HomeNewsMassey optimistic about Madison County for ‘23

Massey optimistic about Madison County for ‘23

Madison County Mayor A.J. Massey gave his first rendition of his inaugural State of the County speech to the Jackson Exchange Club on Tuesday.

As the first few months of his administration have been a lot of him learning on the job and becoming more familiar with the various boards the Mayor is a member of within the county and across rural West Tennessee, he said he’s also had the opportunity to be a part of a number of initiatives that show him projections of Madison County’s potential for growth in the coming years are true.

Updating the group on Great Wolf Lodge, he borrowed an analogy from Greater Jackson Chamber President Kyle Spurgeon, saying the official approval of the hotel/water park project close to Jackson Baseball Stadium isn’t a done deal yet, “but we’re on the 1-yard line.”

The only thing that could stop it at this point is if Gov. Bill Lee for some reason takes the $20 million of state funding allocated for the project in 2020 out of this year’s budget.

“If that happens, we’ve got problems,” Massey said. “But he also has $500 million planned for a new stadium for the Tennessee Titans, so hopefully $20 million in Jackson isn’t a big deal for him.”

Massey also touted the potential for economic development in northeast Jackson near the stadium and the future site of Great Wolf Lodge, citing a trip his father – former North Side football coach Pat Massey – taking a grandchild to a Great Wolf Lodge location in another state and enjoying other amenities close by like a Bass Pro Shop.

“I’m not saying we’re putting a Bass Pro Shop in Jackson, but that should give you an idea of things we can do in relation to this project,” Massey said.

He also put into perspective the $425 million investment Georgia-Pacific is making with its Dixie Jackson plant.

“There are counties close by who’d love to have a $20 or $30 million investment, and we’re getting $425 million,” Massey said. “That and more than 200 jobs it’s bringing will be huge for Madison County.”

After discussing Blue Oval City and ideas he and a few dozen others took away after visiting Greenville, S.C., to see how that city developed when BMW brought a plant there 30 years ago, Massey brought up a housing study the Greater Jackson Chamber commissioned.

While the Chamber will have public meetings to discuss the findings, Massey gave the group a sneak peek at the findings and what’s projected for the county.

“We’ve got 200 doors for housing under construction right now, and we’re going to need 2,000 or 3,000 more in the next decade,” Massey said. “And apartment occupancy in Jackson right now is at 98.4 percent, so good luck if you’re trying to rent somewhere in town.

“(Jackson Mayor Scott Conger) and I along with other leaders in the community, we’re making sure we’re not allowing any out-of-town, fly-by-night developers to come in, build a bunch of cookie-cutter houses in subdivisions that’ll be outdated in 20 years. We’re planning to grow, and we’re going to do it the right way because like I campaigned on, I want Madison County to be where my kids choose to live, not where they settle to live when they’d rather live somewhere else in 20 years.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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