Warren County’s Kentucky Transpark, still in its adolescence after two decades in operation, is going through another growth spurt.

Warren Fiscal Court on May 21 approved an ordinance that would add another 100 acres to the industrial park that was born in controversy but has matured into a thriving manufacturing venue.

The addition of the triangle-shaped property to the south of original Transpark occupant Bowling Green Metalforming comes after an April announcement that the county and the city of Bowling Green were issuing $46.5 million in bonds to pay for the addition and development of about 400 acres in the industrial park.

Add in some smaller land purchases that have swollen it over the years, and the Transpark is now nearly twice the size of the 680-acre site that was fought by environmentalists and other opponents 20 years ago.

“The Transpark has proven to be a good public investment, as local governments have recovered far more in occupational taxes than the costs,” said Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon, a proponent of the Transpark when it was still farmland near Oakland.

Buchanon said the bonds that are guaranteed by the city and county will go toward the purchase of property by the Inter-Modal Transportation Authority that oversees the Transpark and will also fund roads and other infrastructure within the industrial park that will make the new acreage attractive to industrial prospects.

“Selling property is a primary revenue source for paying the bonds down,” Buchanon said. “The city and county will receive additional occupational taxes and property taxes as buildings are built and properties are occupied.”

The need for expansion has become more apparent recently, as new employers have opted to set up shop in the Transpark and others have expanded.

A Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce news release said the Transpark is now home to 19 private companies and three educational facilities that together employ nearly 3,000 people.

Those numbers are growing, with Dollar General, Ball Corp. and Crown Cork and Seal all deciding to build plants in the industrial park in recent months.

An existing Transpark resident, Germany-based Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel, has been approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority for tax incentives that will help the company expand beyond its current 107,000-square-foot plant.

And more growth could be on the way, according to chamber President and CEO Ron Bunch.

“We have prospects or agreements on every part of the property we have acquired,” Bunch said. “We’ve been blessed by the amount of activity we see in the Transpark.”

Bunch said the purchase of acreage to expand the Transpark comes at an ideal time, as manufacturers and other businesses emerge from the coronavirus pandemic that has stymied business growth in recent months.

The timing is also right to meet a need for more property to show to industrial prospects. The 1,000-acre South Central Industrial Park along Nashville Road is near capacity, Bunch said.

As a result, Bunch said: “We’re looking at properties in multiple locations and also working with private developers.”

One avenue that Bunch is exploring harkens back to the days when the Transpark was being considered as a much larger development that would include a relocated Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport.

“We’re in early conversations with the airport about making a small business park available there,” Bunch said. “We’re looking at making that available for businesses that need to be at an airport.”

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

​– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.