April 27, 2016 – (DES MOINES) The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced that Forest City Rail Park is the latest industrial site to achieve certification through the Iowa Certified Site Program. It joins 11 other sites in the state that have been designated as project-ready.
“The competition for job creation projects is steep, so it is essential that Iowa looks for every possible advantage. The Iowa Certified Site program gives us that edge,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “Forest City has undergone the rigorous certification process and can now tell the world that their site is ‘development-ready.’ I commend the leaders in the community from where I graduated High School for taking a proactive approach to attracting job creation projects.”
The Forest City Rail Park is a 68-acre site adjacent to Winnebago Industries and 3M. Rail service to the site is provided by Iowa Northern Railway and is ideally suited for a transload, distribution or logistics facility. The site is located in Hancock County.
“Forest City Economic Development is extremely excited and pleased to learn of our successful development-ready site certification for our Forest City Rail Industrial Park. We believe that Iowa is a remarkable state in which to do business, and the fact that we are the most northerly-certified site in the state and conveniently located near interstates I-35 and I-90, not to mention rail service, will make this an attractive site for businesses wishing to locate in Iowa.” stated John Roisen, FCED Industrial Committee co-chair and 3M Distribution plant manager.
In an effort to address the lack of project-ready industrial sites in the state, the IEDA rolled out the Iowa Certified Site Program in May 2012. It is an independent, third-party certification program that uses the nationally recognized site selection firm of McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC) as the sole certifying agent. The Iowa Certified Site Program is designed to consider a combination of national site location standards as well as Iowa’s natural assets and industry needs of the state’s targeted sectors.
Site certification is one of the fastest growing trends in the site selection business and by introducing certified sites to the market, Iowa is better able to compete for large scale projects. By going through this rigorous process, developers — working closely with their local officials, utility partners and consultants — are better prepared to market their sites with specific site-related information and community data. All site due diligence is completed and resulting issues are mitigated, making the site “risk-free” and, thus, accelerating the development schedule.
Six subsequent application rounds have been opened since the program was established and 11 additional sites are currently working their way through various phases of the program. The next round of applications will be accepted this July for the following categories:
General Industrial Site: 50 – 249 contiguous acres
Large Site: 250 – 499 contiguous acres
Super Site: 500 – 999 contiguous acres
Mega Site: 1,000+ contiguous acres
General Industrial Park: 100+ acres with one site ≥ 20 acres
Super Park: 500+ acres with one site ≥ 100 acres
For more information about the Iowa Certified Site Program, visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/SiteLocation/CertifiedSite.
For more information about Forest City Industrial Rail Park, contact Beth Bilyeu, Forest City Economic Development Director, 641-585-5560.