Mayor Chris Beutler, the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED) and Lincoln Airport Authority today announced a new partnership to promote development in Air Park, the Airport's industrial park. A State economic development grant, City funds and other resources will be used to create large sites served by railroads in a 350-acre area generally south of Highway 34 and west of Kawasaki.
"Right now, Lincoln does have a shortage of large rail sites to offer customers interested in locating here," Mayor Beutler said. "The City is immediately committing $250,000 to invest in infrastructure at the site. Pending City Council approval, our commitment would come from the City's Fast Forward Fund, created specifically to support economic development projects. This is a major step forward in our quest to attract new jobs and investment to our community." The proposal to use the Fast Forward Fund will be introduced to the City Council at its meeting September 24.
"In today's economy the most important thing a community can do to be attractive for new investment and jobs is to be prepared," said Wendy Birdsall, President of LPED and the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. "The development of Air Park is an important step in making our community more attractive for new manufacturing projects. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with the Airport Authority and the City of Lincoln in moving this important project forward."
In 2010, the Airport Authority and LPED co-funded a study that resulted in the creation of the Lincoln Air Park Development Plan. When the Nebraska Legislature created the Site and Building Development Fund through LB 388 in 2011, the Airport Authority submitted an application in the first grant cycle and was awarded $750,000.
The three partners today signed a first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Understanding which creates the Air Park Development Board. The Board's five members will include two from the Airport Authority, two from the City of Lincoln and one from the Chamber of Commerce's Economic Development Council. The Mayor announced that the City representatives will be City Councilman Gene Carroll and Assistant City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick.
This Advisory Board will be involved in recruiting and recommending a person or firm to help with the project. The Board will assist with the creation of development standards, the development of a multi-year capital improvement program and the creation of marketing strategies. The Board also will review and recommend industrial development plans;
regularly analyze and report the total income received from Air Park industrial property; and
oversee the negotiation of leases with new Air Park tenants locating in this area.
More information on Air Park is available at http://www.lincolnairport.com/industrial-park.cfm