Welcome to Marion, where a business-friendly climate and infrastructure assets make the city and surrounding area attractive to relocating and expanding businesses.
“My family has lived in Marion for 42 years, and I’ve seen it go from a small town to one of Iowa’s largest and most thriving cities,” says Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly. “A natural byproduct of our continued population growth is a need for more goods and services and amenities. There are great opportunities for businesses to locate here.”
Ready for Business
Already experiencing success in Marion are several large companies such as U.S. Cellular with more than 400 employees, and ESCO Group is a growing electrical engineering firm. Hupp Electric Motors relocated to Marion in 2016, with more than 130 employees who specialize in large electric motor repairs.
“Marion has a good supply of land available for development, including shovel-ready parcels at our Enterprise Center business/industrial park,” AbouAssaly says.
In 2016, the city opened Enterprise Center just west of Marion Airport along U.S. Highway 151, and it offers four-lane connectivity and access within a day’s drive of the Twin Cities, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis and Des Moines. The 184-acre industrial park is site certified and situated along Iowa’s Creative Corridor that encompasses seven counties in eastern Iowa.
“Marion also helps businesses get up-and-running fast, and we have a qualified workforce,” AbouAssaly says. “There is also a good quality of life here, with excellent city services, parks, trails, great schools and a safe environment. In addition, there is good cooperation between city officials, economic development leaders, the chamber and other organizations that want to keep Marion moving forward.”
Betting on a Legacy
Other companies enjoying success in Marion are ELPLAST America and Legacy Manufacturing, which are both doing business out of the Enterprise Center. ELPLAST America is a Poland-based plastics manufacturer that constructed a $6 million, 30,000-square-foot facility to manufacture press-to-close zipper products used in food packaging and for pet food, pharmaceuticals and lawn and garden items.
The family-owned Legacy Manufacturing has operated in the Marion region for more than 20 years and specializes in manufacturing durable and flexible air hoses and garden hoses sold through Ace Hardware, Amazon.com, Do It Best, Menards, NAPA, Sears, Snap-On, Tractor Supply, Tru Value and many more retail stores. In 2016, Legacy opened a 135,000-square-foot building at the Enterprise Center, and Legacy Manufacturing President Mark Weems says the company can expand its facility to 320,000 square feet on its own tract of land.
“That’s a nice option to have for the future,” Weems says.
And that future seems to be now. In 2017, Legacy announced it will expand its warehousing capacity by another 200,000 square feet. Groundbreaking for that project took place in September 2017.