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Preparedness and Certified Ready Site play role in landing AGP

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The day was Aug. 12, 2014, and it was Mike Bockorny’s second day on the job as the CEO of the Aberdeen Development Corporation. His assistant handed him the business card of a gentleman that had stopped in the week before. Bockorny immediately picked up the phone and began what is now a solid partnership with Ag Processing Inc, (AGP), Aberdeen’s newest corporate citizen.

After the call, Bockorny pulled his team together and researched various locations for AGP to consider. “We looked in various counties, but kept coming back to the Whitewood Industrial Park in Aberdeen,” Bockorny said.  The reason? The site was certified ready by the state so Bockorny and company officials knew that it would meet their needs.

So what does it mean to be certified ready?  “The primary purpose of the program is to certify tracts of land meeting industry real estate standards as ‘shovel ready’ for commercial and industrial development,” said Pat Costello, Commissioner, Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “A Certified Ready Site mitigates many of the risks involved in a typical real estate transaction by giving reasonable assurances that the site is ready for development. Having a shovel ready site can be the difference between getting a project or not.”

In this particular case, the company had a list of more than a dozen criteria it needed in a site. The Whitewood Park hit on virtually all of them. “This is a classic example of how being prepared pays off,” Bockorny said. “This project also showcased South Dakota’s ability to pull various state and city departments together to get a project done. That kind of cooperation is impressive to business prospects,” he added.

So impressive, in fact, that AGP decided to utilize the entire 292 acres in the Whitewood Park for its new soybean processing facility. Company officials also mentioned a plentiful soybean supply, stable workforce, solid infrastructure and transportation capabilities as key factors in their decision to locate in Aberdeen.

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