Cromwell Yards eyes VW suppliers

Cromwell Yards eyes VW suppliers

July 3rd, 2009 by Amy Williams in Business Around the Region

Staff Photo by Dan Henry Construction continues on property adjacent to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum on Tuesday.

Staff Photo by Dan Henry Construction continues on property...

A new site near Enterprise South industrial park could be the ideal spot for Volkswagen suppliers, its developers say.

The project is called Cromwell Yards and located near Highway 153 and Bonny Oaks Drive.

The property is owned by MDR Development, which is made up of local businessmen Michael Toth and Ray Eslinger and a silent partner.

The group bought the 20-acre property last spring and quickly realized what an asset it could be for vendors hoping to do business when the automaker's new facility opens in early 2011.

There are about 11 acres left, and the developers will either sell the tracts or build to suit. The lots are going for $150,000 an acre, Mr. Toth said.

"There's a lot of property available in Chattanooga and there is a lot of office space, so we certainly weren't going to design office," Mr. Eslinger said. "To be able to have your buildings and have a gravel yard and be able to lay down your supplies, that is important and there is not a lot of that around."

Both men work in the construction industry. Mr. Toth owns Integrated Concrete, and Mr. Eslinger is owner of Eslinger Contracting Inc.

So far, a trucking company has expressed interest in the site. Mr. Toth's business already is located there, and a company called Earthworks currently is building on the parcel.

Cromwell Yards is adjacent to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and just five minutes from Highway 153. About five acres has frontage on Cromwell Road, but the developers see it better for light industrial or manufacturing businesses that won't rely on drive-by traffic.

"We're going to have good proximity to Volkswagen, and we're hoping it will be good for some of the smaller vendors that wouldn't necessarily need an office," Mr. Toth said.