrial Authority, noted the economic advantages this site will bring to the area.
“The Monticello-Wayne County Industrial Authority is excited to announce the Kentucky-certified Build-Ready site located in the Monticello-Wayne County Business Park,” said Phillips. “This Build-Ready site gives Monticello and Wayne County a competitive edge in our continued goal in bringing industry and economic growth to the area. I would like to thank Judge Anderson, the Wayne County Fiscal Court, Mayor Sexton and Monticello City Council for their support of this project. I would also like to thank Glen Ross of MSE Engineering and Lake Cumberland Area District Development for successfully guiding us through this project. Lastly, this project would have not been possible if it weren’t for the funds that Wayne County received from the TVA/RDAAP program. Our board is very thankful for the TVA/RDAAP program and for the guidance that Aaron Jones and the Kentucky Department of Local Government provided.”
With a Build-Ready site, much of the work – aside from construction – has already been completed. That includes controlling the land to be developed, completing archaeological, environmental and geotechnical studies, constructing a building pad, finishing preliminary design work, obtaining approved site plan permits and putting necessary infrastructure in place. On a Build-Ready site, construction can begin immediately.
To be Build-Ready certified, a site must include a pad ready to accommodate a building of 50,000 square feet with the ability to expand to 100,000 square feet or more – and utilities extending to the site’s edge. Applicants – usually a city, county or economic development group – must have previously filed the necessary permits, as well as preliminary building plans, cost estimates and schedule projections. Applicants also are asked to provide a rendering of a potential building for the site.
Including the new site in Somerset, the commonwealth is home to roughly 20 Build-Ready sites. Multiple other locations across the state are currently working toward certification.
To date, six former Build-Ready-certified sites, including tracts located in Graves and Laurel counties and four sites in Warren County, have been selected by companies for new location projects, allowing companies to bring their operations online in a cost-efficient manner while creating jobs for local Kentuckians.
The new site furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with nearly $7.5 billion invested and more than 13,000 full-time jobs created just through September.
Since taking office, Gov. Beshear’s administration has welcomed $21 billion in investments that are creating 40,000 jobs, including the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April of this year, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. In addition, Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Kentucky has posted record low unemployment rates for five consecutive months, holding at or below 3.9% since April 2022.