When it was first proposed decades ago, the Kentucky Transpark was met with skepticism by some.

The ambitious industrial park will never be filled, the naysayers predicted.

Fortunately for everyone in the region, those predictions were wrong.

The Transpark in Bowling Green is now home to 18 facilities – 14 businesses, two schools and two nonprofit organizations – with about 2,700 employees.

The jobs in the Transpark businesses generally are high-paying and offer employees full benefits. The expanded impact of those jobs is immense for Warren County and Bowling Green.

The Transpark’s success has caused a good problem – it is now essentially full, even after several expansions over the years. The park now encompasses 1,141 acres.

Earlier this month, Warren County’s Intermodal Transportation Authority, which oversees Transpark operations, voted to purchase an additional 83 acres for what ITA members are calling “Transpark II.”

The new land sits near Glasgow Road and the CSX Railroad tracks and infrastructure such as roads and utilities will soon be built there to await future tenants.

“This gives us a large tract on rail that is hard to find in the state and in the broader seven-state TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) region,” said Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Transpark II property is where the Crown Holdings aluminum-can manufacturing plant is under construction. That 327,000-square-foot plant is expected to employ about 120 workers.

“The original part of the Transpark is mostly full,” said Gary Dillard, chairman of the ITA. “It’s remarkable how far it has come.”

Indeed, the Transpark’s success has been a vital part of the region’s growth in general.

Dillard noted that as countless municipalities work to attract businesses, having land that can be developed quickly is a major advantage. With an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, being proactive in these sorts of efforts will give the region a leg up on competitors.

“It once took companies a year or more to decide where they were going to locate a plant,” Dillard said. “Now they’re making those decisions quickly. You must have property that is ready to go if you want to attract these companies.”

We applaud not only those who have worked diligently for the Transpark’s success over the last 20 years, but the current leaders for having the foresight to expand the facility and pave the way for the park’s continued growth.

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