Ocala / Marion County Commerce Park Site Receives CSX Select Site Designation
CSX Corporation has announced that a portion of the Ocala / Marion County Commerce Park in Ocala, Florida has been designated a CSX Select Site.
Select Sites are properties identified and vetted as capable locations for future manufacturing facilities along the CSX network. These sites can be developed quickly since standard land use issues and comprehensive due diligence items have already been addressed.
“Through the Select Site program, we can significantly reduce the time it takes for companies to evaluate a competitive site, and ultimately construct their facility and bring products to market,” said Clark Robertson, assistant vice president, regional development at CSX.
CSX introduced the Select Site program in 2012 to better serve new or existing customers on its network. CSX partnered with The Austin Company, a nationally-known site selection consulting firm, to screen candidate sites and assist communities with the application and certification process.
The Ocala / Marion County Commerce Park is a 489-acre industrial park adjacent to Interstate 75. An 83-acre parcel on the eastern edge of the park has been designated as a CSX Select Site, as a planned rail spur will connect this parcel to the Florida Northern Railroad’s mainline, located just over one-half mile east of the site.
“The investment by both the City of Ocala and Marion County to bring a four-lane roadway and utility infrastructure to this property made this Select Site designation possible,” said Jonathan Gemmen, senior location consultant with The Austin Company.
“The future for rail-oriented job creation in and around Ocala has never been better,” says Tom Owen, vice president of marketing and sales for the Florida Northern Railroad. CSX’s short line partner, Florida Northern Railroad, will provide local service to the Ocala / Marion County Commerce Park.
The Ocala / Marion County Commerce Park is the first site in Florida to be designated as a CSX Select Site.
“This designation enhances our ability to be globally competitive for rail-served manufacturing and distribution projects,” said Kevin Sheilley, president of Ocala / Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership.
To receive CSX Select Site designation, the location must meet a rigorous list of criteria, including infrastructure and utility availability, environmental reviews, appropriate zoning and entitlement, rail serviceability, proximity to highways or interstates, and other attributes. Once certified, the sites are featured on a new user-friendly web portal that includes press releases, promotional materials and direct marketing to site selection professionals.