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The Quest for the Prime Location: It just got easier

28 Jun, 2017

By: Linda Dobel
It just got easier

When only top-drawer locations will have a chance of making it onto your short list of sites for your new site location project, you know you are in for an arduous journey, or maybe not. The select locations featured here represent a large and diverse swath of the country and are bountiful in desirable features for a variety of businesses. Taking a few minutes to read through each of the brief write-ups about these locations can set you on the path to making an easy decision on a premier location for your next development project. Like the headline says, the quest for the prime location just got easier.

Butte, Montana
The Montana Connections Business Development Park, located in Butte, Montana, is the strategic location for businesses seeking to add capacity or relocate. This mega park offers ample land and industry-friendly zoning in a magnificent location in southwest Montana. It is one of the few places in the Northwest with intersecting Interstates (I-15 and I-90) and service by two Class II Railways (BNSF and Union Pacific). In one day, shipments can reach major markets such as Calgary, Salt Lake, Seattle, Minneapolis and numerous other locations.  Therefore, it provides excellent access to markets.

Abundant, affordable water supply needs are met reliably with a five-million gallon/day industrial water system. Affordable energy products are provided by NorthWestern Energy, one of the largest utility companies in the northern tier states. Transportation, warehousing and distribution services are readily available through the Port of Montana. The Port offers storage services, certified scales, railcar and truck transloading services and much more.
As a Foreign-Trade Zone, the Montana Connections Business Development Park eliminates costs related to import/export duties for customers. Montana Connections resides in a tax increment district, enabling the use of tax revenue to assist with the public infrastructure needs of projects. Funds are available to assist qualified candidates; levels are based on project investment and job creation.

Looking to expand or relocate?  The Montana Connections Business Development Park promises a Big Sky welcome.  

East Arkansas
In 2016, 82 competitive projects chose to do business in Arkansas, resulting in 4,098 new jobs and over 1.3 billion in capital investment. The Arkansas Delta, which sits at the crossroads of Interstates 40 and 55, is home to a Union Pacific Railroad Facility and a BNSF Intermodal Facility. It also hosts nine general aviation airports and is located just across the Mississippi River from the Memphis International Airport, America’s busiest cargo airport. Its proximity to FedEX is perfect for just-in-time shipping and aircraft-on-ground services and its proximity to Mobile, Alabama, and unique logistics make the region an ideal location for Airbus assembly supplier industries.

Arkansas’ existing warehouse space is primed for aviation parts that need to be in facilities across the globe within a window of overnight delivery. Arkansas’ relative humidity makes it an ideal location for low-static electronics manufacturing. Inexpensive land, competitively priced utilities and both local and state incentives will ensure a quick return on initial investment. The state’s nationally recognized workforce training model allows businesses to specify their workforce needs, and local community colleges fulfill those businesses’ training requirements with existing workforce capacity.

The price of doing business in Arkansas is one of its greatest assets, next to its people.

Indian River County, Florida
Florida’s Indian River County – Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fellsmere – strikes a perfect balance between business and pleasure. Those who live, work or visit the area find the local communities are safe, modern and loaded with ecological, cultural, educational and technological amenities. It’s also a cost-competitive place to grow or expand a business.

Located an hour north of West Palm Beach and 90 miles southeast of Orlando, Indian River County is within three hours of over 17 million consumers, or 90 percent of Florida’s population, with easy access to markets and far from urban sprawl, traffic and congestion. The county has hundreds of acres of low-cost land available for development, much of it located near I-95, a major north-south transportation route along the east coast. 

Indian River County’s superb quality of life attracts innovative businesses and talented professionals from around the country and around the world. Advanced industries from aviation to aquaculture and emerging tech to healthcare all benefit from a low cost of doing business and some of the lowest taxes in the nation.

An available and trainable workforce of approximately 638,000 within an hour’s drive time adds to the county’s appeal as a desirable location. Local incentives encourage eligible new and existing firms to add new jobs for local residents.

Laurens County, South Carolina
Nestled in the heart of the Southeast’s Power Triangle between Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte and Greenville, South Carolina, Laurens County has courted approximately $1 billion in business investment since 2010, landing it a coveted spot on America’s top sites.

With a highly trained workforce and convenient access to Interstates 26 and 385, rail service connecting to the Port of Charleston and multiple nearby airports, businesses are likely to find success in Laurens County.

