Bredesen tours rural West Tennessee area with high hopes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Paranjape

Bredesen tours rural West Tennessee area with high hopes

Thursday morning Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen took a helicopter tour of a Hardeman County area he has big plans for. Bredesen visited UT Martin's Ripley Center to tour the area and talk about the possibility luring a large manufacturer into bringing jobs there.

The governor spent about an hour inside a helicopter scoping out the region.

"One of the things I saw from the helicopter..there's a lot of land around here." he said.

Bredesen's focus was 1,700 acres of farm land in Haywood County.  The land, known as the Stanton Megasite, is certified as industry-ready.

"It's a great site to see by air, the way it lays between the interstate, the railroad, and the openness of the site," he said.
Bredesen said the site is one of the most marketable pieces of land in the southeast.  At an estimated worth of $17 million, it could bring in 17,000 jobs if a major auto assembly plant is built there.

"These kinds of sites that are certified, that are large sites that are available, it's very rare in this country," Bredesen said. "I think if we continue what we're doing here, play our cards right, there will be some major industry on this site."

Bredsen's said his job now is to make the pitch to automakers and industry heads to tell them about the valuable land.  He said once a company is interested, it could cause an domino effect.

"When you have a major plant, it's a great place for suppliers to locate as well," he said. "People who do logistics bring in the various pieces.  So, you not only get that plant. but you also get other areas."

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