Thursday, May. 28th 2015

$250 million in economic development for Shawnee

Ever wonder what a quarter of a billion dollars would look like? The Shawnee Economic Development Council (SEDC) has created an interactive map that illustrates and explains the $250 million of committed investment in Shawnee during the past four years.

“The $250 million of investments has come in the form of housing developments and major industrial developments such as the WestLink Business Center as well as office and mixed use spaces,” said Andrew Nave, executive director of the Shawnee Economic Development Council. “The map was created to show Shawnee’s growth during the past four years in these areas and to give a sense of the diverse developments across western and eastern Shawnee,” said Nave. “We think it is a great way for the citizens to have a one-stop-shop to see what’s going on throughout the community in a succinct manner.”

Nave said the map is easy to use.   The map allows you to click on any development highlighted within the last four years and read a short narrative about the business along with a profile of how much was invested to come to Shawnee and how many jobs are being created. For example, if a person clicks on Westmor Industries, a designer and builder of petroleum and liquid handling parts and equipment that purchased a 7,200 square-foot building in western Shawnee, an information box shows that the $6.5 million of capital investments were committed to the city for the project and 34 jobs will be created. The capital investment figure includes construction costs and everything associated with getting the business off the ground.

“About 30 percent of the developments in the past four years have been in retail and about 40 percent has been industrial,” said Nave. “The remaining portion has been mixed between residential and mixed office use.”

The $250 million in committed investments since 2011 is a significant increase when compared to the previous four years. From 2007 to 2010, Shawnee saw only about $78 million in total valuation investment derived from building permit values from those years. In fact, there was absolutely no industrial development from 2007 to 2010 in Shawnee. According to the EDC’s map, the city is averaging about $62 million in investment per year over the last four years.

Nave said the map also illustrates the use of tax incentives for the developments. “About 55 percent of the developments over the past four years have been incentivized. The largest non-incentivized project, the Walmart Supercenter at Grey Oaks, was worth $12.6 million. This shows that Shawnee utilizes incentives wisely for those projects that truly need a public-private partnership.”

To explore the map, visit the SEDC’s website here.


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