EDA reverses course on Midway Station industrial lot sale – again
At its April 19 monthly meeting, Woodford Economic Development Authority
(EDA) Chair Michael Michalisin said the pending land sale of the last
industrial lot at Midway Station to an unnamed bourbon distillery had
It was the third different announcement regarding the lot in the group’s
last three meetings.
At the EDA’s March 24 meeting, members unanimously authorized Michalisin
to sign closing documents for the sale of Lot 24’s 4.6 acres for
$100,000 to the distillery, the owners of which planned to build a
barrel warehouse there. In February, the EDA voted unanimously to sign a
letter of intent with a couple who planned to build more than 400 rental
storage units on Lot 24 on what Michalisin called “highly challenged
topography, but changed course after discussions with the bourbon
During discussions for the sale to the bourbon distillery, Michalisin
said barrel taxes generated by the warehouse, which increase as the
whiskey ages, would almost immediately begin generating revenue for
Woodford public schools. The topography, which will require lots of dirt
to be moved for most uses, was cited as the reason for the lowering of
the EDA’s usual asking price of $65,000 per acre of industrial-zoned
land. At the April 19 meeting, member Maria Bohanan acknowledged the
challenges the land posed, but called it a great lot.
After the meeting, Michalisin said it was possible the EDA would
consider the rental storage unit proposal again.
Executive Director Lucas Witt said he’d visited Sheridan Kentucky and
that the book-manufacturing company was growing – and hiring. (The
former Quad/Graphics buildings and land were sold to Minnesota-based
Sheridan-CJK Group last July.) Witt said the company was looking to sell
a 275,000 square-foot building on the property with lots of dock doors
Witt praised videos shot by the Wrigley Media Group and Cooltucky
Creative for the upcoming Industry Day. The videos shot at Ruggles Sign,
Sheridan Kentucky, More Than A Bakery and Lakeshore Learning Materials
will be shown to Woodford County High School seniors before the end of
the school year.
Due to the pandemic, Industry Day, which began in 2017 with tours of
local manufacturers designed to show students job opportunities right
out of high school, was cancelled last year. In February, the EDA voted
unanimously to pay $4,000 to the Wrigley Media Group of Lexington and
$2,000 to Cooltucky Creative of Versailles to shoot, edit and produce
videos about local industries for this year’s Industry Day.
The EDA will own the produced videos and other footage, portions of
which will be posted on the group’s website.
Later in the meeting, John Soper, the former EDA chair now working for
the real estate marketing firm hired by the EDA to sell land at Midway
Station, said the videos should also be shown to middle-schoolers.
Michalisin said Bluegrass Distilleries was in stand-by mode to receive a
community development block grant enabling it to obtain a low-interest
bank loan for its new site on the Mitchell property near Midway Station.
Bohanan said she and Witt had spoken with Versailles Mayor Brian
Traugott about his “long-term” strategy to offer incentives to companies
offering “good, new jobs” for the community. Witt said the plan will
target companies in the manufacturing, technical and professional
services industries and that he couldn’t be more excited about it.