Sizing Up Sites In Rural Tennessee

Henderson, Johnson, McNairy, Scott and Sequatchie counties are participating in a state program that will improve their inventory of available industrial sites.

By the BF Staff
From the May/June 2019 Issue

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) recently announced the counties chosen to participate in the latest round of the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP). The counties selected include Henderson, Johnson, McNairy, Scott and Sequatchie. All participants in this round of the program represent rural areas, including two distressed rural Tennessee counties, McNairy and Scott.

rural TennesseeStarted in 2015, PEP is designed to improve the inventory of industrial sites and buildings in Tennessee. The program evaluates potential properties, advising counties on where investment may be most beneficial and how sites can be improved to attract prospective companies. Prior to this round, 47 counties have participated in PEP.

PEP originates from the department’s Select Tennessee Certified Site Program. With the assistance of site selection firm Austin Consulting, PEP benefits participating counties by providing guidance on site planning for future industrial development projects.

rural Tennessee“PEP helps local communities attract and grow businesses in Tennessee and creates high-quality jobs in the process. Thanks to PEP, we’re identifying even more opportunities for Tennesseans to both build a career and build up local economies in our state,” said Gov. Bill Lee.

For counties selected to participate, PEP includes an on-site visit by Austin Consulting and TNECD, an educational webinar on the site selection process and a comprehensive assessment addressing the strengths and needs of a community’s inventory of industrial sites. This assessment also offers recommendations for communities to improve marketability.

PEP selection was based on the demonstrated local need for industrial properties and the county’s ability to assemble viable properties with market potential.

The application process begins with the submission of a letter of intent, which is accepted at any time. Upon receipt of the letter, interested communities will be provided with the PEP application. A new round of communities will be accepted into the program in the fall of 2019.


Nashville, TN continues to bask in the spotlight, wowing residents and tourists at every turn. Thanks to countless city and regional departments, businesses and organizations working in tandem, Nashville is a place like none other. The music, the food, the collaborative environment and the overall atmosphere is unmatched. A key component to the city’s success—Nashville International Airport (BNA).

rural Tennessee
More than 16 million passengers fly into and out of Nashville International Airport (BNA, pictured) each year. (Source: Nashville International Airport)

Nashville Mayor David Briley summed up the significance of BNA not only for Nashville, but Tennessee as a whole: “BNA is the front door to Nashville. It’s the front door to our region. In my opinion, it’s the front door to our entire state. Without this facility, we would not be seeing the economic growth in our community right now.”

BNA currently is served by 15 airlines and offers 460 daily flights with nonstop air service to more than 70 destinations. More than 16 million travelers fly into and out of BNA each year, and projections suggest that number will reach more than 23 million by 2032.

This continued, unprecedented growth is why BNA is constantly working to grow and expand its facilities and services to support travel needs of the city and surrounding region. In 2017, the airport broke ground on BNA Vision, the dynamic growth and expansion plan designed to get in front of this growth and maintain BNA as a world-class airport—particularly when it comes to international travel.

In 2018, BNA Vision reached two important milestones with the completion and opening of the interim International Arrivals Building (IAB) and the terminal garage. The airport invested $8.2 million in improvements to create the new interim IAB, which includes an international passenger processing area and welcome center. The opening of the interim IAB was the first project completed under BNA Vision and serves as a temporary location until the state-of-the-art International Arrivals Facility is complete in 2023.

The Terminal Garage, a 960,000-square-foot advanced parking and transportation center responds to the exponential passenger growth BNA has seen over the recent years. With a new parking guidance system, visitors will be directed to which floor and space is open.

Additional upgrades to the new Terminal Garage include:

  • Six levels and 2,200 covered parking spaces;
  • Dedicated Ground Transportation Center for commercial vehicles;
  • Electric vehicle charging stations, tire inflation station, vehicle locator kiosk; and
  • A Green-screen vegetation wall.

“The upgrades and changes to BNA in the coming years will expand our ability to host and serve passengers flying into Nashville, whether international or domestic,” said Doug Kreulen, BNA president and CEO. “With convenience and image in mind, BNA Vision will improve the passenger experience for all, bookending a wonderful trip to Nashville.”

The current phases of BNA Vision now underway include the expansion of the ticketing and baggage claim areas, building a 150,000-square-foot Concourse D, an additional parking garage, pedestrian plaza and administrative office building. These upgrades and additions are expected to be completed by mid-2020.

By 2023, BNA Vision will add an on-site hotel, terminal lobby expansion and renovation, additional security screening lanes and permanent International Arrivals Facility. Roadway improvements will improve traffic flow and ensure travelers have an easy and efficient experience.

Nashville shows no signs of slowing in popularity as an impressive number of people and organizations move to the city each day, month and year. BNA Vision is ensuring Nashville International Airport is a world-class airport for a world-class city.

For more information, renderings, videos and a virtual 360-degree tour of BNA Vision, visit