Seven “Deal Ready™” Certified Industrial Sites Announced in West Tennessee

Today the West Tennessee Industrial Association (WTIA) announced that seven industrial sites in West Tennessee have met the criteria to be “Deal Ready™” Certified Industrial Sites. A certified site is guaranteed to meet or exceed the criteria required by industries seeking a site for immediate development.  These seven newly certified sites are in the size range most often sought by companies looking for a new location.  These sites were certified by Mark Williams, President and founder of Strategic Development Group.

When most developers think of certified sites they picture large mega-sites and super-sites of 1,000 acres or more. A trend has developed to market huge sites as certified for rapid development. In early 2006, West Tennessee Industrial Association and Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association, WITA’s counterpart in the Nashville region and a partner in the Deal Ready program, announced the first Deal Ready™ Certified Sites, which ranged from 50 to 1,000 acres. This current phase of Deal Ready™ evaluated sites from 20 to 50 acres.

WTIA and MTIDA realize that companies who require smaller sites are under just as much time pressure – maybe more – as large site developers. They reviewed almost four years of location data from Tennessee Valley Authority and found that 34% of site locations occurred on sites of this size. These smaller Deal Ready™ sites will provide companies with all the advantages of a professionally certified site.

This program will help assure companies of every size that we are ready to help them meet their start-up deadline.  West Tennessee is a prime location for food processing, plastics, biofuels and distribution/logistics.  The Deal Ready™ sites are ideal for these and other industries as well,” notes Mike Philpot, Executive Director of WTIA.

A Deal Ready™ site must pass a rigorous evaluation where more than 100 types of site information are reviewed. To qualify as Deal Ready™, a site must be free of ownership/use issues, free of environmental issues, and meet or exceed the infrastructure requirements of typical industrial projects. In 2006, 20 sites of 50 to 1,000 acres in West Tennessee were certified as having completely met all criteria.  The seven new certified sites also met these standards.

WTIA, an economic development organization for West Tennessee power distributors, implemented the Deal Ready™ program to help West Tennessee communities attract more industries. WTIA engaged the nationally known engineering and site consulting firm Strategic Development Group, Inc. to serve as the third-party evaluator to certify the sites.

Mark Williams, President of Strategic Development Group, Inc. who has assisted many corporate clients in locating sites says, “You can expect credibility, speed in decision making and reduced risk from a certified site. I think WTIA and MTIDA are really thinking ahead by certifying sites of 20 to 50 acres. We’re not aware of any other group in the country certifying sites of this size, even though they are in demand.”

“The local economic developers are to be commended for their hard work to meet the certification requirements. Because of their efforts to meet the Deal Ready™ criteria, they have put West Tennessee in a very competitive position—we are ahead of the game,” observes Philpot.

The economic development organizations with certified sites were recognized at a ceremony, March 9, hosted by WTIA at the Doubletree Hotel in Jackson. WTIA and MTIDA created a special web-based resource for the Deal Ready™ Certified Sites.  When you visit you can find the full list of sites, complete GIS map resources, and in-depth infrastructure information.  The site allows fast access to sites that are guaranteed to put a developer on a fast track.