Jeffersontown, KY
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Bluegrass Industrial Park
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 industrial development.

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 Park’s seven units include:
• Bluegrass Research & Industrial Park
• Commonwealth Park
• Watterson Trail Industrial Park
• Plainview Office Park
• Jeffersontown Industrial Park
• Holloway Industrial Park
• Blankenbaker Crossings

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:
31% Manufacturing
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 Park’s 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

A Story of Success at All Levels
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 Jeffersontown’s story of success — because they’ve been here helping to make it happen.

A Haven for Businesses, Both Large and Small
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 Jeffersontown’s own high-profile story of the American dream. Clients are a who’s 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 Lantech’s Jerry Todd. “It’s a well thought-out development, an attractive park that’s 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. It’s convenient for them and us, with shopping close by. Plus it’s 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. It’s good for trucking. It’s 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. It’s just a good place to do business. “Whoever planned [Bluegrass Park] had a good vision,” Todd concludes. “It’s 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. Republic’s 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 they’ll 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 Republic’s 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 Grisanti’s, 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 Grisanti’s started out as a destination restaurant, relying on delicious dishes and a classic environment to bring in business. Today, though, Ferd Grisanti’s vision has come true; since the building of the industrial park, the restaurant not only has the loyal customers who’ve 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 you’re 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, doesn’t 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 city’s business climate.

The Jeffersontown Economic Development Authority (JEDA)

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 Park’s 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.

Papa John’s - “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. Papa John’s.”
You know the slogan. And you know the pizza. But what you may not know is that Papa John’s 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 John’s 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 John’s business.”

And the business has grown — tremendously. While headquarters is located in Bluegrass Industrial Park, Papa John’s 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 Magazine’s 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 John’s 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 company’s 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 John’s Cardinal Stadium.

“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 it’s 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.”

Come Stay Awhile — Hospitality in Jeffersontown
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 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.