Competition to attract, assist and retain businesses in communities and metro areas across the US is fierce – and, today, more than ever, that competition extends around the globe. Communities that have a solid economic development strategy, adequate funding, available and affordable land and utilities, pro-business policies, and a skilled workforce are positioned to compete successfully.
Although our economic development work is often done behind the scenes, the culmination of our efforts is often hard to miss. One recent project we worked on is slated to begin operations here by the end of the year:
Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc., an Exeter, Pennsylvania, corporation, recently announced an expansion in Spokane County, with the construction of a large distribution warehouse in Spokane’s West Plains area. The 250,000-square-foot facility will be home to approximately 60 employees who will be responsible for inbound and outbound freight activities.
Keystone is the leading distributor and marketer of aftermarket automotive equipment and accessories in North America. Keystone’s parent company, LKQ, based in Chicago, is a Fortune 500 company with worldwide distribution.
In September 2014, Greater Spokane Incorporated was approached by Victor Overholser of SDS Realty regarding a confidential distribution and logistics project that was considering property off I-90. GSI worked closely with the broker to identify incentives, utility extensions, permitting timeframes, and workforce funds that could assist with screening, hiring and training of potential employees. Later in 2014, GSI began working directly with the company on application of the state incentives, and our team will continue to work to support Keystone’s success in Spokane.
The new warehouse, being built by Garco Construction and scheduled for completion before the end of 2015, will be adjacent to the Caterpillar Logistics Services facility which opened in 2013 and has since almost doubled its original workforce. The Construction Industry Training Council is also expanding into Eastern Washington, leasing 13,000-square-feet of classroom space in the same area as the new Keystone site.