WCH Industrial Park meets SiteOhio standards


By Martin Graham - mgraham@recordherald.com



Fayette County joined several other counties recently that qualified for the seal of authentication through SiteOhio, a one-of-a-kind program offered by JobsOhio that guarantees industrial sites are ready for immediate development.

The Washington Court House Industrial Park, a collection of manufacturing and distribution companies located off Robinson Road, was one of 15 sites to receive the seal of authentication.

Companies looking for a perfect location to build in Ohio will have an easier time finding one thanks to a unique site authentication program called SiteOhio, according to officials. The SiteOhio program is a complete site evaluation process that eliminates the need for companies to spend their time and money to analyze a location and push it through the approval process. When companies take this on, they’re investing in a site that might not pass inspection and might require additional capital for improvements.

SiteOhio officials wrote in a press release that the program helps companies get access to sites that minimize risk, reduce costs and increase speed to market, while communities gain construction-ready sites that are more appealing to potential buyers and may help attract jobs to their region.

“Being a SiteOhio community is great for Washington Court House,” Washington Court House City Manager Joe Denen said. “I enjoy working with development projects and I am proud of the work of Chelsie Baker (city director of economic development) and Jamie Gentry (a partner at Enterprise Advisory Group).”

Program consultants put sites through several rounds of rigorous reviews and comprehensive analyses, looking at everything from the size of the area’s workforce to the site’s accessibility to utilities, airports, railroads and interstates. Only sites that meet certain criteria earn the SiteOhio “Seal of Authentication,” guaranteeing they are ready for immediate development.

If a property receives SiteOhio authentication, it means that all due diligence studies have been completed, including a phase I environmental report, a geotechnical study, a Wetlands delineation, a phase I cultural resources study and an endangered species analysis, according to SiteOhio officials. Additionally, it means authorized state and federal entities have reviewed and provided concurrence with the findings of the due diligence studies and all major utilities (electric, gas, water, sewer and fiber) are on-site with verified excess capacities. Finally, the sites have been evaluated for compatible surrounding uses.

With SiteOhio, companies are taking on less risk, and the program streamlines development and alleviates stress on a company’s timeline and bottom line.

JobsOhio — the private, nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and capital investment in Ohio — launched SiteOhio in 2016 in response to the need across the state for more construction-ready industrial sites.

“Companies were coming to Ohio looking for industrial sites to build on, but no one maintained a comprehensive list of available sites and their attributes,” said Kristi Clouse, JobsOhio executive director of operations. “That made it difficult for companies to find locations that met their needs.”

“SiteOhio has enabled us to create an inventory of highly desirable, construction-ready industrial sites, giving Ohio a competitive advantage over other states,” Clouse said. “Now when companies are looking for a project site in Ohio, we can steer them to several outstanding options.”

Besides Fayette County, since SiteOhio’s inception, 14 other sites have received the seal of authentication and have drone video footage available for site consultants who want a bird’s-eye view:

Clark County – NextEdge Research and Technical Park

Clark County – PrimeOhio II Industrial Park

Clermont County – South Afton Industrial Park

Crawford County – Ohio Crossroads Industrial Center

Gallia County – Dan Evans Industrial Park

Greene County – Greene Regional Business Park

Highland County – Leesburg Industrial Park

Highland County – South Central Ohio Industrial Park

Hocking County – Logan Hocking Commerce Park

Richland County – Airport West Industrial Park

Union County – Starkey at Warner Road

Van Wert County – Vision Parkway

Williams County – Bryan North Industrial Park

Wood County – Eastwood Commerce Center

Learn more about SiteOhio and Ohio’s construction ready sites at http://jobs-ohio.com/site-selection.

About JobsOhio

JobsOhio is a private nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion efforts. JobsOhio works with six regional partners across Ohio: Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, Columbus 2020, Dayton Development Coalition, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership and Team NEO.

The information in this article was provided by Washington Court House City Manager Joe Denen and SiteOhio. Learn more at www.jobs-ohio.com. Follow JobsOhio on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.

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By Martin Graham

mgraham@recordherald.com