Pine City has added another incentive to bring new business to town. Over 40 acres in the city’s industrial park are now ‘Shovel Ready’, making it one of the few communities statewide to have certified, Shovel Ready lands.
Since 2009, only 18 Minnesota communities have applied for the state’s Shovel Ready Site Certification Program to facilitate the attraction of new business and industry. Pine City became certified in May and joins Cambridge and Isanti as the only Shovel Ready communities in all of East Central Minnesota. Pine City is the only community along I-35 between the Twin Cities and the Twin Ports with the incentive.
“The site certification program makes the site-selection process easier, faster and more predictable for companies that are looking to grow here in Minnesota,” said Nathan Johnson, City Planner for the City of Pine City. “Businesses consider multiple properties in different states when determining where to locate, and having a shovel-ready site will now give us a competitive advantage in the selection process.”
The term “shovel ready” refers to commercial and industrial sites that have had all of the planning, zoning, surveys, title work, environmental studies, soils analysis and public infrastructure engineering completed prior to offering the site for sale. In addition, the sites are under the legal control of a community or in partnership with a third party.
“Sites that are certified ‘shovel ready’ are more attractive to companies and site-selection consultants looking for locations for business expansions or relocations,” said John Rhodes, a leading national site-location consultant with Moran, Stahl & Boyer of Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Rhodes, who was in Pine City last month touring the State’s newest certified site, said, “Shovel-ready sites reduce the time and increase the predictability of getting the land developed, the building constructed, and the operation up and running.”
Certified shovel-ready status is fast becoming a standard for sites that are marketed around the country. Minnesota’s Certified Shovel Ready sites continue to be marketed at national conferences, trade shows and on the MnProspector.com Web site, the state’s site-selection database.
The application fee for shovel-ready certification was $2,950, paid by the Pine City Economic Development Authority. The fee covered the cost of initial review, onsite inspection, final certification and marketing. The Minnesota Shovel Ready Certified Development Sites Initiative was created by the Positively Minnesota Marketing Partnership together with DEED.
For more information on Minnesota’s Shovel Ready Site Certification Program, contact Gene Goddard, senior business development specialist, DEED, 651-259-7436, toll free 1-800-657-3858, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or John Rhodes, senior principal, Moran, Stahl & Boyer, 941-755-0074, e-mail email@example.com. The Minnesota Shovel Ready Certification Web site is located at www.PositivelyMinnesota.com.