Prospective employers considering city building

Friday, May 4, 2012
Tribune photo by Clint Confher Considering economic development issues to foster more job opportunities in Lewisburg are, from left, Ronald McRady, Greg Lowe and Sally Kania.

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Two industrial prospects are thinking about buying the building Lewisburg constructed in its Interstate 65 Commerce Park on Mooresville Highway, the city's Industrial Development Board was told this week.

Construction of a building at the city's expense - priced at $1.4 million - was approved by city planners in June 2008. It was built on the speculation that a new business would need the structure, officials said at the time. It remains empty and the city has a new economic developer.

"I've got a couple of prospects for the spec-building," Economic Developer Greg Lowe said Tuesday, adding that Tennessee has a grant program that might be used to help with additional development such as extension of utilities.

Lewisburg Gas Department General Manager / Operations Manager Leroy Mullis was reportedly meeting with people about the extension of natural gas lines to the spec-building.

The 63,000-square-foot building was planed to have 3,000 square feet for office space and the balance for manufacturing.

City Attorney Steve Broadway verified for IDB Treasurer Sam Kirby that a resolution prepared for the city's application to the state for assistance - as well as its eventual spending of up to $150,000 for engineering designs for utilities - would be suitable for either industrial prospect.

The IDB approved the resolution unanimously.

Lowe, like economic developers for local governments elsewhere, is bound by confidentiality agreements to preserve a business' competitive edge on what it's going to do next.