Business

Big Cedar to be named a 'mega site' industrial park

The park is the largest certified site in Iowa

The Nordstrom facility is seen in the distance not far from land that will be occupied by the soon-to-be developed Big Cedar Industrial Center located near The Eastern Iowa Airport in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
The Nordstrom facility is seen in the distance not far from land that will be occupied by the soon-to-be developed Big Cedar Industrial Center located near The Eastern Iowa Airport in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — State and local officials will meet Wednesday to dub the Big Cedar Industrial Center as a certified “mega site,” the first of its kind in Iowa.

The mega site designation is for industrial parks larger than 1,000 acres. Big Cedar, a 1,391-acre single-user park near the southwest corner of Cedar Rapids and first announced in 2016, is bordered by Edgewood Road SW, 76th Avenue SW, Fairfax Road and a railroad.

A certified site is a piece of land the Iowa Economic Development Authority verifies as being “development ready,” meaning the site has all necessary utility hookups in place or coming into place within 12 months of certification and has various land surveys completed.

“It assures all the due diligence has already been done,” IEDA certified site manager Amy Kuhlers said. “It’s really a lot quicker than it would be if the site hadn’t had certification.”

The site is one of Alliant Energy’s economic development projects across the state.

Big Cedar is just north of the Cedar Rapids Land and Air Super Park, a 582-acre plot of land also south of the city that is certified as a super park by the IEDA because it is between 500 and 1,000 acres.

City manager Jeff Pomeranz praised the certification as a boon for the city.

“It shows our diversity, and we think this is going to have tremendous potential in the continued commercial and industrial development of Cedar Rapids,” he said.

Pomeranz said there have been some preliminary requests for information from companies, but there have been no serious discussions about the site so far.

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A formal certification ceremony will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. at The Eastern Iowa Airport hangar, 9410 Shepard Court SW. IEDA Director Debi Durham and Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart are among those expected to speak.

•Comments: (319) 398-8366; dan.mika@thegazette.com

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