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Primus/Garner to Conduct Food Site Certification in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania

June 2, 2015
Author: Rebecca Elliott

Clearly Ahead Development (formerly Clearfield County Economic Development Corporation) has advanced its initiative to achieve Primus/Garner Food Site Certification for its 162-acre Commerce Park development. It will be the first site in Pennsylvania to receive the Primus/Garner designation, once review and analysis by Primus/Garner is completed.

The 162-acre site consists of industrial and commercial lots in a terraced fashion with infrastructure including access roads, overhead and underground electric, telecommunications, water, sewage, and natural gas services. Located on Industrial Park Road, Commerce Park is less than one mile from Interstate 80 and State Route 879. Recently zoned Industrial Limited Special, Commerce Park leadership is positioning the site to attract a wide range of capital investment in an effort to bring new food and beverage processing jobs to the area.

Rob Swales, Chief Executive Officer for Clearly Ahead Development, announced that the group has selected the joint venture of Primus Builders and Garner Economics to conduct a shovel-ready site analysis of Commerce Park. Clearly Ahead Development chose to pursue food site certification because food and beverage companies are a significant target industry sector for the County.

There are over 30,000 companies in the United States that are defined as food and beverage process manufacturers. These companies employ more than 1.6 million people. The food and beverage sector has growth opportunities in organics and naturals, ready-to-eat, health and wellness, ethnic and comfort foods. Clearfield County wishes to capitalize on these opportunities.

According to Tony Pitrone, Vice President of Primus Builders, and Jay Garner, President of Garner Economics, the rationale behind the certification program is to help communities succeed by giving them a competitive edge in pursuing food and beverage companies. “Our recent on-site inspection of Commerce Park and interviews with the Clearly Ahead staff were productive in moving the site closer to receiving the Food Certification designation. The impressive infrastructure and utility systems already in-place, coupled with a very favorable labor analysis and the proximity to major transportation corridors confirms Commerce Park’s value. The Clearly Ahead Development team is a group of highly skilled and forward thinking economic development professionals. We see this as a significant advantage for Commerce Park.”

“Speed to market continues to be an important factor with our clients in selecting sites or buildings. When we evaluate a community for one of our food clients, we analyze hundreds of variables that our clients consider important in the selection process. By having a Primus/Garner Certified Food Site, you are ahead of your competitors in showing food and beverage clients that your site meets the rigorous criteria that many companies are reviewing in their siting process,” commented Pitrone and Garner.

The certification process begins with a labor analysis focused on the workforce requirements of the food and beverage industry. This presents solid information to prospective clients that prove the site’s value. Primus and Garner’s technical experts have initiated additional field analysis exercises to strengthen Clearfield County’s market position. Primus’s engineers will provide a site specific building layout (virtual spec building) so that prospective clients can visualize how a building may be defined at the Park. Ultimately, Clearly Ahead’s Commerce Park will be provided a report with the Primus/Garner Food Site Certification label or recommendations on how to achieve it.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Primus/Garner to promote and attract new investment to Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. We look forward to showcasing Commerce Park as a premier site for business growth opportunities and to be the first certified industrial park in Pennsylvania as a result of Primus/Garner’s assistance,” expressed Swales.