"Deal Ready" Certified Industrial Sites Announced by Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association

January 18, 2005

Today the Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association (MTIDA) announced the industrial sites in Middle Tennessee that meet the criteria to be “Deal Ready” Certified Industrial Sites. A certified site is guaranteed to meet or exceed the criteria required by industries seeking a site for immediate development.

“A certified site jumps to the top of the list,” says Bill Shuff, Executive Director of MTIDA. “A business or a site consultant knows that a certified site is absolutely, positively ready to go.”

To qualify as “Deal Ready,” a site has to pass a rigorous evaluation process. Local economic developers submitted sites for review and had to provide more than 100 points of information on each site. Economic developers had to show that the site is free of ownership and transaction issues, environmental issues and meets the infrastructure requirements mandated by the Deal Ready program.

MTIDA, an economic development organization for Middle Tennessee power distributors, implemented the Deal Ready program to help Middle Tennessee communities attract more industries. MTIDA engaged the nationally known engineering and site consulting firm of Lockwood Greene to serve as the third-party evaluator to certify the sites.

West Tennessee Industrial Association (WTIA), MTIDA’s counterpart in the Memphis region, is a partner in the Deal Ready program. WTIA announced certified sites in West Tennessee last month.

“Certified sites programs are the cutting edge of the economic development practice,” notes Jennifer Tanner, project manager for Lockwood Greene. “Although only a few programs exist today, certified sites are quickly becoming a best practice.”

Robert Pittman, senior principal at Lockwood Greene who has assisted many corporate clients in locating sites says, “You can expect credibility, speed in decision making and reduced risk from a certified site.”

“We want the Deal Ready seal of approval to be instantly recognizable for sites that can be fast-tracked and that hold no surprises,” notes Shuff.

MTIDA along with WTIA will announce the certified sites nationally later this month. Deal Ready Certified Sites will then be heavily promoted by both groups to location consultants and to targeted industries throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“The number of sites that were certified is very impressive. Middle Tennessee has certified sites that range in size from 50 to over 1,000 acres. With these sites, local spec buildings and other available properties in our region we can attract a wide range of businesses,” says Shuff.

“The local economic developers are to be commended for their hard work to meet the certification requirements. Because of their efforts to meet the Deal Ready criteria, they have put Middle Tennessee in a very competitive position—we are ahead of the game,” observes Shuff.

The economic development organizations with certified sites were recognized at a ceremony hosted by MTIDA at the Embassy Suites in Cool Springs.  At the 10:30 am ceremony, materials that identified the certified sites including an official seal were presented. A website with complete information about the site and the Deal Ready Program, www.DealReady.com, will be launched when the sites are announced nationally.