Commerce Park II – Rail Site Receives Platinum ‘CSX Select Site’ DesignationWritten by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
The Commerce Park II – Rail Site, a 150-acre property adjacent to the CSX mainline and part of a larger planned 1,000-plus acre industrial park in southwest Hopkinsville, Ky., has been designated a Platinum CSX Select Site, the Class I reported March 30.
According to CSX, for much of the past decade, the larger property was considered and marketed as a potential “mega site,” capable of accommodating an entire automotive manufacturing facility. Last year, local leadership opted to subdivide the large property to accommodate multiple industrial facilities. In October, Ascend Elements began construction of its largest electric vehicle battery recycling and engineered materials manufacturing facility at Commerce Park II. This investment, the Class I says, led to support from Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet to design and build an elevated roadway over the CSX mainline, connecting the site to US-41, a five-lane highway.
According to CSX, Select Sites are “development-ready properties along the Class I’s network for which standard land use considerations and comprehensive due diligence items have been previously addressed.” These properties, CSX adds, “meet the needs of a wide variety of manufacturers, significantly reducing the time required to construct facilities and ultimately bring products to the market.”
Since its introduction in 2012, the Select Site program, which was created to “better serve new and existing customers on its network and those of its short line partners,” has attracted dozens of manufacturers, with capital investments projected to reach $14 billion and realize nearly 11,000 new jobs. CSX works with Austin Consulting, a nationally known site-selection consulting firm, to screen candidate sites and assist communities with the application and certification process.
The Commerce Park II – Rail Site is now the fourth site in Kentucky to have received the Platinum CSX Select Site designation. The property is one of 27 across CSX’s service territory to have met this rigorous site selection criteria.
“The State of Kentucky’s commitment to improve roadway access to Commerce Park II is a game-changer for Hopkinsville,” said CSX Vice President of Real Estate and Industrial Development Christina Bottomley. “With our investment in Casky Yard next to the Commerce Park site, CSX has long been interested in supporting a second planned rail-served industrial park for this community.”