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Certified and Ready for Business: CSX Select Sites

CSX Industrial Development introduced the Select Sites program in 2011 to better serve new or existing customers on its network.  CSX partnered with The Austin Company, a nationally-known site selection and certification consulting firm, to screen candidate and certification consulting firm, to screen candidate sites and assist communities with the application and certification process.

CSX’s Select Site program reviews manufacturing and distribution development sites along the CSX network that can rapidly utilize freight rail service. This designation confirms that the most time-consuming technical and regulatory aspects of development are already complete. “The Select Site certification provides certainty for companies seeking industrial property for manufacturing operations and allows for increased speed to market and reduced development risk,” said Clark Robertson, Assistant Vice President, Industrial Development. “This program also helps communities identify sites that can compete effectively for new investments and job creation.”

Competitive Communities

From a community’s perspective, a CSX Select Site gives your community a competitive edge by making a rail-served site more attractive to companies and site-selection consultants looking for locations for business startups, expansions or relocations. “Communities with the vision and political will to protect, invest in and certify a rail-served property, have a distinct advantage over others which let rail-served properties go away for one reason or another,” said Jennifer Tanner, CSX Industrial Development Manager. Rail-served properties are a non-renewing resource. Communities with a CSX Select Site have a significant differentiator from others.”

Gregory Myers, Executive Director of the Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council in Wapakoneta, Ohio, discussed the process of becoming a CSX Select Site. “It takes time and hard work, but once it is done, it makes responding to projects simple – all the data is readily available, all the questions are answered, and infrastructure is in place. It makes my job much easier.

When The Austin Company asked us to get a US Army Corps of Engineer’s wetlands delineation for the site, I was skeptical.  Was it really necessary?  It took us nearly eight months to get it done. Afterwards, I understood that was eight months that could have delayed a company’s project or eliminated us from consideration. As a Select Site, we had eliminated that time and risk for them.  It’s done.  Being a CSX Select site can open many new doors for us. It was definitely worth it.”

To receive CSX Select Site designation, the location must meet a rigorous list of criteria. Once certified, the sites also feature on a new user-friendly web portal featuring press releases, promotional material and direct marketing to site selection professionals.