CEO’s Report: Certified Ready

Preparation is key to any success and economic development is no different.

Three Heartland customer communities have made a giant leap in preparing for future development.

Madison, Colman and Arlington have sites that are now certified and ready for development under the South Dakota Certified Ready Sites (CRS) program.

Arlington, Colman and Madison’s Certified Ready industrial parks, as pictured on the GOED’s website.

The CRS program is an economic development tool available to cities, counties, and developers in the state. The purpose is to promote commercial and industrial sites that are development ready. It is operated under the supervision of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

The CRS Program is one of the best ways to get your community on a business’s short list because it assures them they are receiving the most accurate, detailed information about the site including availability, utilities, access and environmental concerns.

Selecting a certified site mitigates risk for developers, making these sites highly attractive.

Of the five certified sites in the state, three are in Heartland customer communities and we are proud to have helped make these certifications possible.

Heartland provided economic development grants to all three communities to assist with certification costs and marketing.

Madison’s Lakeview Industrial Park was previously certified in 2014. The CRS program added some additional requirements in 2016 – soil borings and an archaeological assessment – so Madison put the additional work in to be re-certified.

The Lakeview Industrial Park is home to businesses such as Custom Touch Homes, SlyDog, Global Polymer, Raven, Heartland and more. There are currently 45 acres available for development.

Arlington and Colman are the two smallest communities with certified sites.

The Arlington Industrial Park is home to newly constructed Interstate Batteries and has another 36 acres ready for development. The Hillcrest Industrial Park in Colman is located just 2 ½ miles from Interstate 29 along Highway 34 and consists of just over 100 acres.

Certification also comes with marketing opportunities.

GOED is partnering with architectural firm ISG to draw attention to South Dakota’s certified sites. These sites will receive a full assessment to best utilize their site, have drone footage shot to highlight site amenities and will receive digital and/or print marketing materials tailored to the site.

Obtaining CRS status is an extensive process but is well worth the effort. It ensures a site is 100% development ready which is a key selling point for many companies looking to expand or relocate.

Growth and development don’t happen without forethought and planning. Community leaders must be proactive if they want to see their community thrive. For our customers in South Dakota, the CRS program is one of the most effective ways to get on a potential business’s radar.

I assure you the end result is worth the effort.

The South Dakota CRS program is available to all counties, cities, townships, planning districts, business improvement districts and developers in the state.

There are four site classifications from which applicants may choose to apply including: business services/research and development site, light industrial site, heavy industrial site or mega site.

To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit www.sdreadytopartner.com/crs.html.