Congressman Zach Wamp announced this week that Oak Ridge will get a boost in its reindustrialization efforts to recruit new industry to the East Tennessee Technology Park’s Heritage Center.
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman approved the land transfer of the ED-5 West parcel requested by the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board, Oak Ridge Economic Partnership and the city of Oak Ridge.
“This land transfer is a way that the federal government can reinvest in communities like Oak Ridge,” said Wamp, a Tennessee Republican whose district includes Oak Ridge. “By transferring unused land for private development, the Department of Energy will allow Oak Ridge partners to proactively engage companies in advanced manufacturing and other industries.”
A development plan for Heritage Center was unveiled in September 2008 as a major site for recruiting new industry to Oak Ridge at the former K-25 uranium enrichment site. With Volkswagen Group of America’s summer announcement that it will build an automotive production facility in Chattanooga, the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board and other partners, including the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee, want to develop new industrial facilities in an effort to attract Volkswagen’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers.
The first phase of the development will be the construction of a 50,000-square-foot speculative building that can be expanded to 100,000 square feet. This will be built on a section of Heritage Center known as ED-5.
There are two parcels on ED-5: East and West. The ED-5 East parcel had previously been transferred, but the ED-5 West parcel was preferred for this development project because the site will more readily accommodate the 50,000 square-foot footprint and its possible expansion, among other things.
Construction is scheduled to begin this fall.