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Build-Ready Site Certified in Graves County to Fast-Track New Industrial Investment

Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of the Governor


Terry Sebastian

Jennifer Brislin

Jack Mazurak

Build-Ready Site Certified in Graves County to Fast-Track New Industrial Investment

State program focused on property, permit prep aims to make locating in Kentucky the clear choice

 FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2015) – A site certified as Build-Ready in Graves County’s Hickory Industrial Park stands as the latest in a series of locations endorsed through a Kentucky program promising to slice months from new-facility construction, Governor Steve Beshear announced today.
The 15-acre site, about 5 miles north of Mayfield, includes a pad prepared specifically for an industrial and office facility of up to 125,000 square feet. Its Build-Ready certification takes care of required permits and studies, as well as ensures infrastructure and utilities extend to the site.

“Certification by Kentucky’s Build-Ready Program signals to companies they can select, build and open a business quickly and efficiently. Employers looking to add new production locations, and the consultants who advise them, can do no better than to consider our stock of Build-Ready certified sites offered by forward-thinking communities such as Graves County,” Gov. Beshear said.

With the Graves County site’s recent certification, Kentucky now offers six Build-Ready sites. Efforts toward certification continue on more than a half-dozen others.

Build-Ready means a site includes a pad 50,000 square feet or greater, expandable to 100,000 square feet or more, utilities extended to an edge of the site, and the necessary permits and studies are in place including water, building, phase-1 environmental, archeological, historical and geotechnical.

The applicant – usually a city, county or economic-development group – must also provide preliminary design work, a total-cost projection, construction timeframes and a rendering of a potential building for the site.

“On a Build-Ready site, construction can begin almost immediately. Certification provides an advantage because the owner already accomplished most requirements,” said Mandy Lambert, business development commissioner at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, which administrates the program.

“That’s important since companies want quick turnaround – from the initial decision to build to the ribbon-cutting at opening. Our Build-Ready Program gives Kentucky the upper hand in competing with other states for those jobs and investments,” Lambert said.

The Cabinet conceived the Build-Ready Program about a year and a half ago. In planning, Cabinet employees solicited input from a range of professionals for aspects that make sites most attractive.

Ryan Drane, president of Graves County Economic Development, contacted the Cabinet this summer about getting the Hickory Industrial Park site certified. Within a couple months, he received the certification.

“This Build-Ready designation signals to prospective companies that both Graves County and the State of Kentucky understand the importance of time and preparation in the site selection process,” Drane said. “By investing our resources in advance, the company can shave months off its construction schedule and begin hiring employees, making their product and securing profits in record time.”

While preparations require some investment by the applicant, the cost is significantly less than designing and constructing a speculative building.

“We are encouraged to see our community receive a Build-Ready site certification,” said Sen. Stan Humphries, of Cadiz. “With this certification, it makes the process that much easier for a prospective business to locate to Graves County. The companies already located in the Hickory Industrial Park, along with the great rail, interstate, port and air access within about a 30-mile radius, make this location a very attractive place for a new development.”

Rep. Richard Heath, of Mayfield, agreed.

“As we continue to compete for jobs, not only in the region but with surrounding states like Tennessee, it’s essential that we explore all ways to promote Graves County as a great place to do business,” Heath said. “This designation will help our local economic development leaders to streamline the permitting and construction process for a new company to locate at our industrial park.”

“Graves County Fiscal Court is excited about the Build-Ready site located in the Hickory Industrial Park. This Build-Ready site is designed to add options for industrial development that will be extremely attractive to prospective clients,” Graves County Judge Executive Jesse Perry said.

Kentucky’s other Build-Ready sites include tracts in the Highland Glen Industrial Park in Barren County, the Bluegrass Crossings Regional Business Centre in Ohio County, the 4 Star Regional Industrial Park in Henderson, and two in Bowling Green’s Kentucky Transpark.

More information on the Build-Ready Program and the six certified sites is available at As well, the Cabinet lists more than 250 shovel-ready sites at

A detailed community profile for Graves County can be viewed here.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.

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