By KEVIN CHIRI
Slidell news bureau
SLIDELL — St. Tammany Economic Development Director Brenda Reine-Bertus had some good news for Slidell-area business leaders at the recent East St. Tammany Chamber breakfast.
Bertus announced that her organization, STEDF, has recently completed the process to qualify another land site as state certified, bringing to four the total St. Tammany can now offer to prospective businesses.
The Louisiana Economic Development (LED) department has encouraged groups around the state to develop certified sites that are “construction ready” for large businesses considering our state.
STEDF now has four of those sites, with two on the eastern side of the parish and two on the western side of the parish.
In Slidell, a 35-acre piece of property owned by businessman Robert Levis near the site of the Summit Fremaux development was already qualified as a certified site, and Bertus announced this past week that a new piece of land near the Rigolets is the second in the Slidell area.
The site near the Rigolets is 54-acres and has met the rigorous LED process that includes such things as zoning restrictions, title research, environmental studies, soil analysis and surveys.
“Having certified sites makes any community more competitive in recruiting new businesses,” said Bertus. “The Rigolets site also is unique in that it has deepwater access, giving it added value to site selectors and CEOs in a more diverse range of industries.”
In recent years, state-certified sites have become increasingly in demand nationwide. As the timeframe for making business location decisions has shortened and companies are much more risk-averse, business leaders look for sites that are ready to develop and relatively risk-free.
Bertus said St. Tammany now has more certified sites than any other parish in the state.