Monday, May 16, 2011

Centre for Business and Research: Six month progress report

Last week economic development officials presented a status report to the Owensboro City Commission on the Centre for Business and Research, the 40,000 square foot business accelerator that opened last October.

In the six months since the facility opened, three tenants have moved into the Centre.  Additionally, the biotechnology lab used by industries and the Western Kentucky University biotech research program is opened. EDC Executive Vice President Madison Silvert is currently finalizing leases with three additional companies.  He projects that the Centre will have 8 to 10 companies occupying space by the end of 2011.

"At the current rate of growth the Centre will be near capacity by the end of 2012, a full three years ahead of schedule," said Silvert.  By the end of 2012 the Centre will generate a dollar in lease revenue for every dollar invested by the City for the project.  If occupational taxes of the new jobs, with an average salary of $95,000, in the building and net profit taxes for the new companies that locate there are factored in, the City will generate a positive return on their annual investment of $300,000 in very short order.

"Few investments in economic development provide as rapid a return on such a small investment," said EDC President/CEO Nick Brake.  "This project was originally proposed as a long-term endeavor.  We are very pleased with the initial results, but it is important to be patient and stay the course for the entire commitment of ten years," he said.

"While such a positive return in such a short time is nice, the ultimate goal of the project is to help form scalable companies that can grow and eventually locate in the region and employ several hundred people," said Silvert.  

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