City awarded $687,000 for industrial park
The city and Jefferson County have been working feverishly to makes additional space in the industrial park north of Cherry Lane "shovel ready" — with infrastructure and streets in place for businesses to occupy on relatively short notice.
The area was recently named the Jefferson Business Parks Center by the Madras City Council. Its first phase will include 27 lots for businesses and industry.
The Oregon Economic Community Development Department awarded the money to the city — $270,000 of it is a grant while the remainder is a loan.
"With the Cherry Lane project under construction and this on it heels, that whole area is going to change," Allen said. "We're going to have a first-class industrial park."
Up to now, Allen said, the best city officials could do was point to a bare field, and tell potential businesses, "that could be an industrial park.
"Now it's going to give us lots that are available with infrastructure that we'll be ready to sell," Allen said.
Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Director Parrish Van Wert echoed similar enthusiasm.
"This is big potatoes for us. Without it we wouldn't be able to go the direction this needs to go," Van Wert said.
"This is exactly what we've needed for some time. Shovel ready property is the hot selling point in industrial parks today."
The Oregon Economic Community Development Department awarded the money because one business, Sheilding International, an X-ray products company, already has committed to moving into the business center and creating new jobs.
The city hopes to have the new roads, sewer and other infrastructure completed by September.