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    Consultants Praise Central Florida Business Park

    Friday, May 13, 2016
    The Central Florida Business Park on Ham Brown Road in Osceola County received high marks from site location consultants participating in Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program.

    The report was presented at a Greater Osceola Partnership for Economic Prosperity (GOPEP) meeting on Thursday.  In addition to the GOPEP board of directors, representatives of Osceola County, the City of Kissimmee, the City of St. Cloud, the Orlando Economic Development Commission and CareerSource Central Florida also attended.

    “We recognize the importance of ‘shovel-ready’ sites in the competitive world of economic development,” GOPEP and County Board Chairwoman Viviana Janer said at the meeting.  “If we’re prepared, we have a better chance of being considered for job creating projects,” Janer stated.

    The 193 acre site, owned by Chinook LLC and marketed by NAI RealVest, is the first site in Osceola County to participate in the program.  Over 180 sites in the six states served by Duke Energy have been through the process, including seven in Florida.  Twenty projects have located on the sites, creating 4,200 jobs and attracting $3.7 billion in new investment.

    Information on the site and community was gathered by GOPEP from the landowners, local governing bodies, utilities and other agencies and organizations.  A 26-page questionnaire covered issues such as land pricing and availability, zoning, permitted uses, utility services, economic and community information. Attachments to the survey, like property  surveys, zoning maps, wetlands studies, surrounding users, information on nearby employers and wage rates, brought the total package to nearly 200 pages.

    The review process was conducted over a four month period and involved an on-site meeting with a local team of service providers and agencies.  The process mimicked the format used for real projects and included a tour of the site and community.

    McCallum Sweeney representative Lindsey Myers, Senior Consultant, presented information on the competitive nature of economic development today.  Companies have many options from which to choose.  Companies are driven by investment and operating costs.  Complete and accurate information on available sites is critical for a community to prevent being eliminated from consideration.

    Kyle Neu. Consultant with McCallum Sweeney, reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of the Central Florida Business Park and made suggestions for the types of businesses that might be interested in the site.  Pat Gassaway of Heidt Design discussed the lay-out of the property, noting that it had previously been approved for over 2 million square feet of industrial/distribution space.

    “Participating in Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program was very helpful to us,” commented Bill Martin, executive director of GOPEP.  “Not only does it reassure us that we have good sites, but it reminds our allies we are ready for new jobs,” Martin concluded.

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    For more information, contact Bill Martin (407) 742-4251; bmartin@greaterosceola.com