Aug. 10, 2012 —
Build it and they will come.
That’s been the most successful approach to local jobs development in the U.S. for decades and now this community is almost ready to try it again.
In short, provide a company with a suitable, well located facility to buy or lease and your chances of landing more jobs are much better.
With its $1.3 million “speculative” building nearly finished, the Morehead-Rowan County Economic Development Council (EDC) is hot on the trail of a job-producing tenant for the new facility at the entrance to the John Will Stacy MMRC Regional Business Park on KY 801.
EDC Executive Director Brett Traver reported this week that three proposals already have been submitted to prospective employers, including international firms, which could utilize the 48,320 square foot facility for manufacturing or distribution.
“This is a highly competitive process and we’re searching far and wide for prospects that are looking for a high quality, expandable building in a great location,” Traver said. “The ratio of 10-1 often applies in attracting employers. You go after 100 prospects and feel great if 10 agree to visit. And then getting one of the 10 to select your location is considered to be great return in this business.”
Traver, a former staff member of the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet, says attracting new employers is a mixture of good planning, hard work and pure luck.
“We’re working with all of our partners, including the state, utilities, consultants and individual companies to find the right match for our facility and our labor market,” he added.
Traver said the building will be substantially complete by Aug. 15 and he is confident it will make a good impression on visitors.
“It is well built and attractive, has good ceiling height and is situated where it could be doubled in size,” he said. “It’s located at the front door of our largest business park and is the first ‘spec’ facility we’ve offered to an employer in this park.”
Designed by MSE of Kentucky, it is being constructed by the Walker Company of Mt. Sterling.
It is financed with multiple state and federal sources through Kentucky's Department for Local Government, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation and Gateway Area Development District.
An earlier local effort to market a “spec” building for jobs occurred in the 1990’s when a 40,000 square foot building was built near the Guardian plant on KY 32.
It eventually was purchased by a North Carolina company and leased to Guardian, now SRG Global, as a storage facility.
Morehead and Rowan County coordinate all economic development activities through the EDC which provides professional staff and other support to the MMRC park and the Morehead-Rowan County Industrial Development Authority (IDA).
EDC is a non-profit partnership of city and county government, Morehead Tourism Commission, Chamber of Commerce, St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Morehead State University and Maysville Community and Technical College.
Keith Kappes can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 784-4116.
Aug. 10, 2012 —
Build it and they will come.
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