Mega-Site Economic Leaders Still 'Watchfully Waiting' for Major Industry Investor
Economic leaders behind the Megasite industrial park in Graves County say they are "watchfully waiting" for a major investor, and focusing attention on local economic development projects.
The 2,200-acre industrial park aims to attract large-scale industry projects like an automotive manufacturing or food processing facility.
But Purchase Regional Industrial Park Board Chairman Mark Manning says providing the necessary infrastructure is a steep price for the eight county members to field, especially without an investor.
“You have to have industrial grade electricity, which is not there," said Manning. "You have to have industrial-grade water and sewer, which is not there nor anywhere close, you have to have industrial grade natural gas and you have to have, for a mega-project, you need rail. So you add all those together...low-side $70 million, high-side $100–110 million. The likelihood of a private investor coming and doing that, in my judgment... is zero."
The board will continue to apply for grants towards funding the necessary developments.
Manning says the region’s infrastructure, workforce and business environment well-suits factories specializing in light-to-medium manufacturing.
“It's the kind of manufacturing you want. It’s clean," said Manning. "We don’t typically go after really dirty industry, or industry that has high exposure in terms of danger to the populace, abusing employees or the environment. Every time we recruit a company, our goal is to raise the bar.”
In the meantime, the board rents out farm leases to accrue an annual income benefiting economic development projects in the eight member counties, like the spec building in Calloway County, a farmers market in Hickman County and studies for a river port in Ballard County.
Manning says he can’t say when an investor will look at the mega-site, but the board will be ready to provide the incentives and workforce when they do.