An international symposium reveals that the most flexible, responsive states win the competition for job-creating companies.
States and cities that are willing to move mountains at the speed of light will draw the attention of companies who seek commercial real estate for relocation or expansion.
That sounds like an exaggeration, but not by much.Missouri moved three streams as part of a plant relocation that took a scant 24 months to implement from concept to initial operation. That included assembling five parcels and building a 1.4 million-square-foot manufacturing plant.
We at Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson learned at a recent international symposium that states that are decisive and flexible are rewarded with good job-creating companies moving in.
A couple of cities in the Tucson commercial real estate market get it; Arizona, maybe not so much.
ITRA International Symposium
Companies talked about their commercial real estate site selection successes at September’s “Doing Business in the Americas” symposium put on by ITRA Global, the worldwide association of tenant representatives.
What companies want from states is a partner, not just a recruiter, for their business.
States can demonstrate that willingness to partner through
- responsive communication between government and company
- strong advocacy for the company that wants to locate in the area
- creativity in determining and securing incentives for a company
- developing relationships with the right companies and the right people in those companies, especially commercial real estate site selectors
- a strong commitment to get the project done within a company’s timeline.
Tucson Area Streamlines Commercial Real Estate Activities
Marana and Oro Valley show that they recognize this need to work with companies interested in Tucson-area commercial real estate for their operations.
Oro Valley has created an Economic Expansion Zone that will increase the Tucson area’s bioscience industry. Sanofi and Ventana Medical Systems Inc. already have operations in the zone in an area known as Innovation Park.
The EEZ shortens the lead time to open or expand by four to six months by streamlining the zoning review process.
Marana has recently implemented several time-saving strategies for new and expanding businesses. These include
- a Business Development Center to provide one-stop service
- streamlining many processes from getting a business license to getting a building permit
- a dedicated development services team to expedite the plan approval process.
The city also rebates the construction sale tax to the owner who meets certain qualifications.
Arizona’s Economic Development Efforts
Arizona’s commercial real estate marketing efforts are bolstered by a good product: low costs of doing business, an educated workforce and an attractive lifestyle.
It also has the Arizona Competitiveness Package, a collection of incentives to attract new business and retain current companies.
Yet a recent report, Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2012, gave Arizona low marks for its economic development efforts compared to other states.
It appears other efforts need to be strengthened in order for our state to successfully compete.