Iowa Certifies Site on the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant campusWritten by Theresa Rose on June 14, 2016
Burlington-area site joins 11 sites in Iowa that are part of the Iowa Certified Site program
(MIDDLETOWN) – Governor Terry Branstad announced today that the Commerce Center of Southeast Iowa is the latest industrial site to achieve certification through the Iowa Certified Site Program that is administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The site, just west of Burlington, joins 11 other sites in the state that have been designated as project-ready.
The Commerce Center of Southeast Iowa encompasses 152.9 acres within the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) in Middletown. The Commerce Center is unique in that it is the only site in the Iowa program to be located on a federally owned military installation.
“In today’s economy, the competition to attract job creation projects is steep, so looking for every possible advantage is crucial. The Iowa Certified Site Program gives us that edge,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “This site is particularly unique because of its location on a military installation. Community leaders, the Army and Congress all had to come together to make today a reality, and I commend them for their hard work and dedication to achieving site certification.”
Because of the site’s location on federal property at the IAAAP, no zoning restrictions exist and services such as ambulance, EMT, fire rescue, and security are available right on site. However, to meet the Iowa Certified Site Program criteria, it took an act of Congress to increase the lease duration on the land from the normal 25 years to 50 years. Senator Grassley, Senator Ernst and Congressman Loebsack were all instrumental in passing that critical legislation.
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 12 additional sites are currently working their way through various phases of the program. The next round of applications will be accepted in 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 www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/SiteLocation/CertifiedSite.