Des Moines, IA — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced that a development-ready site located in Cherokee is the latest industrial site to achieve certification through the Iowa Certified Site Program. It joins 20 other sites in the state that have been designated as project-ready.
“Having a certified site is about creating a competitive advantage,” said Debi Durham, director of the IEDA. “Companies exploring expansions or new operations often do not have the luxury of dedicating substantial amounts of time to the site location process. Having a site where all the development questions have been asked and answered demonstrates that the community is open for business and prepared to welcome new investment.”
The Cherokee certified site is located south of, and adjacent to, the existing meat packing plant and can be subdivided to meet the needs of future businesses. The property covers nearly 100 acres, of which about three-quarters are developable. The site has also been certified as a “rail served” site, allowing the supply and value chain transportation needs of businesses at this location to be met by road or rail.
“The certification process is rigorous. We have been working toward this designation for about 18 months.,” said Bill Anderson, Executive Director of Cherokee Area Economic Development Corp. “Having the certified site will be helpful in attracting new businesses and residents to Cherokee. We look forward to using this as a tool to grow the economy in the City of Cherokee as well as throughout Cherokee County.”
IEDA rolled out the Iowa Certified Site Program in May 2012 to address the lack of project-ready industrial sites in the state. It is an independent, third-party certification program that uses the nationally recognized site selection firm Quest Site Solutions (formerly McCallum Sweeney Consulting) as the certifying agent. The Iowa Certified Site Program is designed to consider a combination of national site location standards as well as Iowa’s natural assets and industry needs of the state’s targeted sectors.
Site certification is one of the fastest growing trends in the site selection business and Iowa’s certified sites inventory improves the state’s ability to compete for large scale projects. By going through this rigorous process, developers – working closely with their local officials, utility partners and consultants – are better prepared to market their sites with specific site-related information and community data. All site due diligence is completed and resulting issues are mitigated, making the site “risk-free” and, thus, accelerating the development schedule for today’s environment, where business decisions are made quickly.
Ten subsequent application rounds have been opened since the program was established, and 16 additional sites are currently working through various phases of the program. The next round of applications will be accepted in January 2019 for the following categories:
- General Industrial Site: 50-249 contiguous acres
- Large Site: 250-499 contiguous acres
- Super Site: 500-999 contiguous acres
- Mega Site: 1,000+ contiguous acres
- General Industrial Park: 100+ acres with one site ≥ 20 acres
- Super Park: 500+ acres with one site ≥ 100 acre
For more information about the Iowa Certified Site Program,visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/CertifiedSites.
Jacque Matsen, Iowa Economic Development Authority