By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
ELKHART — Goshen’s Waterford Commons Business Park was recognized as shovel-ready Friday.
The shovel-ready designation demonstrates that the 220-acre Waterford Commons Business Park is primed and ready for economic development.
Local officials and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs attended a ceremony at the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County Offices in Elkhart.
“We’re pleased to make the designation because it shows that Goshen is committed to welcoming new businesses,” said Matt Crouch, manager of OCRA’s Shovel-Ready Program. “Attracting new businesses is one way Goshen can emphasize a pro-growth business climate in the community. This is pretty nice and took a lot of collaboration to get this far. Waterford Commons shows they are ready for business development.”
The shovel-ready designation is the second such site for Elkhart County and the first for Goshen, said Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president and chief executive officers of the EDC.
“This is the largest site so far,” Heiden-Guss said. “This is exciting for Goshen.”
The developers of the property, Hoogenboom-Nofziger Corporation partners Greg Hoogenboom and Myrl Nofziger, accepted the shovel-ready designation.
“We got the idea after attending a seminar in 2012 and worked for the next 18 months to make this project happen,” Hoogenboom said.
“Waterford Commons Business Park LLC is pleased to be receiving the shovel-ready designation from the state of Indiana.”
The goal of the shovel-ready program is to expedite the business location process by making the sites more attractive to companies and site-selection consultants who are looking to locate or expand their business.
Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman said Waterford Commons offers a unique atmosphere that appeals to highly skilled and educated workers.
“I’m glad to have the opportunity to participate. Not everybody wants growth,” Kauffman said. “I’d rather deal with growth than decline. I’d like to thank them for all the work they did to get to this point. This is great for the city of Goshen.”