It has been a blockbuster week for economic development in La Porte County. This morning at the Kingsbury Industrial Park in La Porte, Indiana, a strong crowd of business, community, regional, and state leaders came together to celebrate the groundbreaking for the INland Logistics Port.
Among the VIP's attending or presenting today were Congressman Joe Donnelly, La Porte County Commissioner Ken Layton, La Porte County Councilman Rich Mrozinski Jr., Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Bert Cook, Director of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Leigh Morris, City of La Porte Mayor Blair Milo, and Michigan City Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Kevin Kieft.
Don Babcock, Economic Development Director for NIPSCO, kicked off the day by noting what a major development this is for the county and region. Of the groundbreaking he said, "One small piece of track for La Porte County, and one giant interconnection to the world." The combination of the tracks provides the opportunity to help "people bring more products more efficiently to the Midwest, and to help local people that want to get products from the Midwest out to the world.”
Located just 45 miles southeast of Chicago, the INland Logistics Port at Kingsbury (ILP-K) is a 625-acre dual rail-served logistics park, providing rail and truck access to the Upper Midwest Consumption Zone, which reaches 41 million people in one day's drive. The groundbreaking begins Phase 1 of the park's plan of making it high quality for the CSX Select Site designation. A $6,000,000 rail funding agreement by the La Porte County Council, La Porte County Commissioners and La Porte County Redevelopment Commission made the rail connection possible.
As Jeff Fox from CSX tells the story, "This project started with a call from a customer. They wanted to find the best place to locate a food distribution facility to hit the Upper Midwest Consumption Zone. That first call was in May of 2008. That best place turned out to be Kingsbury."
Brent Halfwassen, of the Halfwassen Group, LLC and co-landowner stated, "The Halfwassen Group and Providence Logistics would like to thank the La Porte County Council, Commissioners, Redevelopment Commission and everyone who worked on this project for their leadership and support for this exciting new logistics center."
INland Logistics Port at Kingsbury is zoned for heavy industrial uses. The abundant utilities and complex infrastructure is designed to support a variety of distribution and manufacturing users with parcels ranging from 10 to 200 acres. J.D. Salazar, SIOR of Champion Realty Advisors, is spearheading the marketing efforts for ILP-K. For more information on the logistics park, please visit www.ilpkingsbury.com.
According to Jeffery Wagoner, Industrial Development Manager for CSXT, "ILP-Kingsbury will be served by CSX Transportation via a dedicated connection to its Chicago-to-New York main line. Occupants of ILP-Kingsbury will benefit from direct-rail access with the capacity for unit train shipments, as well as from the property's refrigerated warehousing and regional distribution capabilities. Sites within the park have flexibility to handle multiple uses, including manufacturing, processing and bulk storage."
"This is a great opportunity for us. La Porte County is now open for business," said Bert Cook, Executive Director of Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation. "By adding this new transportation connection to CSXT, we now have the zoning, utilities, land and ample workforce; everything necessary for companies to be competitive in today's marketplace."
"This plot of land used to be called Kingsbury Ordinance Plant, and was an integral part of the War (WWII) effort. Thousands of people worked out here to support our troops in the big war. Today we stand on the threshold of restoring this industrial park to the position of prominence in La Porte County again," proudly remarked La Porte County Councilman, Rich Mrozinski Jr."You make the county attractive and the jobs will come to you".
The infrastructure improvements being constructed by Providence Logistics will allow CSXT to offer daily manifest rail service and unit train service to ILP-K. This will be the closest location to Chicago for this type of service on the CSX network.
"The ability for unit train service at the INland Logistics Port-Kingsbury will revolutionize how products move to and from the Upper Midwest, specifically Northwest Indiana. Companies locating at ILP-K will benefit from the CSXT rail connection by expediting their products to market, increasing product freshness for food related customers, and optimizing transportation costs. Additional benefits of the CSXT service include reliable daily train service and a lower carbon footprint," stated Chris McGrath, Partner at Providence Logistics.
"This has been the perfect example of a public-private partnership. The only focus was on how we can make things grow. How we can make things better. Opportunity is growing in La Porte County on a constant basis," added Congressman Joe Donnelly.
It has been quite a week in economic development for La Porte County, following on the major groundbreaking for the expansion of the Thomas Rose Industrial Park on Wednesday, September 26, which you can read about here.
Providence Logistics is focused on developing rail-served ‘inside-the-fence’ aggregation parks, point-to-point dedicated unit train service and multi-modal sea port developments, with specific focus on providing our client’s with integrated transportation and real estate solutions, which achieve significant cost savings, reduction in transit times and greater network reliability. For more information, go to www.provloginc.com
CSX Corporation, together with its subsidiaries based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation's leading transportation suppliers. The company’s rail and intermodal businesses provide rail-based transportation services including traditional rail service and the transport of intermodal containers and trailers. CSX serves major markets in the eastern United States and has direct access to all Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, as well as the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. For more information, go to www.csx.com.
Champion Realty Advisors, LLC is the largest 100% Hispanic owned commercial/industrial brokerage and consulting company in the U S. The company has a long history of success positioning and marketing complex industrial projects. Champion professionals utilize teamwork, creativity and diversity to forge solutions for their clients. For more information, go to www.championre.com.