Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 22, 2018

Washington’s business park moves forward

By David Hotle | Jul 26, 2017



With the sale of the first lot in the Washington Business Park on Highway 1 complete, with an option to purchase an adjoining lot, Washington Economic Development Group director Ed Raber took the opportunity to talk about the benefits to the area the business park will bring.

The beginnings of the business park happened when the City of Washington was planning its new wastewater treatment plant in 2010. When purchasing the land along Highway 1 the plant would sit on, the seller of the land declined to sell only enough land for the plant, rather agreeing to sell all the land they owned in the area. The city bought the land and built the plant. At the time, Raber said, the city was doing its comprehensive plan, which included a connector from Iowa Avenue to Highway 1. The connector had been planned as early as the 1930s.

“During the comprehensive plan update, the city was wondering what to do out there,” Raber said. “Out of those discussions was where the idea to complete the road and to use the space around it - rather than for residential use or to just sell it for farm ground - to create a light industrial business park.”

Raber said the road that goes through the business park to the plant will soon provide an access road from Highway 1 to the south side of Washington.

The 20-acre business park, with a phase 2 in the works, are meant to be used by smaller businesses to expand their current space.

“It has been great just having a space to allow area businesses to grow,” Raber said.

The first interested business was the Kalona Cooperative Technology Company (KCTC). The Washington City Council recently accepted an offer from the company to purchase a plot of land in the park. Raber said it is a great example of area businesses needing to grow and having an area set aside for that purpose.

The plots in the business park are considered “shovel ready.” They come complete with water, sewer and electrical hookups and are ready to be built on.

In the past, Washington has had another business park which it offered. While the park filled up quickly, Raber feels the city learned some lessons from the park that were used to augment this park. He said infrastructure and a road to the plots is now offered, where it wasn’t in the former park.

WEDG and a realty firm is marketing the business park for the city. People interested in learning more about the park can contact WEDG at 653-3942.

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