By MARK MCGEE
Nearest Green Distillery continues to expand with the purchase of “Project Parcel 26” in the Highway 231 Industrial Park.
The new addition is a $100 million capital investment. It will be a working distillery with plans to create 100 new jobs.
“The recruitment of Project Parcel 26 represents an excellent opportunity for our growing community,” Shane Hooper, president/CEO of the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership said. “After completion of this project, the Nearest Green Distillery will enter the top five in whiskey manufacturing capability in Tennessee.
“The local impact on our local agri-business could be one of the largest since the arrival of Tyson Foods. In addition, the $100 million capital investment from ‘Project Parcel 26’ will generate significant future revenue to the city and county through property taxes.”
Hooper pointed out the 26 acres are landlocked and Nearest Green Distillery will be responsible for the cost of road construction and the installment of sewer, gas, and water lines.
Greg Vick, a county commissioner, and chairman of the Shelbyville-Bedford County 231 North Commerce Business Park, echoed the sentiments of Hooper.
“Nearest Green Distillery, in addition to their success as being a worldwide distiller of highly decorated spirits, is rapidly becoming one of the State of Tennessee’s most highly visited tourist sites,” Vick said. “A key component of their vision for making their campus a destination site is the construction of their bottling and distillation business component.
“The $100 million construction addition will add 18 acres from the industrial park to their 400-acre venue. It will create new jobs, but more importantly it will provide a huge local economic tax revenue boost through increased tourism and retail sales.”
The new jobs will pay a higher wage than the current median manufacturing wage in the county. Those higher paying job will require a trained workforce.
Motlow State Community College, under the leadership of President Dr. Michael Torrence, has partnered with Nearest Green Distillery to create the “Nearest Green School of Distilling.”
“This project represents an excellent opportunity for our growing community,” Hooper said. “This STEM-based curriculum establishes a path to train our young professionals and future workforce to thrive in an environment with competitive wages.”
Vick sees the addition of the Nearest Green facility as the completion of a triumvirate of success joining the Bedford County Higher Education Center and Duksan Electra.
“The Bedford County Higher Education Center is the first prototype for Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology across the state,” Vick said. “This $47 million project is the single largest state investment in the history of Tennessee and will allow Bedford County to develop and train our own workforce locally.
“Duksan Electra will initially invest over $100 million in private monies and will initially hire over 100 employees in Phase One of multi-phase development project to provide a much needed component in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry. This investment is the single largest private investment in the history of Bedford County and the first major industrial project since 1984.”