Tag Archives: Roane Alliance

Roane County’s Certified Sites Still Top Prospects

{Pam May – Interim President & CEO, The Roane Alliance}

Since the program began in 2012, 55 sites across the state have become Select Tennessee Certified Sites. Out of those 55 sites, only nine sites have sold in the program’s seven years. 

Roane County has three certified sites out of the current inventory of 46: 

  • the 44-acre Cardiff Valley Road Site located in Roane County Industrial Park;
  • the 40- acre Jones Road Site located in Roane Regional Business & Technology Park; and
  • the 110-acre Development Area 6 Site located in Oak Ridge’s Horizon Center Industrial Park. 

The program was created to help communities prepare industrial sites for private investment and job creation.  By setting rigorous standards, Tennessee can ensure these sites are prime for development and can provide companies detailed and reliable information about those sites to help with the selection process.  In addition, opportunities have been available through grants to update these sites.  One of those was the Jones Road site that now has a newly constructed industrial grade road leading directly to the site and approximately 11 flat, pad ready acres that were graded to support the buildout of a facility up to 200,000 square feet. 

Having a certified site in your community does not guarantee the success of landing a prospect.  Qualifications for certification require at least 20 acres of developable land for industrial operations, documented environmental conditions and geotechnical analysis, existing onsite utilities or a formal plan to extend utilities to the site, and truck-quality road access.  But much more goes into selecting a site – location, community demographics, quality of life, workforce initiatives, and business climate are some of the most important. 

The Roane Alliance is optimistic, having seen an increase in interest for all three sites, since achieving certification.  The three sites have collectively been receiving around 15 prospect visits each year.  And interest in the Jones Road site continues to gain even more interest because of the addition of the road and pad ready acres.

Interest has also increased because of the relationships built with our economic development partners such as TVA and the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development (TNECD).  Since many prospects and leads come through them, the Roane Alliance has been using the certified sites as a way to stay in the forefront of their minds.  Each quarter, those sites are highlighted in an email that has resulted in some quick replies about potential prospects.  One such prospect is currently considering Roane County, and though the business does not qualify for the Jones Road Site due to jobs and wage requirements we have set, it has led to interest for other sites, including Cardiff Valley. 

Standards for the sites have to be maintained and re-evaluated every three years to receive recertification.  This process ensures the most current and accurate information is available to prospects.   All three sites are due for recertification this year, and the Roane Alliance has begun the process for Cardiff Valley and Jones Road, while Oak Ridge City will submit for Horizon Center. 

To learn more about the Select Tennessee Site Certification Program please visit https://tnecd.com/sites/certified-sites/.

Roane Chamber Women’s Executive Program – Feb 2019

{Pam May – Interim President & CEO, The Roane Alliance}

In 2018 Roane Chamber doubled the number of networking events available to its members. There were more workshops and Lunch & Learns as well – nearly one every week. In 2019 the Roane Chamber is kicking off a new 4-part series that provides a new networking opportunity for women, while also learning from women who inspire us all. The Women’s Executive Program is a partnership between the Roane Chamber and the Greenwood School Education Foundation and is sponsored by ORUD. Each event is held from noon to 1:30 at Greenwood School, 726 Greenwood St. in Kingston. Lunch is included. Make plans to attend the following Wednesdays: March 6, President Danice Turpin, TN College of Applied Tech – Harriman April 3, General Manager Candace Vannasdale, Harriman Utility Board June 5, Community & Public Relations Mgr Betsy Cunningham, Y-12 Federal Credit Union October 9, Major Cheryl Sanders, Tennessee Highway Patrol For more information contact Courtney Briley at 865-376-5572 ext. 205, cbriley@roanealliance.org or visit www.RoaneChamber.com/womens-executive-program

 

Economic & Community Development Opportunities – Jan 2019

{Pam May, Interim President & CEO, Alliance}

Tennessee’s Department of Economic & Community Development has established 176 tracts in the state that are qualified Opportunity Zones, providing tax benefits to investors through Opportunity Funds. One of those tracts is in Roane County (census tract 47145030600). Through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, established by Congress, Tennessee established these zones that offer incentives to invest in low-income communities. By re-investing capital gains into an Opportunity Fund, three types of tax benefits are available: temporary deferral, a step-up basis, and permanent exclusion on capital gains accrued after the initial investment.

