Certified Business Park Program Newsletter
April 2016
Quick Links
Economic developers have long recognized the need for uniformity in use of the term “business park.” The expression designates certain kinds of districts or subdivisions set-aside for sites to be occupied by groups of manufacturing and/or high tech industrial facilities.

To give prospective occupants a better idea of what they can expect to find in a business park and assure them of high quality characteristics and services, the Michigan Department of Commerce and the Michigan Industrial Developers Association, in 1969, adopted a set of standards for qualified developments to be known as “Certified Industrial Parks.”

Beginning with those established criteria, the Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) and the state department now known as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) updated the standards in 2001 and renewed the voluntary program for certifying business parks.  This program today is known as the “Michigan Certified Business Park Program.”

Park developers throughout Michigan use the CBP standards in the design of parks and work toward achieving certification.  Prospects will find that a Certified Business Park offers specific advantages that are not available in other parks.

Those Certified Business Parks located in a qualified local unit of government, as defined by the Local Development Financing Authority Act (PA248 of 2000), have the potential to capture property taxes to aid in the financing of the public infrastructure improvements in or around the park, and/or acquire additional property for park expansion, as well as other public improvements. In addition, all Certified Business Parks will be marketed by the Michigan Economic Developers Association.
Journeyman tool maker Jason Stych recently made his dream of opening his own tool and machining shop (Basis Machining) a reality, thanks to the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) of Hillsdale County’s USDA Rural Development Loan Program and County National Bank of Hillsdale. Basis Machining is located in one of our own Certified Business Parks, Hillsdale Manufacturing and Technology Park in Southwest Michigan, and is noted for its technological capabilities and excellent fiber connectivity.
"The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Hillsdale County,” said Susan Smith, Executive Director for the EDP.

Get your space leased by the right tenant at the right rate by doing some homework before you put out that “For Rent” sign.
Brian Estes, a commercial real estate professional in Mississippi, lists three things he recommends his clients do when they’re ready to rent out their properties.

Find The Right Rate Terms
Any homeowner knows how important it is to price their home correctly when they’re looking to sell. The same is true when you set the rent for your commercial space.
“Nothing is more time-consuming and costly than to overprice your space,” Brian said.
And under-pricing is no better. Either way, you lose money!
To find out what the going rate is for spaces like yours, ask other property owners with similar spaces that are already occupied. While you’re at it, ask them how their leases are structured. Do they have full-service leases in which the rent covers all expenses like utilities and janitorial services? Or does the tenant pay for these separately? Are the leases one- or two-year agreements, or do tenants prefer a longer term?
“In the case with Class B and C office buildings, many tenants prefer full-service leases,” Brian explained. “It’s easier to budget, and they don’t have to put up deposits for utilities.”
Making your rental rates and lease terms attractive can make all the difference in getting your space occupied quickly—and bringing in money.

Make It Look Good
Speaking of making things attractive, a good-looking location will attract more potential tenants, Brian said.
“In most cases, there is always room for improvement to the exterior of your property to increase its curb appeal,” he explained. “Current and potential tenants want to have a location they can take pride in.”
On the inside, you can offer your prospective tenants an allowance to spend on improvements if your space isn’t in move-in condition. Or, you can let them choose the paint and carpet that you will have installed.
However, if tenants in the market are interested in leasing a space for two years or less, Brian recommends showing your space in move-in condition. That way, you don’t have to make improvements for a tenant who doesn’t have a long-term commitment to the location.

Go With A Pro
You can make the whole process simpler by working with a professional.
“In some markets, simply posting signs will quickly lease a space,” Brian said. “However, in most markets, good commercial real estate agents have access to databases, tenant contacts and other agent relationships that are critical in getting spaces leased.”

Web Page
Upon certification, we will create a webpage for your CBP park. This web site is created to profile individual Certified Business Parks by containing general information, a list of tenants, information about the community, an expandable site plan, a picture, an expandable aerial photo and more.

Google Analytics
Sign up for Google Analytics to view your park’s page hits. This will help you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your park, and give you an idea of how much exposure your web page is getting.

Become a CBP Web Partner
Remember that sharing links increases your visibility. MEDA has a CBP Web Partner page in which we will add a link to your company’s website if you add ours to your site.

CBP Committee
Sign up for the CBP Committee for an opportunity to meet with other CBP Park managers/owners. Here you can ask questions, get answers, and put ideas towards enhancing the CBP program. CBP members are automatically invited to the Annual Meeting where they can give suggestions to changes in the program, ask fellow members questions, etc.

Google Clickable Map Feature
Being located on Google Maps allows prospective tenants to access your page by location and surrounding areas.

Park Development News
Add recent expansions, enhancements of job creation news for your park on our website and in our quarterly CBP Newslette

Education Brochure
This marketing piece was developed to communicate the benefits of certification for state business parks.

Press Releases to Announce Certification
This modifiable press release will assist a Certified Business Park to quickly and easily spread the word that they have received certification. Photo opportunities with MEDA staff or inspectors are available upon request.

Tax Increment Financing
A CBP located in a qualified local unit of government, as defined by the Local Development Financing Authority Act (PA248 of 2000), has the potential to capture property taxes to aide in the financing of the public infrastructure improvements in or around the park, and/or acquire additional property for park expansion, as well as other public improvements. 

Listed on US Certified Sites
The CBP is listed as a Certified Site in the US, "a single source on all certified site and shovel ready programs nationwide." MEDA is also looking for additional places to list our CBP website.

Northern Michigan, or more properly the Northern Lower Peninsula, is a region of Michigan, popular as a tourist destination, resort area, and vacation area.

It is home to several small-to medium-sized cities, extensive state and national forests, lakes and rivers, and a large portion of Great Lakes shoreline. Life is simple and rich, surrounded by nature, beautiful lakes and forests and good and friendly folks.

Home to the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, as well as several State forests and campgrounds, the region has a significant seasonal population much like other regions that depend on tourism as their main industry. Industries and exports include potatoes, cement-making, mining, natural gas extraction and food processing.

Michigan Economic Developers Association, P.O. Box 15096, Lansing, MI 48901-5096|  517-241-0011 | meda@medaweb.org