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INFRASTRUCTURE: THE BACKBONE TO GROW AN ECONOMY

Borrowing a line from a favorite movie from many years ago, “If you build it, they will come…,” sums up the significant amount of activity around the new Ginovus corporate headquarters. What once was large, open grassy fields is now chock full of new mixed-use buildings, ornate streetscapes, public meeting spaces, art deco sidewalks, traffic roundabouts, and much more that lies beneath the surface.

As a site selection and economic development advisory services firm, it is very exciting to see the results of infrastructure improvements up close and personal. According to a recent article in the Indianapolis Star, Hamilton County (the new home of Ginovus) has nearly $50 million in reserves for infrastructure improvements within the county ranging from library improvements, upgrades and repairs to the local jail, traffic flow improvement projects and a new bridge over the Whitewater River.  In addition, the cities of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield have plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into infrastructure and quality of place projects.  It’s no wonder that this county is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. And as a result, new businesses are making this area their home and families are flocking to this region. With them comes new retail, expanded services, increased family entertainment options, and of course increases to the tax base which continues to boost the local economy.

Infrastructure, according to the Webster Dictionary, is the basic equipment and structures (such as roads and bridges) that are needed for a country, region, or organization to function properly; the system of public works of a country, state, or region; or the resources (as personnel, buildings, or equipment) required for an activity. This basic component comes in many forms. Roadways, underground cabling and utilities, transportation hubs, telecommunication centers, railway systems and spurs and to some extent even public services like police and fire. These combined elements create sustainable environments where the economy can thrive.

Many states and local communities will provide incentives that will assist businesses looking for new locations to call home. And many states have been working tirelessly to create locations that are ready and waiting through use of shovel-ready programs, creating technology parks, and using local tax resources in creative ways to make it a win-win solution for all.

Next time you see someone walking out in a field, stop and see what they are up to.  They just might be planning the next big infrastructure or economic development project!