Quietly – or at least as quiet as bulldozers and other heavy machinery can be – Warren County’s South Industrial Park along Nashville Road is going through a growth spurt that is altering Bowling Green’s industrial landscape.
A 103-acre parcel on Century Street near Stupp Bridge Co. is already home to a 187,000-square-foot steel building being operated by Holley Performance Products as part of that company’s $13 million expansion announced in 2019. Next door, Packaging Unlimited is operating out of a new 162,500-square-foot building.
Both companies are operating in what continues to be a construction zone as local developer Bobby Anastario plows ahead with transforming the portion of the former Franklin Berry farm property he purchased at auction.
Anastario – who developed the 130,000-square-foot expansion of Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake that was completed last year in the South Industrial Park and has had his hand in many other industrial projects – is now watching his biggest development to date come together.
A second Holley building, this one 300,000 square feet, is under construction and another 162,500-square-foot building next to Packaging Unlimited will soon be going up as part of what amounts to a 10 percent increase in the industrial park’s acreage.
All told, the development will comprise 812,000 square feet of industrial buildings, with the possibility of adding another 300,000-square-foot structure on the property that Anastario’s Molsheim Holdings limited liability corporation purchased for $3.5 million in 2017.
“This is about a $50 million total project, and we’re already $30 million into it,” said Anastario, 47. “It’s probably the biggest project I’ve done so far.”
Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ron Bunch, who has watched Anastario’s entrepreneurial ventures enhance the chamber’s economic development efforts, isn’t arguing with that assessment.
“I don’t know of another person developing this much space locally,” Bunch said. “It’s important to have developers like Bobby who are willing to take chances.”
Bunch, who has been with the Bowling Green chamber since 2010, said the buildings that Anastario is putting up will be a big boost to a 1,000-acre industrial park that is already home to about 4,200 employees at its various companies.
“Just over three years ago, that was farmland,” Bunch said. “Now it’s having a huge economic multiplier impact that starts with the construction. There will be quite a bit of job creation there as well.”
One person who has already had a number of employees on the site of Anastario’s development is Roddy Grimes, president of Bowling Green’s Stewart Richey Construction.
“These are preengineered steel buildings, but we’re utilizing all our trades out here,” Grimes said. “This development has touched every aspect of our business. All of this development has been done with local businesses, even the financing.”
Grimes, who is Anastario’s brother-in-law, isn’t surprised at how quickly this latest development has come together.
“The best way to describe Bobby is that he’s always looking for new opportunities,” Grimes said. “You have to be ready when those opportunities come, and he is. He’s really good at putting deals together.”
Not bad for a guy who said he got into real estate development back in 2001 when he was “looking for something to do.”
“I had an opportunity to do something with a building (in 2001) and that got me started,” Anastario recalled. “I’m self-taught, but I’ve been lucky to have some good mentors around me.”
Anastario, who owns Bowling Green’s U.S. Warehousing logistics company that operates more than 1 million square feet of warehousing space, is a landlord for many of the region’s manufacturers.
“Very seldom do I sell my properties,” he said. “I prefer to lease.”
He controls about 2.5 million square feet of commercial and industrial space in Warren County and hints that figure could grow.
“This (the South Industrial Park) is the main focus right now,” Anastario said. “But I’m always looking for projects that will help Warren County.
“What I like is that this project is going to help Warren County, not me. A lot of guys will be going to work in these buildings, and people will be bringing businesses here. It’s going to bring a lot of tax revenue to the county.”