20 Mar 2024

The Essential Role of Shovel-Ready Sites in Economic Development

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In the realm of economic development, the term “shovel-ready” signifies more than just prepared land. It represents a beacon of growth, efficiency, and opportunity. Shovel-ready sites, with their pre-developed infrastructure, offer a unique blend of advantages that make them invaluable for rapid economic expansion and competitiveness.

Here’s why these sites are pivotal for regions looking to thrive in today’s fast-paced economic landscape.

1. Quick Entry to the Market: One of the most significant advantages of shovel-ready sites is their ability to facilitate quick entry to the market. Thanks to pre-existing roads, utilities, and other essential infrastructure, these sites offer a streamlined path to development. Businesses can break ground and become operational in record time, allowing investors to see a return on their investments much sooner than traditional development projects. This speed is not just convenience; it’s a critical factor in a business’s decision to invest in a region.

2. Attraction for Investors: The very existence of a shovel-ready site is a testament to a region’s commitment to growth and development. It signals to investors and businesses that the area is primed for economic activity, with minimal bureaucratic obstacles. This proactive stance by local governments or development agencies creates a fertile environment for investment, drawing interest from sectors keen on a hassle-free setup.

3. Competitive Edge: In the competition to attract businesses and industries, time is of the essence. Shovel-ready sites give communities and regions a decisive competitive edge, particularly in industries where speed to market is crucial, such as manufacturing and technology. This advantage can be the deciding factor in a business’s location decision, bringing economic benefits to the area.

4. Lower Development Expenses and Risks: Developing a new site from scratch comes with a host of costs and risks, from zoning approvals and environmental assessments to site surveys. Shovel-ready sites significantly reduce these hurdles, having already cleared much of the bureaucratic and logistical groundwork. This reduction in development expenses and risks makes shovel-ready sites a safer and more attractive option for developers, providing a solid foundation for their ventures.

5. Boosting Job Opportunities and Economic Expansion: The impact of shovel-ready sites extends far beyond the immediate benefits of quick development and reduced costs. By accelerating job creation and economic growth, these sites contribute significantly to the well-being of the community. The ripple effects of this accelerated development can lead to enhanced tax revenues, improved quality of life, and a robust local economy.

6. Advantages for the Environment and Community: Shovel-ready sites also offer a unique opportunity to address environmental and community concerns proactively. With development plans already in place, these sites can ensure that projects are aligned with the community’s long-term goals and environmental sustainability. This foresight can lead to more community-oriented and environmentally friendly projects, reinforcing the social fabric of the area.

Shovel-ready sites are not just about having land ready for development; they embody a strategic approach to economic growth that prioritizes speed, efficiency, and sustainability. By offering cost-effectiveness, reduced risks, and a magnet for investments, shovel-ready sites are cornerstone assets in promoting regional growth and competitiveness. As we look towards fostering dynamic and thriving economies, the importance of these sites cannot be overstated, serving as the launching pads for the economic success stories of tomorrow.

Bonus Pro-tip: Do you have a shovel ready site that could be a GRAD Certified Site? A Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Ready Site is a pre-qualified industrial site for which the due diligence has been completed prior to a prospect visit.

Our Property Search Tab on our Site Selection page has a database of GRAD Certified and GRAD Certified Select sites that allows you to peruse all around Georgia.

The GRAD Program is a proactive effort by Georgia’s economic development community to develop a portfolio of available sites ready for fast-track development. The program administered by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, continues to grow, with more than 60 certified industrial available sites for prospective companies interested in Georgia.

Are you interested in learning more about shovel-ready sites or our database of GRAD Certified sites in Georgia? Contact Scott Berta, our Industrial Development Manager.