By Aundrea Cline-Thomas. CREATED May 11, 2015
COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Construction has been a welcome sign of progress in Maury County, especially since it wasn’t that long ago when the assembly line stopped rolling at General Motors (GM). The county was hit hard during the recession as unemployment topped 14 percent.
“In the last 18 months we’ve had six projects announced,” Wil Evans, Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance President said. “Four of those are corporate relocations…two of those are existing businesses expanding.”
Before turning things around leaders at the Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance had to first strengthen recruitment efforts by aggressively targeting businesses and letting them know what the area had to offer.
“Private businesses within the community began investing in our organization along with the dollars we were receiving from the counties and cities,” Evans added. “That really allowed us to step up our game.”
In just a few short years the investment is starting to pay off. All of the projects combined are expected to bring in nearly one thousand jobs and that does not include ramped up production at GM. The impact is already being felt far away from the construction sites. Just ask realtors.
“We’re seeing major growth here,” United County real estate broker Jonathan Hickerson said. “We’ve got about 160 residential (closing) pending right now. Land farm sales are up. Commercials up. New construction is everywhere.”
Not only are more homes being sold, the prices are also going up.
“We’re getting multiple offers every day,” Hickerson added. “If you list a property at the right price it’s going to sell with two or three offers in the first 24 hours a lot of times.”
They’re all signs that Maury County is coming back.
“It’s definitely been the best year since the recession 2008/2009,” Evans said. “Our pipe is still very full we’re working 20 projects right now. (We’re) really trying to bring some of those to Maury County.”
While the automotive industry remains its strength Maury County leaders are now making sure to target more diverse industries.
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