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Site Development Grant

As part of the 2018 Rural Economic Development Fund, Tennessee is investing $7 million in site development grants to aid eligible communities.

This grant opportunity will transform economic development sites to shovel-ready status as part of our nationally recognized Select Tennessee Site Certification program.

Eligible Applicants

  • Applicant must be a governmental entity (City, County, Industrial Development Board)
  • One application per governmental entity may be submitted
  • One application per site may be submitted
  • Site must be publicly-owned at the time of application, unless the grant request is to purchase the property  or for Due Diligence Studies
  • County where site is located must meet all ThreeStar annual requirements.
  • Sites must have gone through at a minimum the site visit by Austin Consulting (Foote) for the Select TN certification program, the site visit and evaluation by Austin Consulting for PEP or the site visit by KPMG for the Invest Prep program
  • Sites with open SDG projects are not eligible to apply

Eligible Activities

  • Construction Activities
    Access roadways, acceleration/deceleration/turn lanes, traffic signalization, rail lines/signalization/switching, utility line construction/relocation including electricity, water, sewer, gas and telecommunications
  • Property-Related Activities
    Purchase of property, right-of-way, easements, legal fees, tree/vegetation clearing, grubbing, grading, drainage improvements, detention/retention ponds, due diligence studies
  • High Impact Grants
    • Would be considered to address a final significant deficiency which, if overcome, would greatly increase the marketability of the site.
    • Preference would be given to sites that are capable of accommodating high-impact projects with large capital investments.
    • Applicants must submit a pre-submittal form and meet with TNECD, prior to application due date for approval to submit for a larger amount.  (Deadline is August 17, 2018.)
    • At its discretion, TNECD reserves the right to fund a limited number of requests greater than $500,000.
  • Due Diligence Grants 
    • Due diligence grant amounts are limited to $100,000 (maximum).
    • Site must be under option for a minimum of three years prior to grant being awarded.
    • Funding for site due diligence may not be awarded if there are other problems with the site that cause concern for development.
    • Though TNECD prefers that the options be secured at no charge, if option costs are necessary, they can be used as local match.
  • Rehabilitation of publicly-owned industrial buildings
    •  Certification requirement would be waived if funded.
  • Minimum acreage requirement for Tier 3 and Tier 4 Counties to 10 acres
    • Certification requirement would be waived if funded.
  • Property Purchase Additions include:
    • Expansion of a business or industrial park adjacent to an area that has been certified.
    • Neighboring (adjacent) property in cases where the demolition of structures would make the site more marketable; structures must be vacant or vacated voluntarily to prevent displacement of residents.    
  • Brownfield  remediation
    • Application must be accompanied by an industrial clean-up plan approved by TDEC Division of Remediation.
    • ECD reserves the right to only fund a limited number of remediation applications.
    • Properties must still meet normal eligibility requirements for the Site Development Grant Program.

Changes for 2019

  • Administration raised to 4% of grant amount if Development District or private consultant is doing administration
  • If construction is included in grant activities, engineer cannot also be the administrator.


Maximum grant amount: $500,000

Maximum grant amount for Due Diligence Studies: $100,000

Maximum grant amount for High Impact Grants: $1,000,000

Community Match

  • Tier 1 50/50
  • Tier 2 70/30
  • Tier 3 90/10
  • Tier 4 95/5


  • Letters of Intent - March 8, 2019
  • Final invoice and close-out for previous grants  - March 8, 2019
  • Questions - March 29, 2019
  • Applications due - April 5, 2019
  • Advisory Committee - Week of April 22, 2019
  • Short list announcement - Week of April 29, 2019
  • Presentations - Week of May 14, 2019
  • Announcements - May, 2019
  • Contract start - July, 2019



Projects will be scored in the following categories in order to determine short-listed projects:

Public Benefit/Impact
Performance Measures
Leveraged Resources

Sites short-listed will be asked to give a presentation. This presentation will be evaluated and assist in determining final scoring and award.