By the BF Staff
From the March/April 2022 Issue
There is no place like home. And, more and more, corporations are asking economic developers to create a home for them in business and industrial parks that will give them the opportunity to offer their workers the necessary amenities needed to best do their jobs.
The result is a rush to create the proper business and industrial parks that will generate excitement with any company looking to expand or relocate to a particular area of the country.
Sounds easy. But it is not, especially as more companies demand extra tools to offer their workers. These include modern facilities, access to the latest technology, amenities for their workforce and, most importantly, a convenient location near transportation hubs and workers’ homes.
Conroe, TX: Growing By Leaps And Bounds
Consistently ranked as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Conroe, TX’s modern, business-friendly atmosphere, regional airport and two major business parks help make it a prime manufacturing and distribution hub.
Located 40 miles north of Houston along I-45, Conroe is a premier business destination due to the community’s strategic location, robust infrastructure and highly skilled talent. Companies can house their regional or corporate headquarters in The Woodlands and their manufacturing headquarters eight miles up the interstate in Conroe with a regional airport right next door.
The Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport boasts a runway that can accommodate all types of business aircraft, a U.S. Customs facility, and a restaurant. Additionally, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston is a short 35-minute drive away and offers extensive domestic and international flights options. The world-class Port of Houston is located just 45 miles south of Conroe for all shipping needs.
Conroe presents a bevy of available economic incentives developed at the state, county, and local level to assist you in your expansion or relocation to the Conroe area. And Conroe has two city-owned business parks that make it fast and affordable to locate in the city: Conroe Park North and Deison Technology Park.
Conroe Park North, located on FM 3083 in Conroe two miles east of I-45, is a 1,655-acre industrial park featuring four-lane concrete streets, city water and sewer, and signage. The more than 40 companies and 3000-plus employees currently located within Conroe Park North represent a wide variety of industries including medical device manufacturing, freight distribution, advanced manufacturing, machining, food processing, specialty packaging, oilfield services, commercial product distribution, warehousing, and higher education.
Deison Technology Park, located on FM 1484 in Conroe four miles east of I-45, is a 248-acre technology park featuring an innovative, eco-friendly space for your corporate campus, research and development, life sciences, or office facility. With infrastructure in place, Deison Technology Park also offers the amenities of an idyllic park setting with hiking and biking trails and peaceful gathering areas. And, with its proximity to Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Deison Technology Park provides a unique business solution for your corporate travel needs.
Continuing education and workforce training are available through Lone Star College—Conroe Center, conveniently located in Conroe Park North, making it easy for companies to upskill their workers and for the local workforce to fill in-demand jobs.
Conroe’s economic base is well- diversified with 4,800 employers in a variety of sectors, the largest of which is retail, followed closely by health care, social services and public administration. The top jobs by occupation in Conroe are office and administrative support, executive managers, administrators, sales, production workers, construction and extraction.
Conroe’s residents are attracted to new and affordable homes, award-winning educational institutions, beautiful Lake Conroe, easily accessible walking trails, a charming downtown, and how easy it is to get around. Combined with the proximity to Houston’s amenities and gulf coast beaches, it’s no wonder that in Conroe, Texas, More is Made Here!
Jefferson County, IL: Being In The Right Spot
The City of Mt. Vernon, IL, is located at the intersection of I 64 and I 57 a one- hour drive east of St. Louis and at the midpoint between Chicago and Memphis. The Jefferson County Development Corporation is the administrator of the park.
In the competitive world of site selection and with existing large buildings unavailable, having an industrial park “prepared” for building was a priority for the City of Mount Vernon. This will shorten the time it takes to begin construction by speeding up the planning process. With the help of an EDA grant, the city purchased approximately 100 acres of land and improved the site with all utilities to the road. All due diligence has been done, and three sites have been identified for this Logistics Park. The park is sited three-tenths of a mile from a state highway and one mile from the interstate.
Nestled in the heart of southern Illinois, Mt. Vernon is home to one of Continental’s largest tire plants. Built as General Tire in 1973, then acquired by Continental in 1987, the plant manufactured its first tire in February 1974. What once started out as a 32-acre under roof facility with 47 employees has now grown into more than 100 acres with 3,500 employees and over $1 billion investment. Attracting employees from a 65-mile radius, Continental Tire-Mt. Vernon is the largest employer south of Peoria, IL. The plant produces passenger and light truck tires, truck tires and pre-cure tread.
In 1990, Walgreens Co. built a 362,000-square-foot distribution center on 51 acres and employed 300 associates. Back then, the site was selected due to its proximity to the crossroads of interstates 64 and 57 in the western section of Mt. Vernon. “We chose Mt. Vernon because it’s close to highways and railroad lines and has a well-qualified workforce,” said John Brown, then senior vice president for distribution and manufacturing. Today, Walgreens occupies more than 700,000 square-feet of warehouse space and employs 1,500 people in the town.
NAPA Distribution Center opened its doors in October of 1977. The center distributes auto parts to stores in IL, KY, IN and MO. The center started distributing to 40 stores and now distributes to more than 200 stores. They initially distributed 30 million items a year and now distribute more than 80 million. The central location, easy access to the interstate and a good, stable workforce were reasons given for locating in Mt. Vernon.
