In the mid 1960s, leadership in Jefferson County
realized that the region lacked a vital element necessary for future
economic growth an undeveloped area specifically set aside for
Leaders from across the county immediately set out to identify a potential
location for an industrial park. Eventually, an area east of downtown
Louisville was chosen as the ideal location for such a development,
and the city of Jeffersontown annexed the approximately 600 acres into
its city limits. The Bluegrass Research & Industrial Park was born.
Developers were farsighted when it came time to outfit the Park. Over
the course of development, they created an attractive, green, park-like
setting that has all the amenities needed by modern businesses
including high-volume electrical and water service, fiber-optic wiring,
high-speed Internet access and underground utilities. Today, developers
adding to what are now the seven-unit Park clusters are perpetuating
the attractive park appearance and the high-tech sophistication.
The Parks seven units include:
Bluegrass Research & Industrial Park
Watterson Trail Industrial Park
Plainview Office Park
Jeffersontown Industrial Park
Holloway Industrial Park
Today, Bluegrass Industrial Park takes in over 1,800 acres and is home
to approximately 850 businesses. The Park is the largest in the State
of Kentucky, and the 38,000 employees make the Park and Jeffersontown
the third-largest city of employment in the State.
The diversity of business types represented in the Park is staggering.
Every industry, including manufacturing, retail, day care, recreation,
education, service and hospitality, is present. The sectors of employment
in the Park are also very evenly distributed:
29% Warehouse and Distribution
27% Service Related
13% Research and Development
In addition, the sheer size of the work force creates a demand for all
types of services in the Park.
Of great significance to Bluegrass Industrial Parks success is
the convenience of its location. The Park is located adjacent to I-64
approximately 15 minutes from downtown Louisville and 15 minutes from
Louisville International Airport.
The City of Jeffersontown has an enticing benefits package for businesses
choosing to expand or relocate in the Park. In addition to property
tax abatement and tax credits, the City, in partnership with Republic
Bank & Trust Company, sponsors the Jeffersontown Façade Improvement
Program, which provides financial assistance of up to $500 for the development
of contracted architectural conceptual drawings. As an additional feature
of the Facade Improvement Program, Republic Bank offers low-fixed-rate
loans of up to $20,000 to owners of, or to those leasing, commercial
or industrial property in Jeffersontown who want to improve the façades
of structurally sound properties.
For more information about Bluegrass Industrial Park, City financial
incentives or other business-assistance services, visit www.jeffersontownky.com.
When Jefferson County merged with the City of Louisville on January
6, 2003, Jeffersontown became part of one of the top 20 metro areas
in the United States. A new spotlight fell on the city from both state
and national levels. Jefferson County is poised to become a major economic
player not only in the state but also in the entire southeast region.
There has never been a better time to discover everything this amazing
area has to offer.
Businesses in Jeffersontown, both large and small, cite available space,
location and availability of needed goods and services as key factors
influencing their move to Jeffersontown. Many businesses, already know
Jeffersontowns story of success because theyve been
here helping to make it happen.
Big businesses are at work and thriving in Jeffersontown. Many that
are big now started out small and started right here in Jeffersontown.
In 1972, Pat and Bill Lancaster had the idea that pallet loads of products
could be stabilized and protected if wrapped in layers of stretched
plastic film. Lantech, Inc. was born at the kitchen table and is Jeffersontowns
own high-profile story of the American dream. Clients are a whos
who of the U.S. corporate scene, with companies from Alcoa, Boeing and
Coca-Cola to UPS, Wal-Mart and Xerox using Lantech products and services.
Lantech has been operating in Bluegrass Industrial Park since the mid
1970s. Locating in Jeffersontown made sense for them on many levels,
according to Lantechs Jerry Todd. Its a well thought-out
development, an attractive park thats nicely landscaped and maintained,
says Todd. Jeffersontown has done a very good job of promoting
the industrial park and keeping it up to a high quality level in terms
of services and maintenance. The variety of businesses within
the park is another advantage Lantech enjoys. There are tons of
restaurants here, and several nice quality hotels. Its convenient
for them and us, with shopping close by. Plus its easy to find.
