Kentucky’s sites and buildings inventory continues to be developed as demand increases from companies looking to locate and expand in the commonwealth. Local leadership in Marshall County is moving forward with upgrades to the Southwest One Industrial Park, better positioning the location to attract new business.
“More than ever, company leaders want to locate in Kentucky or expand their presence here,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “To meet that demand, we must ensure communities across our state offer state-of-the-art sites and buildings that can accommodate businesses of any size and specialty. This proactive effort will position Marshall County to welcome even more great economic development opportunities in the future, and that’s how we continue to create quality jobs for Kentucky residents.”
Upgrades at Southwest One Industrial Park will include a dense-grade extension of Southwest One Boulevard, the addition of an aluminum box culvert across from Gain Branch and construction of an expandable 120,000-square-foot building pad-ready site.
The Marshall County location was selected for funding through the Product Development Initiative (PDI) in 2020. PDI was created through a partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development (KCED) and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED) to provide competitive grants to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments to supplement site and building improvement projects. PDI aims to create jobs and corporate investment by enhancing the quality and quantity of Kentucky’s available sites and buildings. As well, it encourages collaboration among Kentucky economic developers and stakeholders with an emphasis on speed-to-market to help new and expanding businesses quickly find suitable locations in Kentucky.
PDI helps communities take a major step forward to attract new business, according to Matt Tackett, president and CEO of KAED.
“The Product Development Initiative is a key tool to bolster our ability to provide global enterprise with quick and risk-free site selection experiences,” Tackett said. “KAED congratulates the Marshall County community and the Kentucky Lake Economic Development team for winning a PDI grant, for further preparing an important regional asset for investment and for accelerating economic opportunity in the commonwealth. The world is well-aware of the undeniable Kentucky advantage, which is evident all across our state including right here in Marshall County.”
The site upgrades will benefit the local workforce, according to Dennis Smith, chair of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority.
“This award will allow the Marshall County IDA to position itself much better in the industry recruitment arena and secure companies that will pay good wages and benefits for our area workforce,” Smith said. “This project award will move Southwest One Industrial Park at least six months ahead and will be a major draw for industries considering site selection in West Kentucky.”
Investment in the Marshall County site furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state surges ahead in response to the effects of the pandemic.
In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth: A $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.