Berea stays on a roll with more jobs, more jobs, more jobs..

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A local construction company and Berea city officials recently gathered to celebrate a project that is expected to bring more jobs to the Berea Industrial Park, according to Berea City Officials.     

A press release issued today states last Monday, Menelaus Berea Spec LLC, a subsidiary of MP Kelly Design and Construction in Richmond, broke ground on a 50,000-square-foot speculation or “spec” building to be located on Farristown Industrial Drive in the Berea Industrial Park.

The concept of a “spec” building is that investors construct a facility that can then be leased to a prospective employer. Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley said the fact that MP Kelly chose Berea to invest $3 million in the 10.8-acre site bodes well for the future of Berea’s industrial jobs.

The initial spec building could house a small or medium-sized company accommodating between 30 and 60 employees, but Fraley noted the facility will be constructed in such a way that it can be expanded to 90,000-square-feet, giving prospective clients the option to grow to fit their needs. Though the building is expected to be complete within the year, MP Kelly was already getting inquiries from employers before the building even broke ground, Fraley said. To kick off the project, the city hosted a reception Monday for Mike and Jack Kelly of MP Kelly Design and Construction, introducing them to members of the Berea Industrial Development Authority and the Berea City Council Economic Development Committee. Fraley said the small reception was the city’s way letting the Kelly’s know they are appreciated for helping create new job opportunities in Berea.

“They are Madison Countians, and we wanted to let them know that we welcome them here as a part of our family in Berea,” Fraley said of Mike and Jack Kelly. “We also wanted them to know how much we appreciate their investment because this project is very significant.” Fraley added the project will also contribute to the county’s economy since local contractors will be employed for construction.  

The city is currently working on bringing more jobs to Berea by launching yet another project, applying for up to $500,000 in funding from the commonwealth to create a build-ready site on the 87-acre industrial park expansion. Fraley said that, along with the recent additions of some 400 jobs in the industrial park by AppHarvest, Hitachi Astemo, and Hyster-Yale, continued work on the industrial park is part of a long-term strategy to both build employment opportunities in Berea and to ensure the city has the revenue to continue providing a high level of service to citizens.