What is Site Certification?
Site certification is a stamp of approval indicating that a property meets or exceeds specific criteria for industrial development. The certification process entails documenting comprehensive property information – including, but not limited to, site characteristics, transportation, and utility infrastructure, environmental due diligence, etc. In the process of gathering these details, potential risks and development constraints are identified.
While there is no national site certification standard, a strong certification program will review the information and document the findings in a usable way. Gathering details on a site can be time-consuming and costly – something prospects look to avoid while identifying multiple locations. Completing the work upfront expedites the process for a company to get up and running – saving them time and money. Ultimately, the goal of site certification programs is to prepare industrial sites to win projects.
History of Site Certification
Site Certification originated in the late 1990s with programs launched in New York and Pennsylvania.
When the site selection firm McCallum Sweeney Consulting* was formed in 2000, Ed McCallum and Mark Sweeney recognized the importance and value of sites proactively prepared for industrial users and established their site certification practice.
In 2004, McCallum Sweeney began working with the Tennessee Valley Authority to develop and implement a Mega Site Certification Program focused on preparing properties of 1,000+ acres for automotive OEMs. Based on the success of this program, site certification exploded in popularity. Many states, utilities, and rail providers created certification programs to help prepare the sites and communities within their jurisdiction.
After McCallum Sweeney closed in 2018, Quest acquired the existing programs and adapted site certification to reflect evolving market conditions and provide enhanced product offerings.
To date, over 200 properties have been certified across the country by either McCallum Sweeney Consulting or Quest, and billions of investment dollars have been announced on these sites.
*In June 2018, Quest acquired the economic development consulting practice of McCallum Sweeney Consulting, including certified sites.
Mega Sites are a unique type of industrial property with the following key characteristics:
- 1,000+ acres intended for a single large industrial user
- Robust utility infrastructure
- Heavy transportation infrastructure in close proximity
- A workforce population to support a mega project
The more development-ready a Mega Site is, the more competitive that property will be – which is why Quest’s Mega Site certification program is advantageous.
Benefits of Certified Sites
Site certification reduces the cost and timeline for end users. While the process takes both time and resources, site certification provides communities with detailed information to share both proactively (marketing) and reactively (responding to RFIs). Advance preparation allows you to gain a deep understanding of the property and its technical details. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a certified site, you can understand where development assistance may be needed. At the end of the day, site certification decreases risk and uncertainty around a property and can be an incentive that allows a business to get up and running more quickly.
Why Quest's Site Certification
Quest’s level of detail and intense review sets us apart.
Since there is no national standard, the quality of a site certification is dependent upon the program criteria and thoroughness of analysis. Our programs are designed based on the real-world requirements of our corporate site selection clients and set the gold standard in site certification programs.
Available Quest Certified Sites
Oskaloosa Innovation Park
Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, IA
Located in southeast Iowa, the Oskaloosa Innovation Park is a 490-acre industrial park with a variety of site sizes to accommodate a large range of users. Controlled by the Mahaska Chamber and Development Group, there are numerous roads providing access and a new transload facility in the planning stages. Certified July 18, 2023.
Lincolnway Industrial Rail & Air Park
Clinton, Clinton County, IA
The Lincolnway Industrial Rail & Air Park is a 460-acre rail-served industrial park located in eastern Iowa. The park is owned by the City of Clinton (western portion) and the Clinton Regional Development Corporation (eastern portion) and offers multiple large parcels for development. Certified April 14, 2023.
South Waterloo Business Park
Waterloo, Black Hawk County, IA
Located in northeast Iowa, the South Waterloo Business Park is an 184-acre industrial park adjacent to US Highway 20. Owned by the City of Waterloo, the property is free of any impediments that may impact development and has a Business Park zoning designation. Certified October 7, 2022.
West Viking Road Industrial Park
Cedar Falls, Black Hawk County, IA
West Viking Road Industrial Park is a 205-acre industrial park located in the heart of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metropolitan area in northeast Iowa. The park is adjacent to the existing Cedar Falls Industrial & Technology Park and is owned by the City of Cedar Falls. Certified October 1, 2022.
