Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Farlow said this morning city and county governments will have to be asked for public funding within the next 30 days. The proposed industrial park is on about 350 acres that were once the Bob Zeige farm. The property is now owned by Alan Jones and is known as Jones Lakeland. The tentative amount of money is $6 million that will be needed for land studies and buying the property.
City Clerk Mike Keith said the city and county would equally share the cost of buying the property. The money for the industrial park would be included with bond issues for other projects.
He said budget requests will be presented to the Cleveland City Council at its March 14 budget retreat.
The property is part of about 1,050 acres incorporated into the Cleveland Urban Growth Boundary in September 2010.
A concept drawing released in January shows nine buildings representing about 2 million square feet under roof. The buildings range in size from 30,000 square feet to 600,000 square feet. That footage is less than the amount currently under construction by Whirlpool and Amazon.com.
The local interstate connector, which will open up the southeast quadrant of APD 40 and Interstate 75, is in the design phase. The earliest the industrial site would become available is early 2013 or 2014.
The general design is to have a soft impact by keeping the impervious surfaces to a minimum and the density low. Officials are looking into LEED or Audubon Society environmental certification.
The site lends itself to 75 acres of green space for linear parks which are amenities to future tenants that can in turn help with sales. The green space would act as a buffer between the industrial park and the Johnston Woods recreational area owned by Broad Street United Methodist Church.
However, some of the open area could be replaced by office space based on plans of an adjacent owner of about 200 acres of commercial property which is larger than the initial site for Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga. The property includes variations of commercial development, including a convention center, which has been in the minds of developers since 1965.
Also, there is a setaside for a welcome center for Cherokee National Forest. The current headquarters is good office space, but it is not conducive to an information center that could act as a gateway to the Ocoee Region.
Farlow said the Chamber is constantly looking for new industrial property with utility infrastructures in place. President and CEO Gary Farlow said the days of showing someone a farm and turning it into an industrial park are almost over.
Berry said officials were fortunate to have private land available for Amazon.com and Whirlpool and he is unaware of a more suitable site for such a project in Bradley County.