State to spend another $2M on Megasite, seeking consultant to help

The state of Tennessee is asking for $2 million next year to whip the Memphis Regional Megasite into shape, a process that will include hiring an outside consultant to assess why the decade-long project hasn’t yet landed a major manufacturer, reports WPLN. The state has already spent about $140 million on the Megasite.

The Department of Economic and Community Development is hoping to hire an industrial siting firm by January that will take stock of the industrial park’s infrastructure and recommend what other improvements are needed. ECD has already rerouted a state highway, built new ramps to the interstate and made many other infrastructure improvements at the megasite, but last week ECD officials said that two companies had rejected it, in part because it still lacks a sewer line. (Previous post HERE.)

Economic Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe said that until all of the work is finished, no company is going to be interested.

“We mean ‘pad ready,’ ” Rolfe told Gov. Bill Haslam at a budget hearing last week. “It’s a matter of just coming on the site and starting grading and off to the races.”

…The decision to hire a consultant was made before Toyota-Mazda’s decision, an ECD spokesman said. The consultant will not be responsible for finishing the wastewater plan, but will be asked to identify any other infrastructure needs that are keeping companies from moving onto the site.

Note: The state’s “request for information” from companies interested in contracting for the megasite consulting services is HERE.

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