Spring Branch Industrial Park work is progressing: Berry

By BRIAN GRAVES Staff Writer
Posted 8/16/17

Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development Doug Berry said Tuesday that work on the new Spring Branch Industrial Park is moving along.

“We are getting into …

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Spring Branch Industrial Park work is progressing: Berry

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Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development Doug Berry said Tuesday that work on the new Spring Branch Industrial Park is moving along.

“We are getting into the reality of this project now,” Berry said.

Those words were ironic for the meeting of the Cleveland/Bradley Industrial Development Board as it approved a contract of $40,100 with Michael Brady Inc. to provide design services for the grading, drainage and roadway access for Lot 1 at Spring Branch.

“It will determine the maximum grading and pad area we can develop within the 55 acres,” Berry said. “We believe we can fit up to a 900,000- to 1-million-square-foot building on the site.”

That contract will also include the development of a “virtual reality” program that will allow prospective industrial park tenants to “see” what the site will look like, once all of the development work is completed.

Berry said there have been four “major” prospects which have turned down the prime, 55-acre site because the lot has yet to be fully prepared.

“I’d like to get that thing moving for sure,” Berry said.

He added the virtual tours, while not being the determining factor in selling space for McMinn County, “helped officials from a company in Finland visualize an ungraded site in a graded condition with a functioning building on it.”

Berry said there has already been 30,000 cubic yards of dirt moved at the site, and engineers said the soil at the site “is some of the best they have ever worked.”

The IDB was previously awarded a $350,000 grant from TVA that would be matched for site preparations.

Berry announced Tuesday TVA has upped that amount to $500,000.

He added that the TVA grant also automatically qualifies for a $500,000 matching grant from the state.

There will also be monthly videos taken by a drone of the site which will be posted to the economic development website.

Berry said the contract calls for the utilities and roadwork to be completed by the end of the year.

“The roads inside the park should be done by the end of October,” Berry said. “The infrastructure seems to be on track.”

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