Area Development Magazine Shares Top Site Selection Factors

July 31st, 2018

Northeast Indiana Well Positioned to Attract New Business

To help us reach our goal of increasing business investment in Northeast Indiana, we must pay close attention to industry publications and our competitive business climate. A recent list by Area Development Magazine once again affirms Northeast Indiana’s top selling features.

According to Area Development Magazine’s Annual Corporate Survey, the top 10 most important site selection factors include:

  1. Highway accessibility
  2. Labor costs
  3. Availability of skilled labor
  4. Quality of life
  5. Tax exemptions
  6. Occupancy or construction costs
  7. Proximity to major markets
  8. Corporate tax rate
  9. State and local incentives
  10. Available land

Indiana continues to remain competitive with its tax and incentive structure. Historically known as the Crossroads of America and strengthened by Governor Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Roads program, Northeast Indiana maintains our standing as one of the best places to transport goods.

Over the past several years, much time and necessary attention has been given to labor and quality of life issues in Northeast Indiana. Other concerns such as the availability of land and buildings often receive less attention. However, listed No. 10 and No. 14 are available land and available buildings, respectively.

What does that mean for Northeast Indiana?

Over the past 8 months, the Regional Partnership Site Selection and Spec Building committee chaired by Ashley Savieo with Indiana Michigan Power and Rob Young with Hagerman Construction, along with several LEDOs, brokers and developers, has taken an inventory of the physical assets of land and buildings in Northeast Indiana. Most of this information is readily available on the Regional Partnership's sites and buildings database. However, the inventory matrix allows us to create a clear narrative around the need for larger parcels of shovel-ready land, the development of spec buildings and the redevelopment of existing industrial buildings.

In addition to the work of the committee, Northeast Indiana is facilitating conversation about the impact of recent real estate trends. In July, we welcomed about 50 business and community leaders at our Trends in Real Estate Luncheon led by Sarah Salisbury of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Property trends, sites and buildings availability continues to be a critical conversation to the region’s attraction efforts.

According to the Zacher Company’s Annual Industrial Market Survey, “The vacancy rate at the beginning of 2018 was 4.6 percent, which is the lowest in the 15 years the Zacher Company has tracked industrial data.”

As we work to attract new businesses and grow our population, increasing, preparing and improving our available sites and buildings will be crucial to our success.