Economic Development Week, May 6 to May 10, Honors Local Businesses

By Jennifer Chrysler, Director, New Albany Community Development Department

Economic Development Week, May 6 through May 10, is designed to build awareness of economic development and its benefits to local communities. It’s an important opportunity for the City to celebrate the positive impact of economic development and thank the many businesses, large and small, that have invested in New Albany’s shared vision for the future and enable us to continue to build an unparalleled work-life balance.

Last year, the New Albany International Business Park continued its record setting growth, landing major players across multiple industry sectors with $7.4 billion in projects announced, including $1 billion from expansions of existing businesses. That means more tax revenue to enhance our quality of life. In fact, tax revenues from the business park account for 82 percent of New Albany’s general fund, paving the way for expanded services and amenities, including police protection, infrastructure, roads, parks, leisure trails, and community events.

Diversified Tax Base Fuels Healthy Growth
When businesses of all sizes invest in New Albany it’s a win-win for residents and employees. In fact, tax revenues from the business park account for 82 percent of New Albany’s general fund, paving the way for expanded services and amenities, including police protection, infrastructure, roads, parks, leisure trails, a bike share program, our Senior Connections, and community events. Our diversified tax base allows us to make tremendous strides in turning our vision of a stronger, healthier, greener and better community into a reality.

Our success in attracting and retaining business is the result of a commitment to public-private partnerships and collaboration that supports and promotes community and commerce. It is driven by a strategic planning process that allows us to prioritize community needs, prudently allocate City revenue, guide private investment, and generate income to support services, infrastructure, and amenities that benefit residents and businesses.

Innovation Clusters Critical to Development
By targeting investment in innovation clusters, the City has attracted a diverse range of businesses drawn by the opportunity to advance innovation, attract and retain a skilled workforce, promote efficiency, and increase productivity. It is a critical factor in the City’s ability to protect itself from economic downturns that can affect one industry sector.

In 1998, one of our earliest investors, Abercrombie & Fitch, looked past the cornfields to envision a 400-acre campus upon which to build its corporate headquarters, helping to establish the City’s Corporate Office and R&D cluster. Today, A&F has expanded its headquarters and opened two distribution facilities and a data center. After 20 years in the business park, CVG, recently celebrated the completion of Phase 1 of its corporate headquarters renovation project. Since moving here, the global supplier has broadened its focus beyond the commercial trucking industry to embrace new industries, including electric vehicles and ecommerce.

The business park’s Information Technology & Mission Critical cluster companies continue to increase their investment as well. AWS, Meta, and Google began construction projects totaling $890 million to expand their data center operations here. QTS, a leading provider of data center solutions, plans to invest $4.5 billion in 4.7 million square feet of space while Edged Energy is expanding its global network of data centers with a $246 million investment in a 210,000-square-feet facility in New Albany. Amazon Web Services also announced a $3.5 billion investment.

After its initial decision to build a manufacturing plant in the City’s Personal Care & Beauty Campus, Axium Packaging, a plastics packaging solutions provider, established a U.S. headquarters here, eventually adding seven additional manufacturing facilities as well as a warehouse and Vertix, a state-of-the-art post-consumer resin plant.

The Health & Life Sciences cluster is another example of the Community Development Department’s ability to anticipate and respond the needs of businesses to ensure they get the best return on their investment. Amgen, one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, announced plans to build a $365 million biopharmaceutical manufacturing operation in the Business Park in 2021. According to Amgen, the first phase of the project, a 270,000-square-foot facility featuring the company’s most advanced digital automation and packaging capabilities, was completed faster than any other project in its portfolio at the time.

Intel Corporation’s historic investment in two leading-edge chip factories at the Ohio One campus led two newcomers to announce investments in the Semiconductor Manufacturing cluster. Denmark-based DSV, a supply chain solutions provider, will invest $85 million in 1.2 million square feet in the New Albany Tech Park while Albuquerque-based Rinchem, a chemical management, warehousing, and transportation solutions provider, will invest $50 million in a 120,000 square-foot-facility.

Through the New Albany Community Development Department, the City invests in the people and resources to effectively manage development and growth while protecting and enhancing our quality of life. A “one-stop shop” approach continues to streamline planning, fast track permitting, and meet aggressive timelines to accommodate new and existing businesses.

Success does not happen by chance. We have worked hard to anticipate and respond to the needs of businesses with smarter, faster, and more innovative solutions while simultaneously planning a future that recognizes the critical importance of quality of life to our residents as well as businesses.