Economic Development News
Business Attraction - a year in review
Excerpt from the 2014 Annual Report - Business Attraction
Published: Monday, April 20, 2015
By: Missy Bonnot, Director, Economic Development
At a recent project announcement Senator Kehoe was discussing Business Attraction. He used the analogy that to attract a company to a community you have to kiss a lot of frogs and turn over a lot of rocks.
In 2014, we worked 28 business attraction projects which is the second largest amount since 2007. Those projects represented many different industry sectors. Projects come in many shapes and sizes, some look for an existing building while others prefer to build their own building.
Two projects we worked visited Jefferson City over the summer.
We started working with Project Aluminum in April and initially all we knew about them was they were an aluminum recycling plant. They were looking for 75,600 square feet of existing space and they were going to create 233 jobs. The company was going to invest $51.1 million in the building, land and equipment.
After reviewing information from 10 communities in Missouri and many other communities in four other states we were notified the company was going to make a site visit to Jefferson City!
Ultimately, Jefferson City was eliminated from their search. The reason was based on their due diligence it would be costly for them to finish out the proposed building to their specifications and when they expanded the building they feared they would be land locked to make any additional expansions in the future.
Project Osaka was a very large project. The company was looking for 250 acres and would employ up to 1200 people and invest $100 million into the community they selected.
We showed the company land in our Industrial Park and we thought it would be a good fit for their manufacturing facility.
However, six days after we were eliminated from Project Aluminum, we learned we were eliminated from Project Osaka. The reason provided to us was it would be too costly to add necessary infrastructure and the site lacked visibility.
Business Attraction is a long and very competitive process. It takes years to develop a lead and for that lead to turn into a project and hopefully, turn into a new business location. The Chamber owns and develops land in the Partnership Business Park as a part of its ongoing economic development program to acquire, develop and offer industrial sites for sale to companies who provide new jobs and investment in the community. Other companies that have taken advantage of this program in recent years in the Partnership Business Park include Scholastic, Modern Litho-Print Company, Alpla, Inc., Command Web, Fabick and the newest company, Morris Converting.
Since 2006, the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce has spent over $4 million dollars of its own resources to acquire property, develop road access, provide utilities and make sites certified for industrial development. The Chamber has provided land parcels below market value as an economic development incentive to companies that create jobs and capital investment in our community.
We are off to a good start for 2015! Special Olympics Missouri announced at the beginning of the year Jefferson City is the location the new Training for Life Campus on the south part of town. This will be a one of a kind 44,000 square foot training facility that is modeled off the U.S. Olympic training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In addition, Continental Commercial Products recently announced they are locating to the former RR Donnelley building at 312 Wilson and creating 200 jobs. They plan to be operational by the end of 2015.
Congratulations to Special Olympics and welcome CCP to Jefferson City.