Understanding the need to further develop sites for potential investment and the growth of the regional economy, Northwest Ohio is capitalizing on a newly created program from JobsOhio.

Land-Air Industrial Park recently unveiled a new 105,000 square-foot spec building in Swanton across from Toledo Express Airport. Construction of the building, which is scheduled to be completed in December, is being supported through JobsOhio’s new Ohio Site Inventory Program, which offers grants and low-interest loans to support speculative site and building development projects.

“JobsOhio was gracious enough through the OSIP program to help us with the infrastructure to get the roadway in and the electric to the building. Without that, this project would not have happened,” said Brent Gerken, president, Land-Air Development.

The Ohio Site Inventory Program (OSIP) was established to create property within the state that is not being developed by the market, but that has proven demand and known economic benefit. This program will lay the foundation for development opportunities for Ohio prospects, improving the state’s competitive edge with respect to attracting new investment and job creation

“Every day, Ohio is competing with other states to attract investment and jobs, which is why JobsOhio and its partners are making it as easy as possible for businesses to succeed here,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO.

Prospective tenants at this new spec site will have direct access to logistics assets including highway, rail and airport, as well as access to a slip ramp from the Ohio Turnpike (I-80 and I-90) to allow triple trailers.

For several years, the Regional Growth Partnership has prioritized product development in its work with local developers and economic development communities. The RGP realized companies that were seeking to expand or relocate wanted more than just open land, and the existing inventory within the region wasn’t always meeting the needs of business. So over the last few years, approximately 14 spec buildings have gone up across the Northwest Ohio region, and many of those have already been filled.

And bringing this new JobsOhio program to the table presents even more opportunities for communities and businesses, according to RGP President and CEO Dean Monske.

“We believe having available sites and spec buildings is one of the most important things we can do in economic development for Northwest Ohio,” Monske said. “Site location decisions are often made so quickly that you have to have product available if you’re going to compete. And JobsOhio realizes that need, and they are providing the appropriate programs, like OSIP, to meet that need.”

In addition to the Land-Air building, the region received approval through the new OSIP program to help fund construction of another spec building in Defiance. And several other spec building proposals are being considered.