Growing our local economy takes on many different faces. On Tuesday November 26, 2013 Wisconsin Rapids celebrated one of those faces when the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced the ‘Certified Sites’ designation of a 51-acre parcel in Rapids East Commerce Park. The WEDC certification of the site is an important marker of our economic growth efforts in the City. In this post I will explain the significance of the designation.
So what does this mean for Wisconsin Rapids residents?
1. The designation certifies that the site is ‘shovel-ready,’ and gives prospective developers the assurance that most, if not all, of the lengthy site studies have been completed. This means that we can start building and developing sooner, creating more jobs and opportunities for commerce in our community. Further, the timeline from concept to necessary approvals for breaking ground and beginning construction is drastically reduced.
2. The site’s certification grants the City of Wisconsin Rapids listing on all of WEDC’s marketing efforts alongside 12 other certified sites. This means WEDC will advertise the City of Wisconsin Rapids as an optimal location for development.
3. As Wisconsin’s official Economic Development organization, the designation will go national and international through WEDC’s business attraction efforts. This means national and international business developers will be advertised to about the City’s certified site, making Wisconsin Rapids a recognized location.
4. The designation demonstrates that our city has taken a proactive approach, is competitive, and has distinct advantages. This means developers and investors on shorter timelines are more likely to be interested in Wisconsin Rapids as a location for building and expanding business than other non-certified communities in the state.
The WEDC’s Certified Sites designation ensures that the standards are in place for industrial site certification. The Wisconsin Rapids East Commerce Center being named as a Certified Site communicates to prospective developers that the key approvals, documentations and assessments commonly required for industrial development uses are already completed. Thus, increasing the comfort level of developers and investors considering our region by removing unknowns about the site and accelerating the implementation timeline of projects.
I first spoke of Wisconsin Rapids’ intent to pursue the Certified Site designation for our Rapids East Commerce Center during my State of the City address in January 2013. I stated that getting ourselves on the map was essential for economic growth and development. Our city industrial parks, with available land, possess unique amenities compared to those in other parts of the state.
With the City’s available land, labor force, business-friendly attitude, and openness to partnerships, I believe we have a formula for competitiveness.
To support economic growth we must continuously support opportunities both for residents and businesses. As a city, we need to continue to diversify, build on our existing assets, be proactive in our investments and planning, and work collaboratively within our region.
Having a site in our Rapids East Commerce Center join the WEDC’s list of certified sites solidifies a direct partnership between the City of Wisconsin Rapids and the State of Wisconsin in marketing our available land on a national and international level to developers and investors looking for sites to expand or locate companies. This site alone creates the potential for hundreds of new jobs and millions in new tax base for the City. Now we must begin to leverage the site’s certification to secure a good tenant.
Our efforts show that the City of Wisconsin Rapids is taking a proactive approach to supporting the collective economic well-being right here in central Wisconsin. The past decade has been a time of economic turbulence. However, renewing Wisconsin Rapids economic well-being takes on many faces, and the recent announcement of WEDC’s certification of the site is proof of our positive economic progress. Growing our local economy is a journey that will never be complete and we must never allow ourselves to grow tired, lose hope, or possess any attitude other than a positive one.
Visit WEDC’s annoucement here: http://inwisconsin.com/press_releases/wisconsin-rapids-certified/
Watch the announcement here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMuIMv08D2s