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City launches Certified Sites program

Program to help with business recruitment and expansion

Release Date: 4/6/2012 10:30:00 AM

MEDIA CONTACT:  Marlene Feist (509) 625-6740

The City of Spokane today is launching a new program called “Certified Sites” that will provide business owners an easy way to obtain information about commercial and industrial sites that are ready for development, or what’s also known as “shovel-ready” sites.

“If a business wants to locate or expand here, we must be ready for them,” says Spokane Mayor David Condon. “This program provides another reason for businesses to choose Spokane. It’s about creating an atmosphere that helps our economy grow and create jobs.”

Developing a Certified Sites program was one of the items on the Mayor’s 100-Day Action Plan. The program was developed in cooperation with Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) as a tool for business recruitment and expansion.

Once a property has been approved through the program, the certification is the City’s promise to owners of commercial and industrial property that their sites have appropriate infrastructure, such as water, wastewater and transportation, and that zoning is appropriate. Environmental issues will also be identified up front.

“Site certification has become a national competitive advantage for many states,” says Rich Hadley, GSI’s President. “We believe the Spokane program will be the first of its kind in Washington. We are working to get other local governments to join the program and continue building a strong value proposition for investment in our region.”

This program already has attracted the attention of Governor Christine Gregoire because of its connection to her initiatives toward business readiness and regulatory reform.

“I thank the City of Spokane for this innovative effort to attract development at a time when it is most needed,” said Gov. Gregoire. “Now more than ever it’s important to help businesses cut through red tape and get to work on our economic recovery.”

Under the Certified Sites program, the City will accept applications for certification of commercial and industrial sites through a new web site dedicated for this purpose. Property owners or their representatives will complete an application form with information on the site.

Once the application is submitted to the City, City officials will review the information and assuming it meets the evaluation criteria will accept the site into the Certified Site program. Inclusion in the program will allow for an expedited permit process when development is ultimately planned.

After the property owner obtains Certification from the City, GSI will begin marketing the site nationally as a Spokane Certified Site. The City and GSI are already working on a plan to certify the first sites in the City of Spokane.

“Companies are deadline driven,” says Jan Quintrall, the City’s Building & Developer Services Division Director. “It is easier for a company to budget for a project and meet deadlines if more information is readily available. We are getting rid of obstacles.”

The Mayor’s 100-Day Action Plan includes a total of 21 action items within 5 priority areas:

  • Public Safety: Restoring public trust in law enforcement and enhance community health and safety.
  • Jobs & Economic Growth: Creating an atmosphere to attract and retain jobs.
  • Budget: Promoting long-term fiscal health without undue burden on citizens.
  • Infrastructure: Maintaining critical public infrastructure at an affordable price.
  • Quality of Life: Engaging citizens and improving the quality and character of our community.

Citizens can track the City’s progress on the items on the City’s web site at www.spokanecity.org/government/mayor/OneHundredDay.
 

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