Myers Industrial Site
Bondurant, Polk County, IA
Located in the Des Moines metro area, the Myers Industrial Site is a 65-acre site in the booming industrial community of Bondurant. The site is fully developable with no impediments, and infrastructure improvements are planned for the area. Certified September 19, 2022.
Washington County Industrial Park
Chipley, Washington County, FL
Located in the Panhandle of Florida, the 189-acre Washington County Industrial Park is located a few miles from I-10 in the City of Chipley. The park is publicly owned, has multiple access points, has due diligence completed, and has a rail line running along the southern boundary. Certified August 26, 2022.
Mills Crossing Mega Site
Glenwood, Mills County, IA
Located in the southeastern quadrant of the Omaha metro, the Mills County Mega Site is a 1,600+ acre industrial site under option by MidAmerican Energy. A BNSF rail line runs along the northern boundary, and US Highway 34 which provides access to I-29 runs along the southern boundary. Certified August 4, 2022.
Las Cruces Innovation and Industrial Park
Las Cruces, Dona Ana County, NM
Located in southeastern New Mexico approximately 45 minutes from El Paso and the Mexico border, the 487-acre Las Cruces Innovation and Industrial Park has parcels ranging from ~5 acres to 100+ acres to fit a variety of end users. Certified June 13, 2022.
Paragould South Industrial Site
Paragould, Greene County, AR
Located in northeast Arkansas, Paragould South Industrial Site is a 79-acre industrial site owned by the Economic Development Corporation of Paragould. The site can be accessed by roads along the northern or southern boundary, utilities are adjacent, and there are no impediments to development. Certified June 8, 2022.
Forest City Rail Park
Forest City, Hancock County, IA
The 69-acre Forest City Rail Park is located between Des Moines and Minneapolis in north central Iowa. Rail runs along the eastern boundary, and utilities are all adjacent and only need to be extended into the site. With Winnebago Industries and 3M as neighbors, this site is ready for a rail user. Certified June 3, 2022.
E. Eddy Saylor Industrial Park
Osceola, Clarke County, IA
E. Eddy Saylor Industrial Park is a 138-acre industrial park located south of Des Moines in Osceola. The park is owned by the Clarke County Development Corporation, is located approximately one mile from I-35, and has a road and utilities within the park boundaries. Certified May 23, 2022.
Perry Industrial Park
Perry, Dallas County, IA
The 156-acre Perry Industrial Park is located northwest of the Des Moines metro area. The park has multiple existing tenants, and the utilities are already present within the park. With no wetlands or flood zones, this park is ready for development. Certified April 7, 2022.
Endeavor Commerce Site
Marianna, Jackson County, FL
The Endeavor Commerce Site is a 128-acre county-owned industrial site located within the larger Endeavor development with additional acreage available if needed. The site is located within a mile of I-10, has due diligence completed, and road and utilities are currently being extended to the site. Certified February 2, 2022.
Spanish Trail Commerce Site
Jackson County, FL
Located between I-10 and rail, the 182-acre Spanish Trail Commerce Site is located just east of the City of Marianna. The site is under option by the Jackson County Economic Development Committee, Inc., has all due diligence completed, and has an active permit to mitigate wetlands. Certified February 1, 2022.
Fort Madison Industrial Site
Fort Madison, Lee County, IA
Located in the southeastern corner of Iowa, the Fort Madison Industrial Site is an 128-acre industrial site with approximately 100 contiguous, developable acres between the utility lines. The site has multiple access points, utilities in close proximity, and no wetlands or flood zone on site. Certified November 11, 2021.
Eastern Iowa Industrial Center
Davenport, Scott County, Iowa
The Eastern Iowa Industrial Center is a 346-acre industrial park located along I-80 in Davenport, Iowa. Already home to notable companies such as Kraft Heinz and Amazon, the industrial park has approximately 60 available acres remaining for development. Certified October 21, 2021.
Marianna Jackson County Distribution Park
Marianna, Jackson County, FL
Located along I-10 in the Florida Panhandle, the Marianna Jackson County Distribution Park is a 237-acre city/county-owned industrial park. The park is home to existing users including Family Dollar Distribution Facility, has existing utilities within the park, and easy access to I-10. Certified September 27, 2021.
