August marks two years since Pellissippi Place opened

10:17 PM, Jul 18, 2012   |    comments
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Next month will mark two years since Pellissippi Place turned on its lights, welcoming businesses to set up shop.

However, those target businesses have not been coming to the 450-acre technology park, like officials hoped would happen.

"(Pellissippi Place) is a long term vision. We're going through, as a nation, a tough part of the economy," said Blount County Partnership President and CEO Bryan Daniels.

On the Alcoa/Maryville border, the Pellissippi Place is designed for technology and entrepreneurial businesses.

However, Daniels said many of those businesses are not expanding at this time.

"Technology is a slow growth business, and just like Stock Creek, our first technology park, it's taken 25 years to get that one built out. Technology parks don't move as quick," he added.

Four local governments: Knox County, Blount County, Alcoa, and Maryville, each invested $5 million for the park. Also, federal and state money brought the overall price tag to more than $30 million.

The park's appeal was to to attract industry that could benefit Knoxville, Oak Ridge and Maryville.

Among that federal money, the 4-mile expansion proposal for the Pellissippi Parkway, located next door to the technology park.

Daniels said when the extension of comes to reality, is when businesses will start moving into the park. However, it'll be several years before that happens, with environmental studies currently being performed.

"That end of the county now is really congested with a lot of traffic and we know Pellissippi Place's future. It needs to be an easy place to travel through," he said.

Daniels said the partnership will continue to talk to other industries. As far as what types of industries, he could not say at this time.

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