FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Contact: Megan Gilliland, communications manager, (785) 832-3406 OR Eileen Hawley, Chamber of Commerce media relations, (785) 865-4411
Local Economic Development Partners produce 2011 progress report
(Lawrence, Kan.) – The City of Lawrence, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and Douglas County have produced a 2011 Economic Development Annual Report to highlight some of the success stories and efforts of local organizations to stimulate the economic health of Lawrence and Douglas County. The report focuses on the efforts of the major economic development agencies operating in Lawrence and Douglas County and highlights the progress made in business retention, expansion and attraction in 2011. Three basic elements form the basis of a strong economic development program and focus on creating good jobs for the community: Attracting New Business; Fostering Growth and Retention of Existing Businesses; and Supporting Entrepreneurship.
“Many organizations and multiple partnerships in Lawrence and Douglas County are responsible for the successes our community saw in 2011,” said Lawrence Aron Cromwell. “This report highlights the importance of growing jobs and strengthening our local tax base for future prosperity.”
- The health care sector accounted for an estimated 6.9% of Douglas County’s total employment, or about 4,510 jobs.
- Berry Plastics began construction of a $20 million, 600,000 square-foot warehouse facility in Douglas County, just northwest of Lawrence.
- The Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC) at the University of Kansas achieved 100% occupancy at the West Campus facility, two years ahead of projected schedule. It is now the largest business incubator in Kansas and one of the largest in the Midwest.
- The Poehler Mercantile Building, 618 E. 8th Street, is the focus of a redevelopment plan that will create 49 multifamily apartment units.
- The Bowersock Mills and Power Company (BMPC), broke ground on a $25 million expansion facility which will triple the production of renewable energy harnessed from the waters of the Kansas River.
- Sixteen-hundred tons of scrap metal were removed from the former Farmland nitrogen fertilizer plant in east Lawrence. The city was awarded a REPowering America grant from the EPA that will help determine the best renewable energy options for the site.
The report is available online or in print at the City Manager’s Office, Chamber of Commerce, Bioscience and Technology Business Center and County Administrative Offices.
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