When we hear the term “economic development,” it can conjure up many images – industrial parks, tax increment financing, new jobs, tax credits, company recruitment, business retention, entrepreneurs, investment, growth, and yes, design and construction (music to my ears). Economic development is not any one of these things; it is all of them in some combination. It is a team sport.
In this edition of the StoryLine (Spring 2010), you will read about the project we recently completed for Generation Repair & Service, GRS. This economic development effort is a shining example of this team sport in action! The remainder of this article will simply highlight the role these team members played in this economic development effort. It is a great story that deserves to be a candidate for a made-for-TV movie.
State of Iowa – The governor’s office and the state of Iowa have made wind a priority in promotion and Iowa Code provisions.
Iowa Department of Economic Development – The department has dedicated staff and programs for wind that have built a reputation in the wind industry for earning a look at new opportunities.
City of Story City – The city council and administration is growth friendly and focused on making it happen. They have a reputation of caring for its existing businesses.
Story City Economic Development – This group of volunteer economic development folks works closely with the city and very proudly and simply promoted the virtues of Story City.
Ames Economic Development – Ames works with Story City to promote Story County as a place for companies to locate and in the process, interfaces with the State of Iowa and the programs available to companies.
Spec. Building Owners – GRS ended up buying a 30,000 SF spec. building that was owned by Story Construction investors. Having a building under roof was an important jumpstart to progress.
Existing Businesses in Story City – GRS came to look at the vacant Pella Manufacturing facility and determined that it was not a good fit. Also, having Precision Machine and Manufacturing Company as a neighbor and service provider was helpful.
Design Partners – We assembled a design team willing to work quickly and effectively to design this facility in a short amount of time.
Subcontractors and Suppliers – We had a team of construction partners on the project that hit every milestone for delivery and installation to complete this facility in record time.
Owner – GRS was a great owner. They staffed the project to be successful and committed the resources necessary to keep up with the process. They were a smart owner that focused on the details without losing sight of the big picture.
As I said, the story is a great one. It will be part of our lore for a long time. The orchestrated effort of all of these players and the people involved is everything that is good about economic development. We were fortunate to be part of this team. There is no way we could do it alone. Economic development is a team sport.