You can drive from here and start going in any direction you
can pick up a north/south interstate in 10 minutes or an east/west interstate
in five minutes. Its good for trucking. Its easy for truck
lines to get in and out. Lantech has not forgotten the community
on its road to success. Lantech is here to stay in Jeffersontown and
the Bluegrass Industrial Park. Its just a good place to do business.
Whoever planned [Bluegrass Park] had a good vision, Todd
concludes. Its been very well done.
Founded in 1977 when an investment group of Louisville business leaders
purchased a struggling Shelby County bank, Republic Bank & Trust
Company is a major part of the financial success of the Jeffersontown
region. Republics relationship with Jeffersontown was strengthened
further when a new branch opened in the city in May 2003. Republic Bank
& Trust knows where its strength lies: local ownership and local
director involvement. And they are quick to credit the part Jeffersontown
business leaders play, citing local ownership as a cornerstone
of our structure. Ask anyone at Republic and theyll sum
it up: We are locally owned and proud of it! Republic has
worked to develop programs and services uniquely suited to local business
and professional groups. Good community relations are a vital part of
Republics local success, too. Republic has participated in charity
fund-raising walks and held dozens of luncheons, dinners and receptions
in all markets.
Entrepreneurs have recognized that Jeffersontown is poised to keep on
growing, and many new small businesses have joined a solid core of businesses
that have been in Jeffersontown for decades.
Renaissance Italy lives on in Jeffersontown at Ferd Grisantis,
a five-star restaurant celebrating its 30th year in the city. When the
Grisanti family opened their classic Italian restaurant in 1973, they
took a chance. At the time, they were the only establishment in the
area. But Ferd Grisanti knew the food and atmosphere they created would
draw people in. And he had the vision to realize that Jeffersontown
was on the grow. Ferd Grisantis started out as a destination restaurant,
relying on delicious dishes and a classic environment to bring in business.
Today, though, Ferd Grisantis vision has come true; since the
building of the industrial park, the restaurant not only has the loyal
customers whove been coming for 30 years, but lots of walk-in
traffic as well. The Grisanti family is very involved both in the restaurant
and the community. In addition to its five-star rating, the restaurant
has been honored as the Best of Louisville no small
feat when youre part of the 16th-largest metro area in the country.
When it comes to Jeffersontown, the Grisanti family has found that there
really is no place like home.
Serving Jeffersontown for over 50 years, Hume Pharmacy, a family-owned
small business, doesnt feel pressured by the larger companies
in town. In fact, owner Michael Sheets enjoys excellent working relationships
with neighbor businesses, a key factor he cites for the success he has
enjoyed. Anytime I can use the area businesses printing,
etc. I always do, Sheets says. You help the people
who help you. The small-town community feel of Jeffersontown is
also part of what keeps him in the city; Sheets enjoys being able to
know his customers, and their needs, well.
Keeping costs down is vital for any small business. Beechmont Press
takes advantage of its location in Bluegrass Industrial Park to do just
that. Company president David Watkins notes, Anytime we buy, we
buy our raw materials and use the services inside the park. Beechmont
was one of the first businesses to move into Bluegrass, and continues
to purchase neighboring buildings as it continues to expand. Why did
Beechmont choose Jeffersontown and Bluegrass? Location is the
main thing, says Watkins. More and more of our products
are shipped out, so being close to the highway is important.
Businesses in Jeffersontown receive valuable aid from progressive and
aggressive organizations working daily to improve the economic environment
in Jeffersontown. The Chamber-Jeffersontown is an outstanding investment
that area businesses can make in their future (see article). Businesses
also benefit from the efforts of the Jeffersontown Economic Development
Authority, where staff is busy working every day to improve the citys
Area industry leaders work to improve Jeffersontown through business;
the Jeffersontown Economic Development Authority (JEDA) works for businesses
in Jeffersontown. JEDA is a group of business representatives partnered
with elected officials appointed by the Mayor of Jeffersontown.
Bluegrass Industrial Park has the highest concentration of businesses
and workers within the Jeffersontown area, and therefore it is logical
that JEDA places a heavy emphasis on the continued health and vitality
of that Park as well as all business in Jeffersontown.
