Kentucky Transpark Named a Select Site
Transpark Only One of Five Sites in Nation Recognized by CSX as Premier Property
Jessica M.L. Thompson, Marketing & Communications Director
BOWLING GREEN, KY-CSX has certified Lot 6 of the Kentucky Transpark as a CSX Select Site, ranking it as one of only five sites in the nation to be considered the best manufacturing properties on CSX's rail network spanning 23 states. Lot 6 is the only site in Kentucky--and one of only two sites in the southeastern United States--to receive this certification.
CSX introduced CSX Select Sites as a new program to provide customers a simple way to access certified, rail-ready properties for a variety of industrial uses. These sites-ranging in size of 100 to 1,000 acres-are the first premium certified rail-served sites for industrial development and expansion, and are selected from CSX-served sites located in the 23 states and the District of Columbia. The criteria for certification includes
- Infrastructure and utility availability
- Environmental reviews
- Appropriate zoning and entitlement
- Air quality permitting
- Rail serviceability
- Proximity to highways or interstates
The Austin Company, a nationally known site selection and certification consulting firm, was hired by CSX to screen candidate sites and assist communities with the application and certification process. According to CSX, the designation indicates "green light" properties along the CSX network where projects can move forward rapidly because all known risk factors have been identified and potential issues resolved.
"Ultimately, these sites will represent many of the best manufacturing properties along CSX's rail network in the eastern U.S.," said Clark Robertson, CSX assistant vice president-regional development. "The Select Site designation promotes shorter decision timelines, increased speed to market and lower up-front development risk for companies seeking industrial property to place their manufacturing operations.
"All of the data suggest manufacturers prefer certainty in their selection of new plant locations," Robertson said. "We intend to assist communities across the network to identify sites that can provide certainty and compete effectively for these new investments and jobs."
The Kentucky Transpark is a state-of-the-art business and industrial park located on 900 acres next to U.S. 31-W and Highway 68/80. The park is within one mile of Interstate 65 with a planned connector road to bring immediate access to the Interstate. The Transpark can accommodate heavy and light industrial manufacturing operations.
The CSX Rail Spur, completed in spring 2010, extends from the CSX main line, beginning at the Highway 68/80 railroad overpass and running parallel to Highway 68/80 past Mizpah Road to Lot 6 at Commonwealth Boulevard. A grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky funded the $4.1 million rail spur development project, building 7,100 feet of rail.
Being selected as one of the first five sites in the nation highlights the foresight and prudent investments made by local leadership. Gary K. Dillard, chairman of the Intermodal Transportation Authority (ITA), the governing body of the Transpark, said,
"The development of the rail spur gives the Transpark the capability to provide first-class rail service to businesses that locate in South Central Kentucky. The certification from CSX will be an extremely important tool to market the quality and attributes of the Transpark to our targeted businesses."
Warren County Judge Executive Michael Buchanon is pleased with the announcement that the Transpark is now a CSX Select Site. "This certification gives us a competitive advantage at the Transpark and in South Central Kentucky because of the stringent criteria identified by CSX and Austin Consulting. We are gaining yet another opportunity here to point to reasons that make the Transpark an ideal location for business-in fact one of the best in the nation."
City of Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson agreed, saying, "The national recognition that this certification brings to the Transpark is an invaluable marketing tool for us. We are honored to have one of the first sites in the nation to be certified with this new program."
Select Sites are marketed on CSX's website: www.csx.com. Don Schjeldahl, vice president of The Austin Company, said, "The website's simple navigation and stable of pre-qualified rail ready sites make this the new gold standard in certified site programs. The program certifies rail ready and development ready properties of various sizes and features them on a website that is refreshing in its simplicity and a competitive leader in delivering information."
With the economy beginning to improve and the completion of the new Transpark speculative building by the Bowling Green Area Economic Development Authority (BGAEDA), the Transpark is poised for success. The BGAEDA is a private organization that has assisted with development projects at the Kentucky Transpark to better position the location for business expansion and location projects.
Rodney Rogers, chairman of the BGAEDA, says this certification is positive news for the Transpark. "Being a CSX Select Site gives the Transpark national attention, especially because it is only one of five sites in CSX territory to have this certification. This announcement, as well as our recent completion of Speculative Building III, will increase awareness among companies and consultants seeking new properties for their operations, thereby generating opportunities for new job creation at the Transpark and within Speculative Building III."
The BGAEDA funded the development of Speculative Building III, which was completed this month. The building has a floor area of 108,000 square feet with a potential expansion of another 108,000 square feet and plans for 18,000 square feet of office space. This heavy industrial-zoned building meets all standards of the American Institute of Steel Construction. For more information about Speculative Building III, visit www.southcentralky.com.
"The Chamber is extremely proud of the news that the Transpark is one of only five sites in the nation to be a CSX Select Site," said D. Gaines Penn, 2012 Chamber Board of Directors chairman. "This certification comes at an ideal time to position our state-of-the-art Transpark for further economic development success."
About CSX CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation's leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company's transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia. CSX's network connects more than 240 short line and regional railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Follow CSX on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX).
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,300 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.