Business owners and community leaders gathered last week to recap a year of positive development in New Albany.
A variety of speakers talked about the city’s success as a hub for commercial development during the annual New Albany Chamber of Commerce Community Update Breakfast Sept. 15.
The topic of the morning was “synergy,” and speakers discussed how the joint efforts of the local government, business leaders and other influential residents led to positive outcomes in the past year.
Bill Ebbing, president of the New Albany Co., provided an overview of the New Albany business park’s growth.
“We have had unprecedented success in recent years attracting companies from literally all over the world,” Ebbing said. “That doesn’t happen just by accident, but by strong leadership and partnerships that make us unique from neighboring communities.”More than 2.1 million square feet of commercial development has cropped up in the park since 2009, some of which is still under construction. When completed the growth will represent more than 2,500 jobs.Upcoming projects to watch, he said, include a new 60,000 square foot medical office building and an acute care rehabilitation center, set to break ground in the spring of 2012.
Other major business developments include plans for a 120-room Courtyard Mariott hotel set to break ground in New Albany later this month, and plans to build several single-story, 50,000-square-foot office buildings that Ebbing said would be well-suited for call centers and tech-focused companies.
He said the city’s progressive tax incentive program has played a major part in the business park’s success.
For students, partnerships between local civic groups and the New Albany-Plain Local School District opened up new opportunities including career exploration and internships, according to Superintendent April Domine.
“We’re only able to do what we do because of our great partnerships that help us accomplish our mission of creating high-achieving, intellectually curious citizens of the world,” Domine said at the breakfast.
Brad Griffith, founder of local web design company Buckeye Interactive, spoke about the importance of fostering an environment friendly to small businesses.
Griffith’s tech start-up is one of 28 businesses located in the city’s small business incubator.
“I think it’s very important to recognize that entrepreneurs are the fastest-growing part of the business community, and most people are working for small businesses these days,” he said. “We’re thankful for the synergy and support we’ve seen from the chamber and all our business partners.”
Mayor Nancy Ferguson said that the city’s long-term master plan for economic development has fueled the city’s success.
“New Albany is a community with attractive surroundings and excellent schools, parks and services,” she said. “The qualities that make people want to move to New Albany in the early ’90s are the same reasons that people want to bring their businesses here today.”
“We have had unprecedented success in recent years attracting companies from literally all over the world.”