On a beautiful fall afternoon, around 200 people ventured to the Thomas Rose Industrial Park groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate an economic achievement for the city of La Porte, La Porte County, and all of Northwest Indiana.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was on hand to honor the ceremony and spoke along with La Porte Mayor Blair Milo and Tom Casey, Vice President at Space Center LLC, the company developing the 137 acre expansion of the property.
“This is a really special and really uplifting occasion that I’ve been looking forward to,” Daniels said of the announcement. “There is a whole new spirit of enterprising energy in Northern Indiana. You can feel it in South Bend, you can feel it here in La Porte, and Portage is another example.”
Daniels continued, “Folks like Space Center take a state that looks promising and looks auspicious for business that may catch their eye, but ultimately they have got to pick a place. It has got to be a place where the community understands the need to help businesses move quickly and affordably. Our goal is to make it as affordable as possible to hire the next Hoosier and that’s what you’re seeing in La Porte.”
“I want to thank all of my fellow government leaders who are here with us, members of the city and county council, county commissioners, state legislators and representatives of our members of Congress as well. Your participation highlights the momentousness of this occasion.” started Mayor Milo. “I’ve been so excited for this day since the day we started this project.”
The opportunity for bringing a large number of new jobs, most notably in the manufacturing sector, into the region was a big step economically for the county. Mayor Milo noted at the low end of the projections, the expansion can expect to bring over 1,000 manufacturing jobs into the local economy. “Our park will now have the opportunity for service from both the South Shore Freight and the Norfolk Southern Railroads. While we are continuing to work with Space Center and many interested industries on how specific final details will evolve, the low end of our estimates predict over 1,000 manufacturing jobs will be attributable to this development,” she explained. “These opportunities now exist because the City of La Porte and the State of Indiana have worked so diligently to position ourselves as a location primed for development.”
Milo went on to describe the “truly relentless” efforts of everyone involved. She specifically noted Bert Cook, Executive Director of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation, as a key figure in positioning La Porte for this economic milestone. "The expansion of the Thomas Rose Industrial Park is critical to economic development for the City of La Porte, La Porte County and the entire region. With Space Center, LLC, a nationwide industrial developer, now involved in the project, we have the needed partnership to complete this expansion,” stated Cook.
“Space Center’s involvement in this project can be directly attributed to the State of Indiana, the City of La Porte, including all city departments, the La Porte Redevelopment Commission and GLEDC (Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation),” explained Tom Casey. “Another compelling reason for investment here was the cooperation and instant support we received from the La Porte Urban Enterprise Zone, the South Shore Freight Railroad and NIPSCO.”
Casey made a special note of how Space Center has been and will be working with local workers, government agencies and contractors to build and develop the industrial park. “In keeping with our goal of hiring locally, our design-build team consists of Larson Danielson Construction Company as our builder, Haas & Associates as our civil engineers, and Ware Malcomb as our architect,” he said.
With park layouts having been completed, Space Center is actively working with a number of interested companies to further develop Thomas Rose Industrial Park. For more information on economic development and opportunities in La Porte, visit www.gledc.com.
Click here to see more photos from the ceremony, and stay tuned for our video!