5 www.BlountPartnership.com READYTOWORK Development BRINGS Jobs, Growth TO BLOUNT COUNTY By Mitch Moore It’s a common sight in Blount County these days: construction crews, heavy machinery, earth being moved, new roads being laid, steel-girder building frames stretching skyward. To evaluate the health of any local economy, you have to moni- tor its vital signs, and by any stan- dards, the proliferation of com- mercial, industrial and residential development in the communities of Alcoa and Maryville suggest that Blount County is, indeed, a thriving marketplace. The most high-profile evidence of this trend can be seen taking shape at Springbrook Farms, a multipurpose development go- ing up on the former site of the Alcoa West Plant facility, just east of McGhee Tyson Airport. Arconic (formerly Alcoa, Inc.) has been working with a Denver-based en- vironmental remediation firm to transform that 260-acre tract into a multipurpose destination that, when complete, will encompass everything from a central down- town business district and retail lifestyle center to commercial office space, a conference center, residential areas and even an urban farm. “The city of Alcoa is working with the aluminum company to take what had been used as in- dustrial property for the past 100 years and turn it into a produc- tive piece of taxable property,” says Alcoa assistant city manager Bill Hammon. The city is helping develop front-end infrastructure Building a small-scale city within a city will offer visitors and residents access to green areas and entertainment venues.