Mt. Vernon Outland Airport is a general aviation airport equipped with a 6,500-foot runway. The airport is host to the Midwest LSA Expo.
Mt. Vernon has tremendous railroad connectivity. Three Class 1 railroads converge on a single property with connections to two additional Class 1 railroads. Access to a transload facility onsite makes it possible to bypass high traffic railyards. A project to develop a large rail-served property is also underway.
Location, location, location! Advantage Mt. Vernon!
Richland, WA: Growing At A Rapid Rate
The Tri-Cities area and southeastern Washington have been named one of few communities to be home to a National Laboratory, some of the nation’s strongest agribusiness producers, a major state university campus, large community technical college, advanced manufacturers, National Guard training facility, the largest fully-automated zero-oxygen flash freezer facility in the country and the place that the coating on M&Ms was invented.
The growth of the area, workforce, housing, technology, industry and manufacturing led to fast development of more than 3,000 acres of available industrial property ranging from small industrial/commercial sites to 80+ acres refining titanium for shipment around the world.
The Horn Rapids Industrial Park, located in North Richland (the 3rd fastest growing region in the state), has more than 2,000 acres of available property for development, with service from two class one rail providers, BNSF and UP rail lines. It also sits minutes away from the interstate. The property available is served by all utilities and offers some of the lowest electric rates in the country, poised for development of your custom site, ranging from a small two to five-acre site up to a 100+ acre site.
The industrial park is located adjacent to the Tri-Cities Research District which is home to Pacific Northwest National Lab and Washington State University, supporting private industry, housing and other amenities to assist the growing market of science and technology in our region. This group offers connectivity, networking and resources for new science and technology businesses coming to the area.
For these reasons, the region was selected to host the Department of Energy Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program and will serve as the development site for X-Energy’s modular reactor serving the TRi-Energy Partnership with Grant PUD and Energy Northwest. In support of this innovation, The Port of Benton developed a clean energy collaboration hub—Washington VERTical—developing a supply chain alliance to support next generation energy technology.
“Port of Benton is Washington State’s inland center of technological and logistical innovation,” said Diahann Howard, PPM executive director for Port of Benton. “Our community boasts lower utility rates and generous cost efficiencies in land development and logistics to global markets while providing a high-quality living.”
An industry-led coalition is positioning Washington State as the premier clean energy innovation hub to source and provide solutions for this rapidly changing market. Exciting things are happening in Richland, come be a part of the growth, excitement and success.
For more information or to discuss your project visit DiscoverRichland.com.
Camp Hall: Discover The Abundant Business Benefits Of This Next-Generation Commerce Park
As a next-generation commerce park located in the fast-growing and highly desirable Charleston, SC, region, Camp Hall offers a broad range of advantages to businesses looking to open, relocate or expand operations in one of the nation’s most business-friendly environments.
Consider these advantages that Camp Hall—the No. 1 (and only ranked) commerce park in the Southeast, per Business Facilities’ 17th annual Rankings Report—can deliver for your business:
Location: Situated a short drive from thriving Charleston, Camp Hall offers easy access to the global marketplace via connected interstate routes, regional airports and the nearby Port of Charleston, the deepest port on the eastern seaboard. Home to Volvo Car USA, Camp Hall also boasts a brand-new I-26 interchange that provides direct campus access, and Palmetto Railways’ new industrial line will soon connect Camp Hall to the CSX railroad. Further, the Charleston region boasts a rapidly growing, diverse workforce of more than 500,000—and that’s not counting the 40,000-plus students in the area’s colleges and trade schools.
Business Climate: Ranked the nation’s No.7 industrial park by Business Facilities magazine in 2021—marking the second consecutive year it has received the honor—Camp Hall enjoys a great business climate, largely thanks to its location in South Carolina. Well known as a haven for business, the Palmetto State was recently chosen by industry experts participating in a magazine survey focused on corporate site selection as the top state in the nation when it comes to economic development incentives. It was also named the fourth best state in which to do business in another industry magazine’s 2021 rankings, and the fifth best state for business climate in a separate industry magazine’s 2019 rankings.
Infrastructure: Camp Hall, which has seen more than $200 million in investment over the past six months, has a range of 13- to 600-acre, build-ready tracts available right now. And with easy access to a range of enterprise-grade utilities—including onsite electric, water, wastewater and gas—plus highly enhanced communication services such as fiber, wireless and Wi-Fi, it also provides the physical and technological infrastructure needed for explosive industry growth. To top all of this off, a thriving collection of small businesses and conveniences called Avian Commons is being built into the heart of the commerce park, to help the workforce balance work with the necessities of daily life. And the park’s award-winning environmental design incorporates nature trails for walking, jogging and biking as part of a commitment to supporting local ecosystems and preserving land devoted to natural growth and thriving wildlife habitats.
To see all the benefits that next-generation commerce park Camp Hall can provide to support your business’s needs, visit the Camp Hall website. To learn more about campus availability for your business plans, view Camp Hall’s available sites. And if you have any questions at all about the master- planned commerce park, don’t hesitate to contact Camp Hall today.