Qualifying investments include multifamily housing, industrial development, brownfield redevelopment, retail development, operating businesses and a variety of other investments. Additionally, these investments can be paired with almost any federal, state or local incentive.

Justin Snow, Director of Economic Development, the Roane Alliance, attended a seminar provided by the state to learn more about the incentives. In addition, developers have shown interest in finding investors for projects within the Roane County Tract.

To learn more details about the opportunities visit tn.gov/ecd/opportunityzones or if interested in investing in Roane County contact Justin at 865.376.2093 x202 or jsnow@roanealliance.org.

Roane County Awarded AARC Seal of Approval – Dec 2018

{Pam May – Interim President & CEO, Roane Alliance}

Roane County was awarded the Seal of Approval from the American Association of Retirement Communities (AARC) during their recent conference. Pam May, Interim President of the Roane Alliance, attended the conference to accept the award and to learn from the nation’s leading organization on attracting retirees.

“Roane County has the lifestyle that many retirees are looking for, which is one of the reasons we received this recognition, but we also are recognized because of our efforts through the Alliance’s Retire Roane program,” said May. “We work closely with the state through the Retire Tennessee program to share advertising in key retiree markets like Illinois and New York and are seeing an influx of retirees from those states, as well as others.”

“The award is presented annually to recipients that demonstrate a strong commitment to making their community a top destination through lifestyle programming, amenity development, communication, and education,” said AARC chairperson Rachel Baker. “Roane County has shown they are committed to working to attract retirees.”

“The Soak in Roane Campaign remains very successful, so we are looking to do the same type of campaign for Retire Roane, taking our retiree recruiting efforts to the next level,” said May. “By summer we should see an increase not only in inquiries from retirees but also from visitor spending since they are visitors before they are residents.” RetireRoane.com

Visitors Spend Millions in Roane – Nov 2018

{Pam May – Interim President & CEO, Roane Alliance}

Visitors spent $69.82M in Roane County in 2017, based on the latest numbers from the U.S. Travel Association and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. This was an increase of $2.33M over 2016 and one of the largest increases in the past five years. In fact, visitor spending has increased by $7.63M just in the last four years, which is almost double the prior four years that only saw an increase of $2.75M.

How does this affect our residents? Every Roane County household would have had to pay $353 more in taxes last year without the $7.89M generated by visitors who spent money in Roane. In addition, 70 new jobs have been created in the hospitality industry since 2013, now totaling 490 jobs.

The state announced this year that tourism is the 2nd largest industry in Tennessee. Roane County has the perfect location, quality of life and assets to benefit more every year. One of the most successful marketing campaigns, Soak in Roane, continues to market Roane like never before, bringing in more events and more visitors. So next time you see an out-of-state license plate or know someone isn’t “from ‘round here” welcome them and encourage them to check out your favorite place to eat or shop because the longer they stay and the more they spend helps every Roane County household save money.

Bigger and Better K-25 Overlook – Oct 2018

{Pam May – Interim President & CEO, The Roane Alliance}

If you have traveled lately on S.R. 58 near the Heritage Center entrance, you probably noticed construction happening at the K-25 Overlook. An expansion is underway to create a nice space where visitors can learn about recreational opportunities in the area, while also learning about the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Outdoor gathering spaces and restrooms will be included near the overlook. There are also plans for trails on the property that will provide a glimpse into Happy Valley, a boomtown of 15,000 workers building K-25 that existed from 1943 until 1947. Today there is very little evidence of the city that included a school, theatre, bowling alley, post office, and grocery store. Remnants of the town remain on the property – slabs, fire hydrants, and even a car were left behind. The K-25 Overlook and Visitor Center should be back open to the public sometime in October.

Happy Valley

Happy Valley Service Station