KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — The Midway Business Park on the far eastern edge of Knox County is now open for business.
State and local officials gathered Wednesday morning at the 354-acre site off the Midway Road exit from Interstate 40 to kick off a project that's been debated and planned for more than a decade. It's also been the subject of litigation.
It's being developed by the Development Corporation of Knox County. It's a way to entice firms and manufacturers to relocate locally, bringing jobs with them.
Some residents didn't want and tried to convince Knox County Commission not to approve zoning for a business park use. In December 2015, commission, however, granted the land use that has made way for its current development.
Elected and business leaders argue Knox County is running out of space that can be used for a business park. That's one reason why they're such strong supporters of Midway.
Phase 1 of the site involves about 275 acres. Phase 2 involves about 60 acres.
Big and small sites are envisioned; the largest could be up to 500,000 square feet.
Some 50 acres is being set aside as a natural area.
Among those taking part in Wednesday morning's celebration were Bob Rolfe, the state's economic development commissioner, U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett and numerous county and city officials.