EDA says 300-acre business park in Medina could be largest certified, shovel-ready site in upstate
MEDINA – The Orleans Economic Development Agency is looking to step up its marketing efforts for shovel-ready land in Medina and Shelby.
The EDA also is looking to combine the Medina Business Park, on the north side of Maple Ridge Road in the Village of Medina, with the “Keppler Site” on the south side on Maple Ridge in the Town Shelby (outside village). The land is just west of Bates Road.
The two sites represent 300 acres of land that has been certified by Empire State Development as being shovel-ready. The sites have major utilities and companies could start construction soon on the land if they were interested, using lots ranging from 5 acres to 125.
The EDA wants to combine the two business parks, which would be the largest certified shovel-ready site in Western New York, said Jim Whipple, chief executive officer for the Orleans Economic Development Agency.
He believes the site would also be the largest certified shovel-ready business park in all of upstate. He hasn’t found a bigger site in his research, and he is checking with Empire State Development to make sure that is true. If it is, the EDA wants to push that fact in a marketing campaign.
“To market the largest certified site, that’s huge,” said Paul Hendel, chairman of the Orleans EDA board of directors. “It’s time to take it to the next level. It’s time to start thinking big.”
Hendel said the EDA has worked hard to acquire the sites and make infrastructure available, work that goes back 20 years.
The Medina site has access to Village of Medina sewer and water, and also falls within the 30-mile zone to be eligible for low-cost electricity from the New York Power Authority.
Pride Pak moved to the business park last year, and a new hotel may commit this year to build at the Medina Business Park.
Whipple said the EDA needs to consider a name for the 300-acre business park. It could become a bigger Medina Business Park,” or Whipple said the EDA might consider a different name, such as “Orleans County West.”
He wants to hear from Andina Barone, the EDA’s consultant for marketing, as well as local officials. EDA board members noted the agency has already invested in signs and marketing the past 20 years for the Medina Business Park and it may make sense to keep that name.
The Keppler site is just outside the Village of Medina. Whipple and the EDA want to see how the Shelby community, including the political leaders there, feel about including that land in the “Medina” Business Park.
The 300 acres could be a mixed-use site, Whipple said. He could see smaller lots along the Oak Orchard River being desired for residences, he told the EDA board.
The agency also should look to build a “spec building” because its inventory of available buildings for companies is shrinking, said Gabrielle Barone, vice president of business development for the EDA.
The agency already has been approved for a $600,000 state grant towards a 40,000-square-foot pre-permitted building site. However, it would cost closer to $2 million to put up a building and there is no guarantee it would be filled right away by a company, Whipple said.
The EDA board said it would continue to mull the issues. Hendel said the agency is in a good position for the immediate future with the 300 acres of certified shovel-ready land in Medina.