Shovel Ready Sites 02 Feb 12

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded Shovel Ready certifications to business park developments in Red Wing, Hutchinson, Grand Rapids, Fairmont, Isanti and Centerville.

Shovel Ready certification means a city or developer has completed the planning, zoning, environmental studies, title work, public infrastructure and other pre-construction activities on a designated site. Shovel Ready sites are more attractive to companies that want to move quickly with plans to start up, relocate or expand their operations.

With the latest projects, DEED has now certified 15 sites as Shovel Ready since the program was launched in Minnesota in 2009.

“Shovel Ready sites have a competitive advantage over other sites that haven’t been designated,” said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. “They are a popular tool that city officials can use to attract businesses and new development projects to their communities.”

The following are summaries of the six new Shovel Ready sites:

Red Wing – Red Wing, which has a population of 16,500, is located 60 miles south of the Twin Cities in Goodhue County. The Shovel Ready-certified River Bluffs Business Park has 17 acres available for light industrial development. Tax incentives are available under the Job Opportunity Building Zone (JOBZ) program. The site is owned by the Red Wing Port Authority.

Hutchinson – Hutchinson, a city of 14,100 about 60 miles west of the Twin Cities in McLeod County, is developing the Hutchinson Energy Park. The 47-acre Shovel Ready site has seven parcels available for light industrial development. The site, which is owned by the city of Hutchinson, offers tax incentives under the JOBZ program.

Grand Rapids – Grand Rapids, about 175 miles north of the Twin Cities in Itasca County, has a population of 11,000. The city’s Shovel Ready project is the 21.7-acre Itasca Eco-Industrial Park, owned by the Grand Rapids Economic Development Authority. The parcel, zoned for development as an industrial or business park, is located on a larger 223-acre site that once contained an oriented strand board manufacturing facility.

Fairmont – Fairmont is a city of about 11,000 in Martin County, about 120 miles southwest of the Twin Cities. The Shovel Ready-certified Fairmont Industrial Park is owned by Fairmont Growth Opportunities. The 17-acre site, located just off Interstate 90, is zoned for a light industrial project. The site includes nearby rail access and is eligible for tax incentives under the JOBZ program.

Isanti – Isanti, population 5,000, is located about 30 miles north of the Twin Cities in Isanti County. The Isanti Centennial Complex contains four industrial lots priced at $1each. Other incentives on the 24-acre Shovel Ready site include tax-increment financing, tax abatement and financing below market rates. The site is owned by the city of Isanti.

Centerville – Centerville is a city of about 4,000 in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. Shovel Ready designation was given to the Clearwater Business Park, which is located on a 7.5-acre site, just off Interstate 35E. The site has been zoned for commercial development, including retail businesses, daycare providers, hotels and motels, gas stations, eating and drinking establishments, and offices. The city of Centerville owns the business park.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development.