Carter, Washington counties selected to participate in Property Evaluation Program

Published 2:13 pm Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced yesterday that Carter and Washington counties have been chosen to participate in the latest round of the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP). A valuable consulting tool for land development, PEP assesses properties for industrial use and makes suggestions on inventory improvements.
Counties are considered individually; however, Carter and Washington counties were awarded the PEP after submitting a joint application in which strong regional partnerships were emphasized.
“The combined application gave both counties the best opportunity to secure a spot in the PEP,” said Elizabethton Assistant City Manager Logan Engle. “Our region’s industrial sites can yield higher capital investment, increased tax revenues, and economic growth. This partnership with Washington County will secure jobs for our combined citizenry. Our partnership and commitment to supporting the region’s potential made our application top tier.”
As part of the PEP application process, Carter and Washington counties identified inventory for potential industrial development. These sites consist of public as well as privately owned properties. Austin Consulting, a site selection firm, will visit each prospective location with a team of land development consultants. Following the on-site examination, Carter and Washington counties will receive an assessment of the industrial potential for each property.
“Through the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program, Carter and Washington counties are embarking on an exciting journey towards enhancing their economic competitiveness,” said Site Development Director Kirby Lewis-Gill for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “This joint effort, emphasizing strong regional partnerships, underscores their commitment to growth and prosperity. PEP will offer a comprehensive assessment of new industrial properties, providing invaluable insights for future industrial growth. With this evaluation from Austin Consulting, these counties will be well-positioned to attract businesses and jobs to Northeast Tennessee.”

The PEP will provide Carter and Washington counties with an honest appraisal of cost-effectiveness as well as a genuine evaluation for land use possibilities.
“This region is primed for robust growth and by securing a spot in the PEP, we are taking the initial step in gathering knowledge about the potential for selected properties,” said Johnson City Economic Development Director Alicia Summers. “This program will give us hard data on the best and highest use for land development. This will appeal to industrial developers as they weigh the risk and reward for bringing their business to Carter and Washington counties.”

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