t is the largest industrial park in Oklahoma. At 9,000 acres in size, it is also regarded as the largest rural industrial park in the nation. But, what is really important to prospects is the impact that MidAmerica Industrial Park can have on their bottom line.
When MidAmerica's management team tells prospective companies about their suite of competitive advantages, visitors welcome the news that can really make a difference to their company.
Perhaps it is the location. "We're in the middle of the nation at the crossroads of two important interstate highways, Highway 69 and Highway 412. I think we are pretty well positioned to yield supply-chain solutions to handle almost any challenge," said Larry Williams, General Manager for the park. From its central location, MidAmerica can deliver a "same day" logistics punch to nearly one-third of the nation. In addition, lead rails traverse many sections of the park and there's even an on-site Regional Business Airport that is jet-certified for most corporate business aircraft. Just 15 minutes away, an inland waterway port provides barge transportation as yet another option for year-round convenience.
Maybe it is the cost and variety of utilities to be found on-site. There are two natural gas transport suppliers. The primary electrical provider to the park's industries has its major source of power generation on-site for more reliable service. There are two transmission substations and five distribution substations conveniently located throughout the park. Prospects can expect megawatts of savings compared to other locations in the Sunbelt.
Is water important? To major users, it can be a critical element of their operations. At MidAmerica, it can flow in abundance. The park owns both water and wastewater treatment plants. Rates lead the nation in affordability and companies that need a million gallons per day – or more – can be served without problem.
Seeking a skilled workforce? MidAmerica industries enjoy some of the nation's most productive employees. And, to assure that your labor force remains competitive in a global economy, you can keep their skill sets sharp at one of two nationally-regarded on-site training facilities. Plus, a leading four-year state university is under construction at the park to offer advanced learning options.
Another competitive advantage includes a tradition of helping firms get more money to their bottom line. "We can often help a company reduce operating costs by 20-70% and that's a pretty big deal in uncertain times like we have now," said Don Berger, MidAmerica's Marketing Director. Even MidAmerica's hometown has the dollar-stretching spirit. For several years, Pryor Creek has been listed as among the top ten for low costs according to the quarterly ACCRA Cost of Living Index.
For plant sites, MidAmerica has no shortage of options. Several spec buildings are almost always available. There's a 115,500 square-foot facility that served as a luxury motor coach manufacturing plant for nearly two decades. Two 30,000 square-foot buildings are also available. Numerous Greenfield sites are offered, too — along with many "BuildNow" shovel-ready sites that enable companies to start construction immediately and avoid all the "red tape and zoning commission" issues. For example, Google chose a BuildNow site for a data center which became operational in September of 2011 as the latest part of their international data center network.
"When we search for a data center site, we have very specific criteria such as the caliber of the workforce, the right business climate and the infrastructure to support the power and technical needs of our operations. MidAmerica fit the bill and have surpassed our expectations," said Joe Kava, Google Senior Director, Data Center Construction and Operations.
The facility represents the newest in a fleet of highly-efficient Google data centers that use half the energy of a typical data center. The company already has over 100 employees with more to be hired when the second similar-sized data center goes on-line.
Need more incentives? Come and get 'em. Oklahoma's Quality Jobs Program could be worth millions to qualified companies. Numerous other income tax credits, sales tax exclusions, and ad valorem exemptions are also available.
Founded in October of 1961, MidAmerica has accrued a "blue chip" roster of over 80 companies that includes divisions of many Fortune / Global 500 firms. It has been recognized by leading economic development publications as a top-ranked expansion or relocation site and has been named as a "Certified Industrial Park" by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Additional details about MidAmerica can be found on their website: www.maip.com.
usiness parks are comprised of improved, ready-to-go lots upon which developers and owner-users can build distribution, manufacturing, research and development, and office facilities. Business parks are often located near major highways and airports to facilitate the value-added processes and movement of people, goods and services.
Most major urban areas are already "built out," making the development of new business parks of relevant size economically impractical because they would have to demolish existing buildings to create ready-to-go land. The development of a business park just outside a city, however, provides added economic stimulus for developers to create retail and housing near the business park for the benefit of current and future workers in the park, adding more value to the enterprise.
Corporations and their site selectors understand that the primary criterion for investing into a community is whether or not there is a business park with ready-to-go land nearby with lot sizes and other attributes that fit their needs. Area amenities, a good work force, and even attractive government incentives are often not enough to bring businesses to an area without shovel-ready land. The time cost and risk of obtaining necessary entitlements will often cause even a "good" un-entitled site to be less preferred than an "average" ready-to-go site in an existing business park. The best way for a community to signal the corporate world that they are ready and willing to participate more in the global marketplace for manufacturing, R&D, and distribution work is to facilitate the construction of a business park.
Redding, California — located in Shasta County mid-way between Seattle and Los Angeles — has worked with local partners since 2000 to create an approximately 700-acre business park called Stillwater Business Park. The first phase of the park has the capacity to provide approximately 100 acres of ready-to-go land for a single user. The City of Redding is the lead developer for the project and plans to benefit over time from the approximately 700-acre business park by attracting businesses and significantly expanding the local employment base with ready-to-go land in one of Northern California's largest cities surrounded by world-class recreational, cultural and sporting opportunities. Redding has made the initial investment to create this business park. By doing so, the community can look forward to enhanced employment opportunities and corporate investment near their homes.
In the current economic slowdown, the temptation for many private developers has been to shelve or postpone business park projects. Stillwater Business Park has continued forward and has recently received funding that will help create the second phase of the park. As the economy turns around and corporations and their site selectors expand their operations and seek more location alternatives, projects such as Stillwater Business Park will benefit from its forward planning and community commitment, which will ensure more economic growth for the area.
John Troughton is a Senior Director operating out of the Oakland, Calif., office of Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., a global real estate services company. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.