Deal Ready™ II Prepares Sites for Toyota, Volkswagen Suppliers and Many More Uses

When most developers think of certified sites they picture large mega-sites and super-sites of 1,000 acres or more. A trend has developed to market huge sites as certified for rapid development.  

West Tennessee Industrial Association and Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association realize that companies who need smaller sites are under just as much time pressure – maybe more – as large site developers.  In early 2006, WTIA and MTIDA announced the first Deal Ready™ Certified Sites, which ranged from 50 to 1,000 acres.

Now they have launched the Deal Ready™ II certification program which focuses on sites from 20 to 50 acres. WTIA and MTIDA reviewed almost four years of location data from Tennessee Valley Authority and found that 34% of site locations occurred on sites of this size. Deal Ready™ II sites will provide companies with all the advantages of a professionally certified site.

A Deal Ready™ site must pass a rigorous evaluation where more than 100 types of site information are reviewed. To qualify as Deal Ready™, a site must be free of ownership/use issues, free of environmental issues, and meet or exceed infrastructure requirements required by typical industrial projects. Deal Ready™ II extends this meticulous evaluation process to the smaller sites. 

“I think WTIA and MTIDA are really thinking ahead by certifying sites of 20 to 50 acres,” says Mark Williams, President of Strategic Development Group. “We’re not aware of any other group in the country certifying sites of this size, even though they are in demand.”

Strategic Development Group has been very active in location work in Tennessee and the Southeastern states.  Williams was tapped by WTIA and MTIDA to conduct the Deal Ready™ II evaluations because of his familiarity with both the region and the range of companies and projects that have selected sites in the region over the past few years.
Previously, CH2MHill certified the 50 to 1,000 acre Deal Ready™ sites.  There were 35 sites that met the strict qualifications.  

So far, 30 sites have been submitted for evaluation for Deal Ready™ II.   These sites will be fully vetted and those qualifying for certification will be announced by December 1, 2008. 

“We are pushing this timeline because of the level of interest and locational activity in our area right now,” states Mike Philpot, Executive Director of WTIA.  “With Toyota’s new plant just to the south and Volkswagen just to the east, we are where automotive suppliers need to be.  This program will help assure companies of every size that we are ready to help them meet their start-up deadline.”

“The size of the Deal Ready™ and Deal Ready™ II sites is also advantageous for other industries that are active right now,” notes Philpot.   “West Tennessee is a prime location for food processing and distribution/logistics.  The Deal Ready™ sites are ideal for these and other industries as well.”

Bill Shuff, Executive Director of MTIDA added, “Middle Tennessee has been one of the hot spots in the U.S. market for location activity for the past several years.  We are seeing projects of all sizes but we are not surprised that more than a third of locations have been on sites of 20 to 50 acres.  We want to have a top quality inventory of sites to meet the continued demand we anticipate for our region.”

WTIA and MTIDA created a special web-based resource for the Deal Ready™ Certified Sites.  When you visit you can find the full list of sites, complete GIS map resources, and in-depth infrastructure information.  The site allows fast access to sites that are guaranteed to put a developer on a fast track.