Certified Sites Keep You In the Game
While any number of factors may eventually land a new company, it's always real estate — having a good, ready site in a great location — that initially attracts attention. And just as important as having that good building, industrial park or development is being able to prove to companies up front that the location meets their needs.
Lee County is now certifying a new, 600-acre tract of land to make that guarantee for new and expanding companies. Performing geotechnical and environmental studies, confirming utility specifications and assembling essential information about the location make it easier for the site to pass through early rounds of elimination.
"Certified" is used because it is the designation in North Carolina for industrial sites that are ready for development. The North Carolina Certified Sites Program includes a stringent review process that considers more than 30 criteria. Other states have similar designations — they're often called "qualified" or "ready" sites — and the growing number of site-qualification programs across the United States shows that more and more companies expect communities to have done their homework.
Lee County's site is already attractive because of its prime location, solid infrastructure, easy access to transportation and close proximity to another vibrant industrial park. But completing the certification process also means the county will be able to check "yes" right away to almost every question asked by a company official or site-selection consultant.
Being able to answer those questions, eliminate unknown risks and prove it all with state certification will keep Lee County in the game.
Author: Crystal Morphis, Creative Economic Development Consulting LLC, Interim, Lee County Economic Development