PLAINFIELD, IND. - Duke Energy has selected five Indiana properties for participation in its 2013 Site Readiness Program to prepare the properties for potential industrial development. They are:
- The River Ridge Commerce Center, 100 acres in Jeffersonville (Clark Co.)
- The East Side Industrial Park, 100 acres in Seymour (Jackson Co.)
- The Industrial Business Complex, 135 acres in Wabash (Wabash Co.)
- The North Warrick Industrial Business Park, 236 acres in Eberfield (Warrick Co.)
- A 181,000-square-foot building at 2100 East Lincoln Road in Kokomo (Howard Co.)
The Site Readiness Program is the cornerstone of Duke Energy's economic development model. It identifies, evaluates and improves industrial sites in the company's service territory to help communities served by the utility compete for new companies and jobs.
"Duke Energy is committed to advancing economic development in all of the counties we serve," said Bart Beal, Duke Energy Indiana's vice president of economic development and community relations. "Our Site Readiness Program has assumed additional importance due to the weak economy and increasing competition among states and regions to attract new companies and jobs."
Duke Energy has hired McCallum Sweeney, a nationally known consulting firm, to conduct studies on four of the five sites. McCallum Sweeney Consulting has been instrumental in many high profile automotive and industrial relocations and expansions. The site consultant for the East Lincoln Road property is InSite Consulting.
Duke Energy will collaborate with county leaders and local economic development professionals to develop a strategy for providing water, sewer, natural gas and electricity to the sites.
The parties may also recommend road improvements, easements and rights-of-way that will be required to develop the sites, as well as steps necessary to mitigate any potential environmental impacts. Banning Engineering will produce final drawings and conceptual site plans.
Duke Energy will present its findings including a detailed report and conceptual drawings to county officials when the studies are completed.
After each site's state of readiness has advanced, Duke Energy's business development team will strategically market them nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.
In Indiana, eight counties submitted nine sites for Site Readiness Program consideration. A total of five sites in five counties were chosen by the utility.
In March 2013, Duke Energy launched a pilot program for its redesigned Site Readiness Program on a 166-acre parcel in Hancock County's I-70 Business Corridor. The recommendations from the site consultant for this parcel have been delivered to local economic development officials.
"The site consultant's report gave us high marks, both for the site itself and for the economic development advantages we've developed in our community," said Skip Kuker, executive director of the Hancock County Economic Council. "In addition, the consultant helped leading community officials understand the factors that make us more attractive to prospective businesses."
Ideal properties for Duke Energy's Site Readiness Program are 60 acres or larger, served by the utility, which can be a single site for a large facility or a potential industrial park (multi-tenant site). A qualified site could also be a certified "shovel ready" site that needs proven enhancements to further strengthen its marketability. The program includes an urban redevelopment component as well, which could include the evaluation of a significant site or building.
Duke Energy's overall economic development program has been consistently named by Site Selection Magazine as one of the nation's "Top 10 Utility Economic Development Programs."
For more information about Duke Energy Indiana's economic development programs, visit http://www.locationindiana.com.
Duke Energy Indiana's operations provide approximately 6,900 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 790,000 customers, making it the state's largest electric supplier.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: http://www.duke-energy.com.