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Area Development site selection factors and Iowa: Available buildings, Construction costs, Quality of life

December 27, 2016

Area Development site selection factors and Iowa: Available buildings, Construction costs, Quality of life

Site selection and economic development publication Area Development recently published a series of articles on the top 10 site selection factors. Here’s how Iowa stacks up on factors five through one. A previous article addressed factors 10 through six.

#5 – Available buildings

Industrial rental rates in Iowa are 15 percent below the national average, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) makes it easy to find buildings in Iowa. More than 900 buildings, including more than 240 industrial buildings, are currently in the search database. Find buildings here: Property Search.

#4 – Construction costs

Construction costs in Iowa are 18 percent below the national average. The IEDA can also help you find a property well-suited for your structure. Iowa Certified Sites are credentialed by the nationally recognized site selection firm McCallum Sweeney Consulting as development-ready.

#3 – Quality of life

Iowa offers a top ten quality of life, according to CNBC. Iowans enjoy some of the shortest average commutes in the country – an average of 18.8 minutes. It’s one of the least expensive places to purchase a home, and the state has the nation’s top public high school graduation rate. Iowa cities are vibrant and growing, including a booming craft brewing scene, and outdoor recreation activities abound – including more than 2,200 miles of trails for biking, running and walking.

#2 – Highway Accessibility

Iowa has top performing transportation infrastructure according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Three major interstate highways cross Iowa: I-80, which runs from San Francisco to New York City, I-35, which runs from Laredo to Duluth and I-29 which runs from Kansas City to the Canadian border. These are also served by an extensive network of state and U.S. highways. Check out the Iowa Certified Sites program for development-ready sites well served by highways.

#1 – Availability of Skilled Labor

Iowa is aggressively tackling the nationwide skills gap. Iowa’s universities confer the fifth most science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees per 1,000 residents. At the grade school level, Iowa's STEM initiative increased high school students taking STEM-related AP tests 22 percent from 2012 to 2015. Iowa’s public high school graduation rate is top in the nation, and a survey of CEOs by Chief Executive magazine ranked Iowa 6th in worker quality.



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Iowa Economic Development Authority
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: 1.515.348.6200
email: Email Us

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