RADCLIFF, Ky. – Radcliff officials announced recently that the Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA) will be the new tenant of the iconic Elmer L. Hargan Building on North Wilson Road. Beginning in May, the building will serve as the physical location for the community-based non-profit that works to promote and protect Fort Knox and grow defense-related business in the region.
“We are thrilled to welcome KRDA to the Hargan Building,” said Radcliff Mayor JJ Duvall. “KRDA’s work to help protect Fort Knox and grow its economic impact is a direct benefit to the people of Radcliff and the entire region. Fort Knox remains an engine that drives our regional economy.”
Named for the city’s first mayor, the building which sits behind the tank display and city welcome sign, was donated by the Hargan family with the stipulation that it be used for municipal needs as determined by city government.
Duvall called KRDA the perfect fit.
“I cannot think of a better occupant than an organization that supports our community’s and our region’s largest employer,” he said.
KRDA offices have been in the Radcliff Square Plaza, almost directly across U.S. 31W from the Hargan Building. The plaza’s former owner, Joe Markham, donated their former space at a highly reduced rental rate as part of his investment in KRDA.
Markham sold the plaza in 2018 and with the expiration of the initial lease, the new property managers indicated that rent would more than quadruple. That’s when KRDA CEO Brig. Gen. retired Jim Iacocca first met with Duvall about moving into the Hargan Building.
“It just made sense,” said Iacocca. “We cannot thank the city enough for their financial commitment to KRDA with both their annual investment and this generous in-kind donation that allows us to keep operational costs lower and be the best stewards of our investors’ dollars.”
Founded in 2016, KRDA is funded through the support of private and public donations.
Abound Credit Union CEO and KRDA board chairman Ray Springsteen shared Iacocca’s and Duvall’s sentiment.
“This is a win on so many levels – for KRDA, for the city of Radcliff, for the entire region, and for the Soldiers and families of Fort Knox that KRDA helps us all support,” said Springsteen. “KRDA works to protect our region’s greatest economic asset, Fort Knox, which generates nearly a billion in annual payroll. We appreciate the city’s foresight in giving KRDA a new place from which do their critical work.”
Renovations to the building are ongoing in advance of KRDA’s move, including a remodeled office space that is accessed from the main North Wilson Road entrance, and exterior maintenance work to include new roofing. The city also plans to renovate the lower level of the building that features a larger meeting space later this year.
The Hargan building had been home to the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce’s north-end office and the Radcliff Chamber of Commerce prior to the chamber merger in late 2010.
The Hardin County Chamber officially vacated the location last year citing operational efficiency at a single location in Elizabethtown.
“COVID operations showed us that we can continue to serve and advocate for the entire Hardin County business community from one location,” said Margy Poorman, President and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited to continue our long-standing partnership with KRDA and think they are an ideal tenant for our former office space.”
Representatives from the Radcliff Small Business Alliance (RSBA) were also on hand for the welcome ceremony and expressed their support for KRDA’s move into the Hargan Building.
“We’ve long advocated for the city and our community to get the best return on investment possible from the Hargan building tenants,” said RSBA president Matt Smith. “Our thanks to the mayor and city council for their leadership in this valuable and important decision.”