One hundred and seventy-three acres of land on Iowa City’s east side were awarded “Certified Shovel Ready Iowa” status during the Iowa City City Council Meeting on May 15, 2012. Jonathan Gemmen, representing Austin Consulting of Cleveland, Ohio, presented the letter of certification to Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek.
Gemmen noted in his letter that the industrial park’s proximity to rail, the city’s investment in infrastructure and the city’s growth strategy align this industrial park with the tight project timelines typical of today’s manufacturers.
“We’ve been working with Austin Consulting and the City of Iowa City for several years to obtain this certification,” said Mark Nolte, ICAD Group Interim President. “Since announcing its application, we have seen more interest in the park from manufacturing companies in wind energy and other industries. We look forward to sharing this official announcement with these potential projects.”
“Shovel Ready Iowa” was created by ICAD Group as an independent, third-party certification program designed to reduce risk for local communities and property owners as well as companies researching Iowa’s Creative Corridor for business location or expansion. The goal of the program is to create an inventory of available sites that are fully-served and ready for immediate development. The program is available in Linn, Johnson, Jones, Benton, Iowa, Cedar and Washington counties. Property can be certified in one of five categories.
“We continue to work with developers, property owners, cities, and utility partners to identify new properties for certification,” added Nolte. “Austin Consulting is currently reviewing potential applications for property in Marion, Cedar Rapids, Coralville and North Liberty.”
Iowa City’s industrial park, known as the Wind Energy Supply Chain Campus, is the third regional site be certified in the past two years. The Tipton Business Park and three sites at the University of Iowa Research Park were the first to receive “shovel-ready” status.
The Wind Energy Supply Chain Campus will be independently marketed and featured shovelreadyiowa.com. This website serves as the primary source of information on the shovel ready certification program, certified properties and properties currently under application. The campus is certified in the “Manufacturing” category, demonstrating it can accommodate a broad range of investment opportunities by offering a flexible operating environment that supports heavy and process manufacturing facilities. Its proximity to highway access, workforce training, air service and rail were also considered in the certification process.