Marianna Airport Commerce Park
Marianna, Jackson County, FL
Located on the north side of Marianna, the Marianna Airport Commerce Park is a 237-acre industrial site owned by the City. The site has no wetlands or flood plain on site, utilities in close proximity, and access to State Road 71. The property is also zoned industrial. Certified September 15, 2021.
Marion Enterprise Center
Marion, Linn County, IA
The Marion Enterprise Center is a 178-acre industrial park with roads and utilities already in place and adjacent to each parcel. Located on the northeast side of the Cedar Rapids metro, this park is ready for additional users with over 65 available acres. Certified September 1, 2021.
Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill
Pittsylvania County, VA
The Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill is an ~3,500 acre industrial park with 2,102 certified acres comprised of an 831 acre Mega Site and a 1,271 acre Super Park. With substantial infrastructure work to date, the property has robust utility capacities available and Norfolk Southern rail adjacent. Certified June 22, 2021.
Texas Triangle Park
Bryan, Brazos County, TX
Centrally located between Houston, Austin, and Dallas, Texas Triangle Park is a 616-acre park with rail access and robust utilities. Only a few miles from Texas A&M University, this park is ready for additional users and can accommodate projects of multiple sizes. Certified May 12, 2021.
Cedar Rapids Land and Air Super Park
Cedar Rapids, Linn County, IA
Located adjacent to the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids, the Land and Air Super Park is a 500+ acre industrial park with robust infrastructure already in place. The Master Plan has been designed around impediments (wetlands, etc.) and allows for a mix of site sizes to accommodate a variety of end users. Certified March 15, 2021.
Van Meter Vision Park
Van Meter, Dallas County, IA
Located in central Iowa on the outskirts of Des Moines, Van Meter Vision Park is a 338-acre site targeted for businesses in the service sector or intellectual property sector (data centers, office projects, etc.). All utilities are adjacent with a substation in close proximity and fiber recently installed. Certified March 11, 2021.
Whiting Aviation Park
Milton, Santa Rosa County, FL
Located in the Florida Panhandle, Whiting Aviation Park is a 239-acre county-owned industrial park located adjacent to Whiting Field. Through the fence access to a 6,000-foot runway is available, and at the time of certification, internal park infrastructure was under construction. Certified December 11, 2020.
Iowa Falls / Hardin County Industrial Park
Iowa Falls, Hardin County, IA
Located in north central Iowa, the Iowa Falls / Hardin County Industrial Park is a 214-acre industrial park with dual-rail access. Canadian National runs along the northern boundary, and Union Pacific is located along the southern boundary. Certified November 4, 2020.
Pleasant Hill Commerce Park
Pleasant Hill, Polk County, IA
Located in suburban Des Moines, the Pleasant Hill Commerce Park is comprised of 213 acres with flexible site sizes to accommodate a variety of users. The property is located along four-lane Iowa Highway 163 with nearby access to both I-35 and I-80. Certified February 26, 2020.
McGregor Industrial Park
McGregor, McLennan County, TX
Located in central Texas, the McGregor Industrial Park is 2,012 total acres including an 878 contiguous, developable acre Mega Site. Owned by the City of McGregor, the property is zoned for industrial uses and has the ability to serve large utility and/or rail users. Certified January 14, 2020.
Avenue of the Saints Development Park
Charles City, Floyd County, IA
Located along the Avenue of the Saints in Charles City, IA, this 75-acre site is now owned by the City. With all due diligence complete and most utilities at the property, this site in northeast Iowa is ready for development. Certified January 7, 2020.
- Prairie View Industrial Center
Story County, IA
Certified October 11, 2019
- Gaffney Industrial Park
Cherokee County, SC
Certified August 28, 2019
- Anderson 400
Story County, IA
Certified August 28, 2019
- Southbridge 27 Flags
Woodbury County, IA
Certified April 1, 2019
- Helgerson Flats Industrial Center
Wapello County, IA
Certified March 5, 2019
- Mid-Carolina Commerce Park
Newberry County, SC
Certified February 18, 2019
- Pocotaligo East Site
Sumter County, SC
Certified January 16, 2019