County site tops state list of acreage ready to develop

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

Some open ground in northeastern Wood County has made it on the short list of top acreage ripe and ready for development in Ohio.

A 224-acre area in the Eastwood Commerce Center has been designated as one of Ohio’s first “SiteOhio Authenticated” sites. The acreage, just north of the new Home Depot warehouse, is located off Pemberville Road, south of U.S. 20.

“This means the site has undergone a comprehensive usability audit, has gone through all the necessary due diligence, and is now ready for immediate development. This gives the Wood County site a major competitive advantage because it saves businesses which are looking to expand/relocate time and money – increasing their speed to market,” said John Gibney, Northwest Regional Growth Partnership vice president of communications and marketing.

JobsOhio and its regional partners announced Tuesday that eight Ohio sites have been named SiteOhio authenticated. When a project is verified with the SiteOhio seal, it is guaranteed to be ready for development on day one, saving businesses time and money.

The project designates properties within the state that have infrastructure and utilities already in place, avoiding incompatible use and ensuring the property can get to market faster. Each site undergoes a usability audit to ensure it is intuitively positioned for optimal access.

“They made sure it had everything ready to build on should a company decide to locate there,” said Wade Gottschalk, executive director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission.

Locations throughout Ohio were evaluated by an independent site consultant from South Carolina, Gottschalk said.

The review found the Eastwood Commerce Center, which has a total of 750 acres, includes all utilities – sewer, electric, natural gas, fiber and excess water capacity; has all due diligence studies completed; is rail served by CSX; and is visible from Route 20. The site is within 45 miles of a population of 821,000 and has proximity for flights at both Toledo Express and Detroit Metropolitan Airports, and is within 15 miles of the Port of Toledo.

JobsOhio will market the site to businesses looking for new locations.

“They know they are ready to go for development,” Gottschalk said of the “Site Ohio” locations. Companies looking for a site, “will be more comfortable narrowing it down as a finalist.”

“It’s a great privilege to be part of the program,” Gottschalk said. “This will benefit Wood County to be on the list of eight.”

The other counties on the list are sites in Richland, Highland, Hocking, Crawford, Fayette and two in Clark counties.