JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) and the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority today announced that JobsOhio is providing a $3.1 million JobsOhio grant to support development of the National Road Business Park in Muskingum County.

The funding will support preparation of the 203-acre property for building construction by business occupants. Grant funds will be used to construct an access road and make upgrades to water and sewer lines. The due diligence studies and technical reports required to develop the site have also been completed.

The result will be a business park that is fully ready to accommodate a building as large as 1 million square feet, as well as other smaller commercial and industrial facilities. Sites on the property will range in size from 3 acres to over 70 acres. The Port Authority is marketing the site to local expanding companies and working to attract new employers to the county.

“This is a huge victory for the folks of Muskingum County and Zanesville,” commented Ohio State Senator Tim Shaffer. “The work put into this project reaffirms our local leaders’ commitment to solid planning, communication, and teamwork to make our region grow. JobsOhio does not award these grants without a great deal of diligent research and confidence that goes into the selection from among the best sites in Ohio, and I am very proud of our local leaders’ efforts to make this a reality.”

 “This JobsOhio grant illustrates Zanesville’s and Muskingum County’s forward-thinking stance in providing the infrastructure to build a jobs economy,” Senator Shaffer added. “This project will be crucial toward rebuilding our local and regional economy and getting folks back to work.”

 “This project is yet another example of the amazing teamwork between Jobs Ohio, Ohio SE and the ZMCPA,” said Adam Holmes, Ohio House State Representative for the 97th District. “The leadership and vision of these business development leaders continues to be a powerful driver of our regional economy and a critical component of our strategic regional economic development. We are very fortunate to have these organizations leading our community’s post COVID -19 business resurgence.”

 “The Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority and our Board of Directors are grateful for the continued support from the County Commissioners, City of Zanesville, OhioSE, and JobsOhio to create viable, shovel ready sites in Muskingum County,” said Matt Abbott, Executive Director. “All of the efforts that have gone into making the National Road Business Park a reality have been the multitude of local, regional and state organizations working together to achieve a common goal,” Abbott commented. “OhioSE and JobsOhio continues to play a critical role in our business expansion and business attraction efforts.”

Funding to improve these sites was made available through the JobsOhio/OhioSE Site Initiative, a program that started in 2018 with the goal of assisting southeastern Ohio counties by creating competitive sites capable of winning new business investments. The sites in the program were selected with the assistance of a group of southern Ohio CEOs who advised JobsOhio and OhioSE.  

“We appreciate the longtime partnership with the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority to move the National Road Business Park forward,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P Nauseef. “Once upgrades are completed, the nearly 200 acre site will boost Muskingum County’s ability compete and win more jobs and investment.”

OhioSE President Mike Jacoby praised the Port Authority for pursuing the project and thanked JobsOhio for its support. “Our region needs ready sites and buildings to be competitive in economic development,” said Jacoby. “The Port Authority, county and city have displayed great vision and a commitment to economic development with the establishment of the National Road Business Park. I am grateful to JobsOhio for believing in that vision and thrilled that OhioSE could play a part in it.”

With the planned site preparation and the completed due diligence studies, the site will be totally ready for the development of buildings by the end of this year. Several other sites in southeastern Ohio are wrapping up due diligence reviews through this initiative. These due diligence reviews include a title review, wetlands delineations, threatened & endangered species study, cultural resources report, geotechnical report, utility assessment, grading plan and engineer’s development cost estimate. Other sites in the program are currently under review and additional awards may be coming in the future for the strongest sites.  

The National Road Business Park has been a cooperative effort between the Port Authority, the Muskingum County Commissioners and the City of Zanesville. The property was purchased in 2018 by the Port Authority with assistance from the Muskingum County Commissioners. The City of Zanesville will contribute toward the planned infrastructure upgrades. A Joint Economic Development District will be established at the park to help pay for maintenance and future improvements.