Archives for January 2018

CEDA Team Member Working to Fill 30,000 Square Foot Spec Building in Jackson, MN

Article by: Thomas Nelson

The Jackson Economic Development Corporation (JEDC), a 501 (c)4 local development corporation, is looking  to help new or current tenants grow by constructing a 30,000 square foot speculative building on their 60-acre industrial development park located in Jackson, Minnesota. The building is scheduled to be completed by May 1st, 2018 and has a 14,000 square foot optional addition already planned. The building goes above and beyond having a construction-ready site by having a move-in-ready building for a new or current business.

The JEDC approaches economic development aggressively; the organization has built numerous spec buildings and industrial parks in the past. The 30,000 square foot spec building is a part of the JEDC’s Development Park 4 project, which includes 60 acres of industrial lot space located near I-90 and HWY 71. Next to Development Park 4 is Jackson Crossings, which is a 35-acre commercial and retail development park. Both development parks already have infrastructure in place and are ready for construction.

CEDA team member Thomas Nelson who serves the City of Jackson full time as the Economic Development Coordinator is now looking to fill the new spec building and the surrounding lots. While Nelson works diligently to fill the structure and bring in new businesses, he will also be focused on working with existing companies already located in Jackson. “Helping existing companies grow and develop is so important to the retention of those companies. It can also help bring new companies to Jackson.” Nelson said. “Companies that continue to grow year after year while staying in Jackson demonstrate that it is a great place to locate a business.”

Companies in the community, including current spec building tenants, are appreciative of the JEDC’s proactive approach to community and economic development.  “In my opinion the JEDC is a huge asset to the community.  They understand the business – community relationship and that a healthy growing business is key for a thriving community.  They were the catalyst in the past, that helped solidify some of our expansion plans in Jackson.  They have been a valued partner in our growth in the community.” said Eric Fisher, AGCO director of operations in Jackson.

Having prepared sites and spec buildings can be essential to attracting businesses. Many different factors go into selecting a site, moving a company, or expanding operations. Creative approaches such as the spec buildings in Jackson can mean saved money and time for the company.

Feasibility Study Confirms St. Charles Hospitality Center Viable

Article by: Cris Gastner

The City of St Charles has taken another key step toward the development of a new hotel to anchor a new Hospitality Center project in the Chattanooga Industrial Park in St Charles.

At the direction of the City’s EDA, CEDA Senior Vice President Cris Gastner who serves the City of St. Charles and St. Charles City Administrator Nick Koverman worked with Hospitality Consulting Group to complete an update of the community’s hotel feasibility study. This independently completed study will provide valuable information to the potential developers of the project.

Gastner and Koverman have been working very closely with Steve Hedberg and Jim Kelley from HK Hospitality Management, LLC on this project in 2017 when the City and HK signed a letter of understanding for the exciting development project. The preliminary information provided by the report has been viewed very favorably by the development team. “The draft information in the report validates the developers’ financial proformas,” Gastner stated, “The fact that an independent agency’s report has reinforced the group’s positive outlook on the site will help them secure the best financing partners for their project.”

HK Hospitality is working on a large-scale development project that would include a nationally branded hotel and conference center along with a restaurant and convenience store on a site in St. Charles’ Chattanooga Innovation Park on Interstate 90.

The feasibility study will be formally accepted by the St. Charles EDA and City Council later in January.


Spring Grove, MN EDA and School District Partner to Fund Makerspace

Article by: Courtney Bergey

  1. A lawn mower engine.
  2. A decorative wood burning tool.
  3. A 3-D printer.
What do these items have in common? You will find all of them in the Spring Grove School District’s new Makerspace, an interactive, individualized-learning classroom that empowers students to follow their passions and curiosities. The Makerspace was established in the fall of 2017, and is looking to expand its impact on the community and its students.
The Spring Grove Economic Development Authority, led by CEDA team members Courtney Bergey and Bryce Lange, recently partnered with the Spring Grove School District to author a successful $10,000 Small Town Grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation; this grant award will help build capacity for the project by providing necessary tools, equipment and supplies for Spring Grove’s Makerspace students to apply their skills to community challenges.
“We are constantly having conversations about topics like housing, walkability, public art, attracting workers, and downtown businesses, but we often overlook a major sector of talent: our young people,” said Bergey. “With this program, we aim to turn the discussion over to the students and support their creative solutions to community challenges.” The program will bring students outside of the classroom and into local business and government environments.
The Spring Grove EDA will be working with the school to create new Makerspace initiatives focused on community development, including hosting local entrepreneurs and makers in the classroom, pairing students with projects in both the public and private sector, and helping to develop new ideas for the community to pursue.
To learn more about SMIF’s Small Town Grants program, visit