Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
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Bowling Green's 3rd business park has its 1st tenant

BOWLING GREEN - The new Innovative Technology Park, the third business park created by the Bowling Green Community Development Foundation, has landed its first tenant.

Hindley Electronics Inc., which manufactures electronic parts for aerial lift equipment, was to break ground this morning on a 20,000-square-foot plant at the technology park on Napoleon Road east of Dunbridge Road.

Sue Clark, director of the foundation, is hoping the ceremony is the first of several to come yet this year at the site.

"The reason we develop parks is not to make money, but to bring jobs to the community," she said. "It has to work financially for us. It can't be real expensive land. First, because we don't have those kinds of resources and, second, because we want reasonably priced land to offer tenants so they will come here and bring jobs. It's part of our mission to create a sound economic base within the community."

The foundation's first project, the 141-acre Wood-Bridge Business Park on Dunbridge Road, is sold out with 15 tenants. Its second development, the 80-acre Bellard Business Park at the northeast corner of Newton and Brim roads, has seven tenants, an eighth that's under construction, and just seven acres left to develop, Ms. Clark said. Together the companies employ in excess of 700 people.

While Wood-Bridge has primarily industrial tenants and Bellard has a mix of industrial and commercial tenants, at least 51 percent of the companies that purchase land and move into Innovative Technology Park must be "technological companies," according to Ohio Department of Development standards, Ms. Clark said.

Last year, the city was awarded a $500,000 grant through the state's Research Park Roadwork Assistance Fund to make improvements to the roadway into the park from Napoleon and Dunbridge roads. With the money came the requirement that the city strive to attract high-tech companies.

"We're basically targeting companies that are either computer-based or they're a service industry to the computer industry or they build something that has electronic components," Ms. Clark said.

Hindley Electronics, which employs 40 people, had its offices in Center Township and a production facility in leased space on Industrial Parkway in Bowling Green until a fire destroyed the Center Township building last fall. Ms. Clark said the company has been getting by in cramped quarters at the Industrial Parkway location.

"They're very anxious to have this building built," she said, adding that she is talking with a couple of other interested tenants for the technology park, which cost about $1.25 million to develop.

Mayor John Quinn said he's pleased with the foundation's track record for developing business parks that offer companies ready-to-build sites with the infrastructure and zoning in place as well as easy access to I-75.

"It seems to work, and we've had a lot of success," Mr. Quinn said. "Certainly these businesses that have come here have not only come but have prospered after they've come. That's been the nice part of it. Those parks have filled up, and those businesses have expanded."

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com

or 419-353-5972.

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