Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) Executive Director Gene Cossey took the occasion of a Tuesday morning Legislator’s Breakfast to make it known that the airport will likely be able to bring tenants to Aerospace Park sooner if it has funds on-hand so it can offer to erect a building as an incentive.
“This is by no means to negate all the money and all the work that was put into making this facility in the state it is now. Taking what was basically rolling mountainous terrain and making it flat ground is phenomenal. The amount of work and the amount of money that you need to make that happen is tremendous,” Cossey said. “Ideally, what we would find is a business or a company that has plenty of money for capital investment to come in here and say they’re going to build a facility and start operations as soon as the building is built.
“We run into a lot of companies though, that have a good amount of money and have a good business and do a lot of work but they don’t want to put their capital into a building. They want to find a place that has a building built they can just start leasing,” Cossey said.
The airport would rather have funding on-hand to quickly build a tenant a facility to its specifications rather than plow money into a spec building and hope they’ve built the right size facility, said Mark Canty, director of Business Development for the TRI. “We want to leave as many options open as possible.”
Construction of the park is nearing completion, with an April 2021 full completion date planned. The $18.5 million project was funded using local, regional, state and federal sources.
Three members of the northeast Tennessee state legislative delegation attended the meeting, as did both major party candidates to replace the retiring Congressman Phil Roe.