Big Cedar Industrial Park Becomes Iowa’s First Mega Certified Site
For more information contact:
Jacque Matsen, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Big Cedar Industrial Park becomes Iowa’s first mega certified site
October 24, 2018 (DES MOINES) - Today, Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Director Debi Durham joined officials from Alliant Energy and the City of Cedar Rapids at the Eastern Iowa Airport hangar to celebrate the first site in Iowa to receive “mega site” certification through IEDA’s Certified Site Program.
“This exciting and important opportunity for Cedar Rapids and the entire state of Iowa has become a reality because of the perseverance and diligence of partner organizations Alliant Energy, IEDA, ICR Iowa and Cedar Rapids city officials,” said Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart. “The mega site certification shows we are ‘open for business’ and will help attract new development, businesses and workers into Iowa that will lead to increased growth for our entire region.”
The Big Cedar Industrial Park, developed by Alliant Energy, is located at Edgewood Road and 76th Street SW in Cedar Rapids. The site’s multi-modal transportation options include air, rail and highway access. The park is approximately 1,391 acres and is now available for business development.
This milestone comes from a significant investment by Alliant Energy to aggressively market industrial sites in Cedar Rapids and across the state to spur community growth. “This effort is a win-win-win,” explained Jeanine Penticoff, Alliant Energy’s Vice President of Customer Engagement and Solutions. “The state and local communities win because of new jobs and business, our customers win because the addition of new energy users helps us maintain stable costs, and Alliant Energy wins through the addition of new customers.”
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.
“This site combines the benefits of Cedar Rapids’ robust manufacturing sector and transportation options for accessing national and international markets – positioning the community and region to attract new investment,” said IEDA Director Durham. “The mega site assets are uniquely suited to companies requiring substantial infrastructure, such as automotive manufacturers, making Iowa a more attractive location for these larger projects.”
Site certification is one of the fastest growing trends in the site selection business, and by introducing certified sites to the market, Iowa is better able to compete for projects. Site selection is a rigorous process that ensures developers – working closely with local officials, utility partners and consultants – are better prepared to market their sites with specific site-related information and community data. Additionally, all site due diligence is completed, and plans are in place to address any issues, meaning sites are relatively "risk-free" and the timeline to development is reduced.
The mega site category is only one of seven within the certification program. Sites must be comprised of at least 1,000 acres to qualify for “mega site” status. In addition to size, the Big Cedar Industrial Park also offers easy access to multiple modes of transportation, which is significant considering the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area exported over $1.3 billion in goods and services in 2017.
The Big Cedar Industrial Park certification comes on the heels of the recent Cherokee South Industrial Park announcement and another first-in-Iowa achievement earlier this year. In August, the Woodward Eco Business Park was certified as the first-of-its-kind to meet “green” certification standards geared to reduce environmental impacts of business development.
Ten subsequent application rounds have been opened since the program was established, and nine additional sites are currently working through various phases of the program. Including today’s announcement, Iowa now has 22 certified sites. The next round of applications will be accepted in January 2019.
For a full listing of Iowa’s Certified Sites or more information about the program, visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/CertifiedSites.