A logistics park is a hub for companies to manage the flow of their goods and resources. The Newton park will be about making things, storing things and shipping things out.
The park is located just southeast and east of the existing Newton Industrial Park on Spencer.
Q:Why now? And why lead with wind?
In the coming years, the U.S. is going to experience a “wind rush.” States are setting new energy standards, and the federal government is making it very attractive for companies to invest in wind energy. Many large companies are already seeking sites for new facilities to serve the wind energy demand. We are in a race with other cities and states to secure those companies.
In addition, international trade is expected to double by 2030. International companies will be looking for cost-effective ways to get their products into U.S. markets.
Q:Why is Newton right for a logistics park?
Newton is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the trend:
Kansas is the #2 state for wind energy potential.
Newton’s transportation assets are perfect for a logistics park: rail access, including two Class 1 carriers and shortline rail, U.S. 50, and I-135.
Newton is close to a major manufacturing region but is located in a large, open, uncongested area.
Newton has a 7,200-foot airport runway designed to accommodate large commercial aircraft.
Newton has direct rail access to the Port of Catoosa, the farthest inland deep-water port in the United States.
The area has a ready workforce of 61,000 manufacturing employees and 30,300 aircraft workers within a 50-mile radius.
Q:What are the benefits of the Kansas Logistics Park?
These companies will bring hundreds of new jobs to Newton – jobs that would more than make up for the layoffs we’ve experienced, plus bring in workers from outside Newton. The park’s first tenant, Tindall Corp., will break ground in 2011on a new $66 million facility to manufacture concrete bases for wind turbines. Tindall will create 405 jobs by the third year of operation. New jobs equates to more money in the local economy, new houses, more restaurants and shopping, plus revenue for local government, which will help keep tax rates low.
Q:What's the next step for the logistics park?
To make the expansion a reality, the City and County are investing in the basic infrastructure needed (water, sewer, streets). Shovel-ready sites are key to attracting major economic development prospects. Newton has lost out on a few companies because the basics were not in place and the projects were on tight timelines.
Water and sewer lines are now in place. Work is underway on a series of stormwater quality ponds. Street construction, funded by a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, is set to begin this summer.
The Harvey County Economic Development Council team continues to travel across the country and the world to market the park to potential manufacturing and logistics clients.
Q:Who will locate in the logistics park? Is it just wind companies?
Wind energy is the catalyst to move quickly on this logistics park, but even without it, logistics would still provide a long-term business model. Goods and supplies will always have to be managed and shipped. The agriculture industry, for example, has been looking into logistics for some time. Composites research and manufacturing is also a promising industry for logistics developments.