Centerville Industrial Park Certified and Ready for Business
Friday, June 15, 2018
It can be a challenge to recruit companies to locate to a rural area. Some regions work proactively to streamline the development process by establishing certified sites.
Certified sites are a valuable economic development tool. They can make a region more competitive because they save companies both time and money.
The Centerville Industrial Park became certified through the Iowa Certified Sites Program last fall. Only 19 other sites in the state have received the designation so far. It’s the sole certified site in the region.
The site has about 67 developable acres and is certified ready for heavy industrial use. It’s accessed via Dewey Road and 230th Avenue and is adjacent to an Iowa Southern Railway line. This transportation option makes it attractive to a wide range of industries.
Having a certified site is a great advantage for the region, according to Sarah Lind, executive director of the Appanoose Economic Development Corporation (AEDC). It helps capture the attention of site selectors.
Lind says achieving certification was a lengthy four-year process. Making this considerable investment in infrastructure was an important part of a long-term strategic plan to grow the area and attract business.
Now that the work of getting the site certified is done, Lind says the next step is to market and advertise in a smart way to attract the right businesses or industry.
“It won’t happen overnight,” acknowledges Lind. “But we’re developing a clear, strategic plan and we’re actively working towards the goal of having the certified site sold.”
Lind notes that AEDC intends to bring in new businesses while being sensitive to the needs of the area’s current industries. The ultimate goal is to build industry clusters — to strategically attract new businesses that will complement and support existing ones.
AEDC has established a committee to identify ambassadors that can help with site visits. “We’re working collaboratively to put together a tour for site selectors that demonstrates the many benefits and available incentives in Appanoose County,” says Lind.