The county has approximately 70 industries with 32 percent of residents employed in the manufacturing sector. Laurens County is home to many automotive suppliers, advanced materials industries and distribution/logistics centers, with companies such as ZF Transmission, Walmart Distribution and Sterilite.

In 2016, Laurens County saw 195 new jobs created and $114.1 million in capital investment through expansions and new developments from D&W Fine Pack, Bodycote, Yanfeng, Teknor Apex and Synalloy. That momentum appears to be gaining for 2017. In March of 2017, Mogul SC celebrated the grand opening of its first U.S. nonwovens production facility in Gray Court. Fukoku America also announced an expansion that will create 65 new jobs and a capital investment of $13.9 million.

With these assets to call upon, this business-centered community is poised for future growth.

Michigan
A century ago, Michigan put the world on wheels as the epicenter of the American auto industry. Though still anchored by its rich history, Michigan is now attracting a multitude of manufacturing companies thanks to its strategic location and world-class talent pool. Across industries, the state is No. 1 in the nation for new manufacturing jobs, with 173,000 jobs created since 2009.

Michigan’s automotive cluster is still going strong, with 63 of the top 100 North American auto suppliers. Automotive companies have announced almost $23 billion in new investments in Michigan since 2010 – more than any other state in the U.S. Bolstered by a strong manufacturing base in automotive, Michigan is also home to a top-tier aerospace sector and is ranked by PwC as the top state for aerospace manufacturing attractiveness.

Though some of the world’s largest companies like Ford, Lockheed Martin, GM and Honda have operations in Michigan, the state’s talent pipeline is far from dry. With the country’s largest investment into skilled-trades training and many higher education institutions, Michigan’s workforce is ready to support future investments. In fact, the state has the country’s highest concentration of electric, mechanical and industrial engineers.

Without a personal property tax, Michigan has one of the most favorable business climates in the Midwest, and is consistently ranked among the top 10 states for major new and expanding facilities. As an added bonus, Michigan offers a high quality of life that comes with 11,000 lakes and the longest freshwater coastline in the country. 

Oconee County, South Carolina
Oconee County is the “geography of opportunity” in Upstate South Carolina. Located in the northwestern corner of the Palmetto State, along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Oconee County is consistently worth mentioning for its strategic location along the Interstate 85 corridor between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina, with close proximity to Clemson University.

Manufacturing is Oconee County’s largest employment sector. In all, around 25 percent of the 76,000 residents are employed by one of the 60 industries that call Oconee home. The various industries located within Oconee County are creating products as diverse as plastic wrap for food producers and engine valves for automotive suppliers.

Since 2012, Oconee County has announced over 1,100 manufacturing-related jobs and $290 million in invested capital, as well as developing three county-owned industrial parks. In 2016, a record year for the area, Oconee County announced four major projects, bringing 113 jobs and $89.9 million in announced investment.

Oconee County, South Carolina, is truly emerging as the “geography of opportunity” in Upstate South Carolina and is increasingly becoming a place where businesses want to do business.

Peoria, Arizona
With more than 300 days of sunshine, excellent schools, indoor and outdoor amenities, Peoria, Arizona, has it all. It is no wonder Peoria is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. It’s also a thriving business community.

For the second year in a row, the City of Peoria hosted investors and developers to showcase public-private partnerships and investment opportunities. A total of 98 attendees received information on key properties and development opportunities in Peoria.

The Forum, based on real estate development, business attraction and investment potential in Peoria, is an economic development initiative of Mayor Cathy Carlat and a key priority of the council. The Invest PeoriaAZ Forum was created to reveal the market and business advantages of Peoria and thereby reach and attract its targeted industries.

The forum showcased the City’s portfolio of shovel-ready sites for office and commercial development, including public-private partnerships for real estate development, as well as sites primed for sports tourism, high-end commercial development projects and redevelopment opportunities.

“I am very pleased with the interest we generated with the forum,” said Peoria City Manager Carl Swenson. “Peoria’s value proposition is unmatched due to our portfolio of coveted city-controlled properties in key markets, our experience with public-private partnerships and a mayor and council that support aggressive innovation and cutting-edge development. I look forward to seeing what unfolds over the next several months.”   T&ID

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