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Marion, IA Opens New Enterprise Center Industrial Park

The Marion Enterprise Center Helps Lure New Companies to the City

By Kevin Litwin on July 5, 2016

Marion, IA: Enterprise Center Industrial Park

Location, location, location. That phrase certainly is on point for the new Marion Enterprise Center.

In 2016, the City of Marion opened the Enterprise Center, just west of the Marion Airport along U.S. Highway 151, offering 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 shovel-ready and site-certified.

“Certification is a big buzzword in economic development across the country right now, with companies wanting certified sites that have roads, infrastructure, wetlands studies and all environmental studies already completed,” says Nick Glew, president of the Marion Economic Development Corporation. “We’ve done all the due diligence at the Enterprise Center to lessen risks for companies looking to locate, thereby saving them time and money.”

Glew says the Marion Enterprise Center evolved from a specific strategy started five years ago because Marion didn’t have any sites large enough to accommodate companies looking for substantial tracts of land to develop.

“Today, our industrial park is situated along Iowa’s Creative Corridor that encompasses seven counties in eastern Iowa,” he says. “When competing for businesses, companies don’t care about zip codes – they look at a region’s collective assets. The Marion Enterprise Center is an attractive major asset for us to lure companies.”

Marion, IA Business Overview

Welcome, ELPLAST

One company already occupying the park is ELPLAST America, a Poland-based plastics manufacturer that constructed a $6 million, 30,000-square-foot facility p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 9.0px; line-height: 12.0px; font: 10.0px Archer} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} that will eventually bring 30 jobs to Marion. ELPLAST makes press-to-close zipper products used in food packaging and for pet food, pharmaceuticals and lawn and garden items. The company has 700 clients in more than 50 countries.

“If you go to the grocery store and buy a bag of cheese, the press-to-close component on the top of the bag is an example of what we make – we don’t make the bag itself,” says Chad Rupert, CEO of ELPLAST America. “MEDCO and the City of Marion helped us with an initial incentive package for us to locate here, and ELPLAST looks forward to being a member of the business community for many years to come. We like being at the Marion Enterprise Center.”

Marion, IA’s Recreational Offerings Provide Something for Everybody

Ability to Expand

Another tenant at the center is Electric Specialty Manufacturing, which makes customized high-quality parts for companies in aerospace, construction, electronics, hydraulics, and medical and scientific research. Another tenant is Legacy Manufacturing, a family-owned business that has operated in the Marion region for more than 20 years.

Legacy Manufacturing President Mark Weems says convenient access to the highway and the ability to eventually expand the company’s assembly building were key reasons for moving to the new industrial park.

“We own the 133,000-square-foot building that we now occupy at the Enterprise Center,” Weems says. “As Legacy Manufacturing continues to grow, we can expand our facility to 320,000 square feet on our own tract of land. That’s a nice option to have for the future.”

Legacy specializes in manufacturing durable and flexible air hoses and garden hoses sold through Amazon.com, Do It Best, Menards, NAPA, Sears, Snap-On, Tractor Supply and many more retail stores. Legacy, which has 55 employees, also manufactures user-friendly grease guns, blow guns and color-coded couplers for air hoses.

“Marion is a friendly place to do business, and the city leaders and MEDCO were helpful in getting incentives from the state and securing our spot at the Enterprise Center,” Weems says. “I also appreciate that Marion has an educated workforce and strong work ethic, and I predict even greater advancements for our company in this new location.”

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