In this competitive global economy, businesses must relentlessly analyze and identify opportunities to enhance their positions. For companies considering a new location, that analysis begins with the site selection process. There are dozens upon dozens of factors tied to site selection. Knowing that often times drawn-out process, communities across the country are becoming more aggressive in “preparing” their potential sites for consideration. More and more, economic developers in collaboration with private sector partners are certifying sites and then beyond that, constructing spec buildings.

And Northwest Ohio is at the forefront of that movement in preparing sites for immediate development. This has included getting sites certified and authenticated as well as constructing spec buildings. Without question, such proactive initiatives have played a major role in Northwest Ohio’s successful economic development efforts, which just last year, produced nearly 6,000 new jobs and $3.2 billion of capital investment for the 17-county region.

Already, Northwest Ohio communities have constructed more than a dozen spec buildings, most of which are now filled. And many more are in the planning stages. In addition, nearly a dozen sites have been designated as certified and authenticated, meaning they are ready for immediate development.

And those aggressive efforts are for good reason. National site consultants say those communities preparing sites put themselves ahead of the competition.

“Economic development has become increasingly competitive, so having shovel-ready inventory, whether a site or building, gets your community a ticket into the dance,” said Jason Hamman, president, Hamman Consulting Group.

Dana Corporation’s new high-tech axle manufacturing facility located at Overland Industrial Park.
For those companies seeking new sites, that is where communities like Northwest Ohio can first build their advantages. Consider these significant benefits for businesses seeking new sites:

* Overall risk reduction

* Speed to market

* Reduces development costs

* Saves time (potentially 6-12 months with spec buildings)

* Spec buildings still allow for client customization

* Demonstrates a community is ready for development & business friendly

Regional Growth Partnership

– Stacy Adam of Van Wert receives an award from AEP’s Tim Wells for completion of site certification.

“When you certify a site, you take all the risk away for our clients. And that’s what our clients are looking for – risk mitigation,” said Tim Feemster, a national site consultant who manages corporate site searches as managing principal with Foremost Quality Logistics.

Indeed, certified sites and spec buildings can be a major incentive for companies, especially those looking to move quickly to get a new facility up and running, according to Business Facilities magazine. Those site advantages provide potential corporate decision makers with less worry about surprises emerging that could delay a project’s speedy completion. That time-savings is a valuable commodity.