CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The newest industrial park in Southeast Tennessee is developing its second site as Cleveland seeks to expand its manufacturing base and capitalize on the state's growing automotive industry.
A Knoxville developer is building a 100,000-square-foot industrial building in the Spring Branch Industrial Park along Interstate 75 in Bradley County. The new facility doesn't yet have a tenant or buyer, but developer Cross McCallie said he is optimistic the new structure will have a user by the time it is completed by the end of the year.
"There are a lot of opportunities for either manufacturing or warehouse uses of this building, and we really like this site and its access to I-75," McCallie said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "This could be expanded to 150,000 feet, and we're building a shell facility that can be finished in different ways to accommodate any particular business that might either buy or lease the facility."
The 13.2-acre site is across from the new 231,000-square-foot stamping plant that Cleveland-Cliffs Cannon Automotive Solutions began production at earlier this year. Cliffs is the largest supplier of automotive-grade steels in the United States and is supplying parts for Volkswagen of America and other automotive manufacturers.
Ultimately, Cannon Automotive Solutions plans to invest about $114 million and hire up to 200 workers for the Cleveland plant.
The city of Cleveland and Bradley County jointly developed the 330-acre Spring Branch Industrial Park near the I-75 interchange at Exit 20. The industrial park includes water, sewer and an access road, and officials said the park has attracted interest from a number of businesses.
Douglas Berry, vice president of economic development for the Cleveland-Bradley County Chamber of Commerce, said the city and county are working to attract businesses with more employment, higher wages and the most investment to use the prime property.
"Having a speculative industrial building like this ready for use is a big advantage to accommodate the more immediate needs and plans by many companies," Berry said. "Businesses today are moving much faster to respond to market demands, and having sites and buildings ready is a huge advantage."
McCallie said his company has built about 50 such industrial plants and warehouses across East Tennessee to sell or lease to other companies. Blaine Construction Co. is building the new facility.
McCallie said he has worked with Berry before in Knoxville and was attracted to the Spring Branch park due to its location and highway access. Spring Branch is less than 12 miles from the Volkswagen of America plant along I-75 and is within a day's drive of all the Southern automotive plants.
McCallie said there has already been some interest in the new structure by a number of prospects, although no deals have been reached so far.
"Hopefully, we'll find somebody this fall," he said.
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at @Dflessner1.