Booklet would be development tell-all

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 13, 2009

VIDALIA — When an industrial prospect comes knocking, Concordia Parish economic officials want to be able to point and say, “Here’s what we’ve got.”

And Concordia Parish Economic Director Heather Malone and Executive Assistant Jamie Burley have been working to gather the information to do just that.

The two are compiling a booklet of available commercial, industrial and office space in Concordia Parish to give to industrial prospects.

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The properties will also be posted on the Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District web site.

“I hate when I get a call from someone saying, ‘This is what I want,’ and I have to say, “Let me get back to you,’” Malone said.

As part of the listing, the district is gathering all of the information they can about a given property.

“We are looking at everything from the square-footage to the thickness of the foundation to how many parking spaces it has,” Malone said.

This work is also about establishing a relationship with the existing business community, Malone said.

“Our goal is to create a relationship with the owners of the facilities so they feel comfortable coming to us if they need help,” she said.

Ferriday already has a town portfolio, and Mayor Glen McGlothin said they have recently shown property to interested parties.

Some of the property currently available in Ferriday includes a 30-acre tract, an 18-acre tract and a large warehouse that was at one time used for the manufacture of rail cars.

So far, Burley has been able to compile most of the property in Ferriday, and the work in Vidalia is ongoing.

But there is a problem.

“We need more buildings in Vidalia, commercial, industrial, even office,” Mayor Hyram Copeland said. “That’s a problem we have — we have people interested in coming to Vidalia, but looking at office space, there is just not much property left.”

What the city does have is space in its second industrial park, and Copeland said the two may form a partnership to build what is known as a spec building.

A spec building is essentially a basic structure that can be modified or expanded easily to meet the needs of a specific recruit.

“We have a couple of industrial buildings (in the parish), but based on the leads I get from the state, we are not really able to accommodate the types of businesses that I am seeing through those leads,” Malone said.

In the coming week, the district will start focusing on available property and buildings in the Monterey area, Malone said.

For more information or to have a property listed, contact the CPEIDD at 318-336-3635.