SOUTH SHORE, Ky. — Sam Howard looks out across the nearly 400 acres of land stretching from U.S. 23 to the rolling waters of the Mighty Ohio River in Greenup County and he sees more than just rural beauty.
He also sees opportunity.
“This tract here in South Shore is especially attractive,” said Howard, managing member of an entity known as Northeast Kentucky Development, or NEKYD.
This past week Howard and NEKYD announced they’ve purchased the 385 acres of property once slated to be the location of Braidy Industries in South Shore. When Braidy subsequently chose to locate its planned aluminum mill in nearby Eastpark Industrial Center, the NEKYD group saw more opportunity, and they stepped in. They saw the chance to pursue their own goals of creating new jobs in northeast Kentucky by purchasing the land for the purpose of development and creating their own industrial park known as the South Shore Industrial Park.
“We got to looking for tracts of land we thought were in Opportunity Zones that could be developed to attract business…and we are also looking at two more tracts in two other counties,” Howard said. “This tract here in South Shore is especially attractive because it already has dedicated power from Kentucky Power.”
Of the reason why the property in South Shore is attractive for development, Howard said:
“Kentucky Power is known to have some of the best electric rates in the United States,” he said. “They are very proactive in trying to recruit industry. It has CSX rail along the front of the property. At one time this property had a rail spur that was removed. But it still has the availability to service the property by rail. And, it has access to the Ohio River with a permitted port with the tie up cells for the barges already installed ready to go.”
The property was purchased inside an Opportunity Zone. Opportunity Zones are census tracts designated by the federal government as “opportunity zones” aimed at encouraging investment into the areas, often rural.
“Opportunity Zone legislation makes it more attractive for investors to invest in rural areas that otherwise don’t see significant investment activity. In rural Kentucky, there has been a lack of private capital investment and NEKYD intends to change that,” said Howard.