Midway Business Park set for construction
After more than a decade of fits and starts, the Midway Business Park will be a step closer to grabbing its first tenant when community leaders meet for a groundbreaking ceremony at the East Knox County park.
The 345-acre site near Thorngrove Pike and Midway Road would be the largest tract of land available for industrial development in the county. It’s estimated, when fulfilled, phase one of the park would have the potential to create 1,800 to 2,000 jobs for the region.
The county has gone back and forth, both in and out of courtrooms, for 12 years on the project. The park was successfully blocked, for a time, by a 2008 lawsuit and withstood another lawsuit in 2016 when Judge Kristi Davis ruled in the county’s favor.
In 2015, Knox County Commission approved two development requests by the Development Corp. of Knox County for establishing the Midway Business Park at the Midway interchange off Interstate 40. There was considerable community opposition to the proposals at the time.
The park will include paved and natural surface walking trails, a covered shelter and lawn areas for use by park employees and nearby residents.
The property is directly off Interstate 40 and adjacent to a Tennessee Valley Authority electrical switching station and a Knoxville Utilities Board electrical in-feed and substation.
The Development Corporation and county leaders have contended the site is perfect for a business park, will boost county coffers with tax dollars and spur growth in East Knox County.
Residents have long countered the land is ill-suited environmentally for such a development and would lay waste to the pastoral setting of single family homes and wide swaths of undeveloped land they now enjoy.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Tyler Whetstone
The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org
Published November 20, 2018