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  November 3rd, 2014 | Written by

Site Selection Assistance

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Akron, Ohio

Population 199,110
Unemployment: 5.50%
Recent development: Quest Medical Imaging of the Netherlands located its U.S. headquarters here.

The Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce maintains an exclusive commercial real estate database that it makes available to prospective and existing Akron-area businesses to identify suitable sites and buildings. Companies can also use the chamber’s statistical data and information covering all aspects of the tri-county region. The chamber’s economic development team also introduces companies to local and state government officials and regional business leaders and provides personal support throughout the entire relocation or expansion process.

Boise, Idaho

Population: 205,671
Unemployment: 4.50%
Recent development: Involta building a 34,000 square foot data center.

Boise’s Mayor David Bieter is serious about attracting business to his city. He moved his chief business recruiter out of the Office of Planning and Development and into the mayor’s office, providing a higher profile and accountability to the city’s chief executive. Boise’s proactive and two-pronged approach to site selection encourages the development of business-ready sites and the recruitment of the right labor force to the city to attract employers.

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Population: 59,466
Unemployment: 4.80%
Recent development: Microsoft built a $112 million data center.

Cheyenne LEADS is a private nonprofit that coordinates economic development for Cheyenne and Laramie County, serves as a link in assisting site selectors and advises non-retail businesses in all phases of relocation to the area. The organization owns the Cheyenne Business Parkway, a 900-acre business park, and the 620-acre North Range Business Park, both of which have build-to-suit opportunities available.

Columbus, Georgia

Population: 189,885
Unemployment: 9.10%
Recent development: Pratt & Whitney opened 100,000 square foot engine overhaul plant.

The Valley Partnership is the Columbus-area organization that does more than help companies relocate to the region: It actively recruits them. As of June 2014, the partnership was pursuing 37 deals worth more than $200 million in investments. Columbus benefits from Georgia’s free-of-charge, customized workforce training program. The city government promises streamlined regulatory and permitting processes, two factors that have attracted $3 billion in new investment and 20,000 new jobs in the past 10 years.

Denver, Colorado

Population: 600,158
Unemployment: 5.20%
Recent development: Fidelity Investments opened a new regional site, creating 500 jobs.

The Denver Office of Economic Development helps companies find buildings and sites to meet their needs. Denver has many interesting commercial and industrial areas, including: Stapleton, a former airport and the largest urban redevelopment project in the country; the Denver Connection, a 400-acre master planned, mixed-use development; the Denver Technology Center, 14 million square feet of mixed-use space; and Lowry, a former Air Force base redeveloped into a 1,866-acre mixed-use location.

Dublin, Ohio

Population: 41,751
Unemployment: 4.90%
Recent development: Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Inc. expanding its corporate headquarters.

Dublin’s Economic Development Department provides concierge services and resources to companies considering moving or expanding, coordinating with state and local economic development partners to meet prospects’ specifications and deadlines. A cross-functional Review Services team is comprised of building, planning and engineering specialists who review plans in a coordinated fashion. The Economic Development folks attend permit review meetings to facilitate the approval process.

Omaha, Nebraska

Population: 408,958
Unemployment: 4.20%
Recent development: Commodities trader Gavilon opened $44 million headquarters downtown.

Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle plays an active role in recruiting businesses to his city with an emphasis on the redevelopment of older areas. He recently assembled a 70-acre tract to create four shovel-ready industrial sites and took an active role in the $350 million Midtown Crossing redevelopment. Suttle is currently recruiting developers for the redevelopment of four downtown city blocks. In 2013, Greater Omaha generated $1 billion in new investment and 4,500 new jobs.

Riverside, California

Population: 313,617
Unemployment: 9.6%
Recent development: Clean-energy provider SolarCity opened an operations center.

Riverside’s Office of Economic Development assigns prospective companies a Business Liaison to serve as a point of contact through the site selection process through permitting and final inspections. The liaison compiles lists of potential sites for consideration, advises on zoning codes and provides feedback about additional permitting considerations. The city also employs a Technology Ombudsman to help tech companies looking to establish a presence in Riverside.

Waxahachie, Texas

Population: 29,621
Unemployment: 5.10%
Recent development: Australian building products company James Hardie expanded its operations.

The Waxahachie Economic Development Center understands the complexity of the site selection process and is committed to helping companies make their relocation projects run smoothly. The center has the expertise and resources to make informed location decisions efficiently. The center’s online database allows companies to preview potential sites based upon their requirements and obtain information on infrastructure, zoning, demographics and more. The city is expending particular efforts to attract companies to its restored historical downtown.

Westerville, Ohio

Population: 36,120
Unemployment: 4.30%
Recent development: Century Insurance relocating and expanding.

Westerville doesn’t just aid companies in selecting sites. The city has directly invested tens of millions of dollars in economic development projects–two of the most recent: Altair and Westar–that have yielded millions of square feet of office, retail, hospitality and health-care space. These projects have created thousands of jobs and expanded the tax base, allowing the city to recoup its investments.

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