LANSING, Mich. — Shovel-ready sites eliminate the guess work for companies who are in decision making mode for new locations, which gives communities with shovel-ready sites a strategic advantage as they work to attract new businesses. With $240,000 from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) new Site Readiness Improvement grant program, the Lansing region is armed with another proactive business attraction tool. Four strategic sites across the region, located in the City of Leslie, City of Lansing, Village of Webberville and Next Michigan Development Corporation (NMDC, Lansing/Dewitt Township) shared in partnership with Capital Region Airport Authority, will soon take large strides in preparing development-ready properties.
“Business location decisions are complex and competition within the business attraction realm is fierce,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “The ability to showcase shovel-ready sites sends the message that our community is ready to go and will waste no time helping businesses in this decision-making process. Thank you to the MEDC for recognizing preparation of these key sites is critical and congratulations to the cities of Leslie and Lansing, the Village of Webberville and NMDC and the Capital Region Airport Authority on this great opportunity.”
MEDC’s Site Readiness Improvement program encourages Vetted Site Standards, which establish a pathway to shovel-ready projects that companies desire, or even require in some cases. NMDC’s Port Lansing application, a key location for manufacturing and distribution, focuses on achieving many of these standards. “From a conceptual building site layout and pre-engineering, to stormwater capacity and utility analyses, Port Lansing looks to be ready for and invite further development here at the region’s international logistics hub,” says Bob Showers, NMDC chair.
The City of Lansing’s site, which entails 50 undeveloped acres with frontage and access to I-96, has been encumbered by environmental concerns, land assembly and wetland and geotechnical assessments; issues which can be addressed through the site-readiness grant funds. “There is great potential for what this site could be one day soon. The City is working hard to move at the speed of business to develop important properties like this and continue to grow Lansing,” said Andy Schor, Mayor of Lansing.
Increasing the catalog of available and buildable sites for an investment-ripe region aligns directly with LEAP’s and MEDC’s strategic business attraction efforts. LEAP currently hosts an online database of available properties [purelansing.com] which already includes both Village of Webberville and City of Leslie industrial parks as featured sites. For Webberville, extending utility infrastructure deeper into the park will be an added asset to showcase on the database. For Leslie, specialized marketing looks to bring business to the park, rounding out its site readiness — something that Leslie has long sought after but has been unable to do.
“Many smaller communities struggle due to a of lack of resources, staffing or broad array of experience in development,” said Susan Montenegro, City Manager for Leslie. “Both the City and the Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) are grateful for the guidance, encouragement and leadership LEAP continues to offer to our community.”
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