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Could Megasite Benefit Lakeland?

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Only 22 miles away, the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County could mean jobs for Lakeland citizens and residential and commercial growth.

Four Lakeland representatives toured the Megasite Oct. 21 including Steve Laster, chair of the Economic Development Commission (EDC), Tom Skehan, City planning director, Kevin Bailey, owner of Fireworks City and member of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, and Ginny Dunn, economic development coordinator for the Chamber.

The facility is six square miles and 4,100 acres aimed at bringing auto manufacturers and suppliers to the region and providing the population with thousands of good jobs. Mr. Laster said, “The potential is for a major manufacturer such as a vehicle assembly plant, several supplier facilities and potentially even an additional large manufacturing facility.’

Steve Laster

He continued, “Lakeland would certainly benefit from the jobs created. Lakeland’s proximity to the Megasite at just 22 miles west on I-40, and the first stop on I-40 into the Memphis Metropolitan area will be ideal to take advantage of residential and commercial growth spurred by the Megasite’s development.”

He noted all facets of the EDC/IDB’s (Industrial Development Board) work in implementing Lakeland’s Strategic Plan will allow Lakeland to benefit from the development and job creation provided by the Megasite.

The Megasite attraction includes CSX Railroad service with quick access to four other class one railroads in Memphis and access to the river port and Memphis’ network of roads. Interstate 40 runs right to the site, providing means to ship goods by truck to points all across the nation and connecting jobs to the workforce in the Memphis area. Work is underway to provide a heavy industrial interchange for the Megasite. A state route that runs through the middle of the property is being shifted east so the maximum amount of contiguous land will be available for construction. Memphis International Airport and the FedEx hub, selling points to potential auto manufacturers with shipping agendas, are 45 minutes eastward.

The state of Tennessee spent $106 million to ready the site for development. To learn more go to: www.memphismegasite.com