Some of the issues that have been identified and worked on by JEDA include
raising the identity and visibility of the Park. Bluegrass Industrial
Park is the largest industrial park in the Commonwealth of Kentucky;
yet few people outside the metro area are aware of that fact. A second
emphasis is ingress and egress (or roads) serving the Park. With approxi-mately
38,000 workers pouring into a fairly concentrated area each day, good
traffic flow is key to keeping commute times down and workers
spirits up. Another area of emphasis has been improving high-speed Internet
access for businesses located there. JEDA has had great success in showing
the Parks market potential to ISPs, greatly improving the service
available to the approximately 850 companies located there. Other issues
facing JEDA include the continual process of upgrading facilities thru
its Facade Improvement Program, workforce development and working with
the real estate community on buyer/tenant relocation.
To help businesses succeed, JEDA has to know their needs and who
better can tell them what these needs are than the businesses themselves?
JEDA maintains a close working partnership with the Chamber-Jeffersontown
and its membership. The blend of expertise that these organizations
bring to the table is responsible for much of what is working in the
Jeffersontown area economy. We feel the partnership efforts of
JEDA and the Chamber equal a sum greater than their parts, says
JEDA Executive Director John Cosby. It is easy to see how this partnership
benefits area businesses, making them want to stay in Jeffersontown.
These success stories then attract other businesses, improving life
for everyone in the city.
You know the slogan. And you know the pizza. But what you may not know
is that Papa Johns headquarters is located in Jeffersontown.
Jeffersontown is a very business-minded community, with a diversity
of companies, says Papa John Schnatter, founder and
CEO. In addition to being easily accessible via major roadways,
Jeffersontown is a city that places high priority on both the commercial
and civic interests of its residents.
Prior to completion of the Papa Johns International corporate
campus in Jeffersontown, the corporate office team members worked
from about seven buildings throughout the Louisville area.
Being housed in the same building has had tremendous benefits
related to our productivity as well as our ability to effectively communicate
with one another, says Schnatter. We now work better as
a team, enabling us to continue to grow the Papa Johns business.
And the business has grown tremendously. While headquarters is
located in Bluegrass Industrial Park, Papa Johns currently has
more than 2,900 restaurants in 49 states and 11 international markets.
Founder and CEO Schnatter has been named Best Local Businessperson
in Louisville Magazines 2001 Best of Louisville Awards and was
also named the 1998 National Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the
Year in the Retail/Consumer Products category.
An important part of the Papa Johns business includes being an
active member of the communities in which team members and customers
live and work. As a Chamber member, we can better interact with
other businesses in the community in order to meet the needs of both
the commercial and private sectors of our community. We also have the
opportunity to be a part of wonderful community events such as the Gaslight
Festival, says Schnatter. The Chamber simply helps us stay
better connected with the community, which enables us to maintain our
companys positive image with customers and potential customers.
In 1996, Schnatter and his company earned even more praise from local
residents by making a substantial funding commitment for a new 42,000-seat
football stadium on the University of Louisville campus. The structure,
which opened in September 1998, is called Papa Johns Cardinal
I enjoy working in Jeffersontown, Schnatter says. We
have a beautiful campus in a very nice, peaceful setting; there are
other notable businesses and business leaders in the community; and
its easy for me to get to and from my house. We do business with
a number of other high-quality partners in the J-town area, and it has
worked out very well for us over the years.
Accessible from I-64 and I-265, and only 10 minutes from Louisville
International Airport, Jeffersontown is the logical choice for those
wishing to avoid the frequently congested Louisville metro area.
Hospitality is a growth industry in Jeffersontown, says
John Cosby, Executive Director of the Jeffersontown Economic Development
Authority. Hospitality provides a vast array of employment opportunities.
Employment translates into an increased tax base and a stronger economy.
Please visit www.jeffersontownky.com
for a complete hospitality listing guide of the Jeffersontown area.
In addition to employment, the hospitality industry brings the spending
power of traveling businesspersons and tourists to the services, stores
and restaurants of Jeffersontown; people who, once they see all that
Jeffersontown has to offer, often bring repeat business into town.