Business boom in Bullitt County could create thousands of new jobs
Road improvements and proximity to UPS are all reasons why more businesses are locating in Bullitt County.
BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- In the heavy smoke, crews are burning and clearing debris to get ready for a development called Brooks Way 65.
The 260,000-square-foot site is a partnership between two manufacturing companies from Spartanburg, S.C., warehouses that will be ready for businesses to move in.
It will create 120 new jobs in Bullitt County when it's finished in six to 12 months.
"It's very helpful that we're on the south side of the bridges ... and so close to UPS," said Eric Farris, a development advocate for the project. "We have such a good force here that's strong and continues to be available, and that's been a big plus to these businesses."
Drone video shows another huge project called Velocity 65, a four million square feet focusing on e-commerce expected to bring another 4,000 jobs.
Farris says there are 300 acres under contract, and a 700,000-square foot-building is currently under construction.
"We're hoping within the next 3-5 years to see that come to fruition ,which is about the timing of the new interchange," Farris said.
The Bullitt County Economic Development Authority says there were 1,800 new jobs created in the county in the last two years. BCDEA says from 2011 to 2015, the unemployment rate has dropped from 10.6 percent to 4.7 percent.
On average, there have been 522 new residential construction permits per year in Bullitt County since 2001.
"We anticipate seeing a growing labor pool to fill the incoming opportunities," Farris said. "A lot of people see these warehouse distribution centers as ugly big boxes, but they mean jobs. They mean tax income, and they mean a base for our community that lets us improve on our housing, helps us improve our schools."
Organizers say it's taken hard work to get these businesses to locate here, and there will soon be even more announcements.
"It makes Bullitt County shine as a really good place to live and raise your kids," Farris said.
Farris says there are a number of reasons why there is so much growth in the county. He says Gov. Matt Bevin included in his budget last year the new $28.5 million interchange just south of KY-480 to relieve existing growing pains for Amazon and others and to accommodate future growth including Velocity 65.
Farris says the city of Shepherdsville has almost completed construction of the new Alpha Way to connect KY-480 to the new interchange.
Jim Beam also announced a $27.8 million expansion last June.
Below are renderings for Brooks Way 65:
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