RDA Happenings June 2017
Posted on June 30, 2017 – By Emporia RDA
The RDA office continuously updates the Emporia, Kansas & Lyon County data book. Some of the data is obtained from primary sources, such as surveys the RDA conducts, for instance the local major manufacturers and employers survey on total number of full-time employees. Many secondary sources are utilized such as the Kansas Statistical Abstract, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kansas Departments of Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, and Revenue to name a few.
When the facts are charted over a time period, a day, week, month, quarter, or year, five years, ten years, etc., while analyzing the facts, the length of time has to be correct in order to determine a meaning trend. For instance, if you measure the growth of a tree, you would probably measure the caliper on an annual basis. If it was measured on a daily basis you would not be pleased with the results.
Primarily new business considering Emporia as a location utilize this data, however, some of our existing businesses utilize the data in their growth, and expansion plans.
For the moment, let’s consider the facts with regard to industrial real estate in and around Emporia and Lyon County. The RDA was created in 1993, so from 1994 to the present, 354 acres of industrial land has been acquired by new, and existing businesses to grow, and expand their operations.
Of those 354 acres, 42% or 148 acres have, or could have rail access. Those businesses with rail access are – Norfolk Iron & Metal (NIM), Renewable Energy Group (REG), and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, which are 24, 43, and 81 acres respectively.
Some of you may not know about REG, which is a bio-diesel plant east of the NIM tract that began construction in 2007. They halted construction in the second quarter of 2008.
Over 360 acres have been added to the inventory, of that, the majority has been developed with businesses. Today the amount of available industrial land is 163 acres.
An important fact about the real estate, is that land is in various sizes and shapes, and is not like bushels of corn.
Of the eleven businesses developed from 1994 to today, two were larger than 80-acre sites. Those sites being Simmons Pet Food, with a total of 81 acres, and are considering a 17-acre tract, and a 64-acre tract, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition is an 81-acre tract.
REG, NIM, and CAMSO are 43, 34, and 24 acres respectively. CAMSO also leased the former Lenze site, which is 10 acres.
Detroit Reman, EVCO, H.J. Baker, (which is on hold), Emporia Kenworth, formerly Martin Tractor, and Fanestil are on sites varying from 13 to 18 acres.
We currently, have no rail served sites available for development. There is one 100-acre site, and two 24-acre sites that are not shovel ready. In order to be able to compete for the next Simmons Pet Food, or Hill’s Pet Nutrition type project, we need more industrial tracts of 80 acres or greater.
I can absolutely assure you, without the proper sized sites for business development, we will not be successful in attracting new businesses to Emporia.
The RDA from 1993 to today has assisted businesses in creating over 2,000 full-time jobs, which represents 12.3% of the total employment for Lyon County. There has been over $917,000,000 in new private sector capital investment in Emporia and Lyon County with over 2,245,000 sq. ft. of new buildings constructed, having pad ready real estate sites is paramount. Just think what Emporia and Lyon County would be if this land was not available – none of this have happened.