05/24/11 It started as an idea. Then the idea took on a life of its own. Now the Tech Farm that could mean an economic boost to the community has hit a milestone and is within weeks of being ready to market.
Speaking to the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission last week on behalf of the project, Brent Martin said they still have a final punch list to compete along with spring cleanup and seeding, but they should be finished within the month.
The Plymouth Redevelopment Commission has been a backer of the project that is now near completion. The project, initiated in 2003 by the T-Squared group, has been funded in part by an EDA (Economic Development Administration) grant along with city, county and private industry involvement. Several local residents began writing the grant application in 2005, submitted it after gathering all the pertinent information required by the EDA in 2007 and had the application approved in2008. Actual construction started just one year ago. Twelve parcels now have the infrastructure in place including roads, sewer, cable lines, and water access making them attractive to investors and entrepreneurs who are seeking lots to build on.
One of those involved in the creation of the project, David Miller of VanVactor Farms, appeared before the Redevelopment Commission along with Christian Davey of Cressy & Everett Commercial Company to give an overview of how the project will be marketed.
Davey listed a number of methods that his firm will use to market the properties, but also advised the Commission that the economic climate all over has changed since the project started. He said, “Financing is the biggest challenge for these parcels.” Davey said they are currently engaged in getting signage that will basically try to catch notice of those traveling on US 30. Other methods will include, but not be limited to, mailing or emailing a monthly newsletter to their client list, networking worldwide, distribution of flyers, getting new aerial shots of the parcels, sending out some 300-500 post cards to targeted businesses, and accessing other search loops. He also indicated that Plymouth enjoys a opportunities associated with the medical field since the parcels are not far from Warsaw.
Davey will not only be marketing the TechFarm parcels, but other properties owned by VanVactor Farms on both sides of Pine Road. Miller said the TechFarm parcels still belong to VanVactor Farms, but there is an agreement with the city to split the proceeds when they are sold between the two entities.
Miller said, “This is an investment in Plymouth’s future. It is a way to stimulate technology-oriented businesses such as a business incubator or an education center in Plymouth.” Miller added, “This is just a part of the process of long-term development. It’s not the peak.”
Carol Anders Correspondent