Having land with basic infrastructure in place and ready for construction — shovel ready — is a great asset for communities that seek additional economic development. Many companies planning to relocate or expand desire land that is in this stage of preparation.
The Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp. is tasked with ensuring the community has such land available for possible investment. It’s had to look at ways to increase the amount of shovel-ready land in the area because of an existing shortage.
Applying to a program offered by Duke Energy Indiana that markets parcels of land for development was a good move in that regard. A 63-acre parcel near Edinburgh, at U.S. 31 and County Road 800N, was selected for the 2017 Site Readiness Program because it is flat and located near the interstate.
The Greater Economic Development Corp. will receive $10,000 from Duke to implement recommendations from consulting and engineering firms that are intended to make the land marketable and attractive for companies looking to make an investment — such as an expansion or relocation. Recommendations could include road improvements, easements or right-of-way improvements, for example.
We applaud the Greater Economic Development Corp. for thinking creatively and pursuing this grant in an effort to spur more economic investment.
Efforts such as this to create more shovel-ready land for development are needed because there is considerable competition among communities for investment. The more assets available that companies need, the more likely they are to expand or move operations to a particular community. When that happens, that’s good news for nearly everyone.