Hundreds of jobs could come to local Build-Ready site

A piece of land in Hickory Industrial Park in Graves County is officially "Build-Ready" certified. It’s a new approach to creating jobs in the area. 

A small building sits on U.S. 45, just a few miles north of Mayfield. 

"There are no restaurants besides us until you get on into Mayfield," said Dinner Bell waitress Amy Swift.

That’s why Swift says she sees a steady stream of regulars at the Dinner Bell during certain hours. 

"We got West Kentucky, Remington and another business where all of the guys come down here and eat with us every day," Swift said.

It still leaves some empty tables, which could soon start filling up with the help of the Build-Ready site.

"It’s a signal to companies that our community is not only aggressive in the recruitment process, but prepared"

Graves County Economic Development Director Ryan Drane says the site is certified Build-Ready because it has permits, a building pad and early design work. It’s ready if a business wants to move in and start building.

"This allows for a community to be able to market a property in a different way than just raw land, without all the initial investment of a spec building," Drane said.

He says it’s all about giving businesses options. Hickory Industrial Park now gives businesses the option of a building, raw land and the Build-Ready site.

"There’s such a variance as far as what companies require," Drane said.

The site is designed for a 125,000-square-foot industrial building.

"A building that size would be able to handle several jobs," Drane said.

It could also bring more regulars into the Dinner Bell.

"That would be wonderful," Swift said.

Kentucky has five other Build-Ready sites, not including a pad Fulton-Hickman Counties Economic Development is working to certify as Build-Ready. The program launched last year, so all the sites are still working to attract tenants.

The Economic Development paid about $45,000 for the entire project with grant money it already had, so this doesn’t involve tax payer dollars going to this. Drane says he’s had a few phone calls about the site, and the goal is to have a tenant on the land in six months to a year.

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