Southview Industrial Park gets busy

BY COREY MEINTS

England.FritoLay-11.14

It’s hard to tell who’s more excited about the activities at Southview Industrial Park, but the nod has to go to Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation Executive Director Cindy Litwiller — just edging Terry and Dave England.

Within the last few weeks, work has begun on two buildings on Westview Drive. One, Litwiller had a direct hand in developing is a 22,500-square-foot spec building with room to expand. While that doesn’t yet have a buyer, she said several companies have come to her looking for a building in which to operate.

Without such a building, she said the IFADC felt the time was right to put up spec building for companies to consider. A June 2015 completion date has been set.

The new spec building is going up directly across the street from the Times Citizen Communications press building, which was also a city-built spec.

The other construction is next door to the east of the new city spec building and is being put up by England Contracting, an Iowa Falls construction company that is looking to get more into commercial buildings. This one will house a Frito- Lay warehouse. The property was purchased from the IFADC, leaving about 10 acres of undeveloped, IFADC-owned land in the Southview Industrial
Park.

“It’s very exciting to see this activity in the industrial park,” Litwiller said.“We’re just thrilled and
hope this sparks even more growth.”

Terry England, co-owner of England Contracting with brother Dave, said the chip and snack company has rented space in the England building at 742 S. Oak St. in Iowa Falls for several years as a route distribution hub. The company is planning to move out of the current England home building and into the new site by Dec. 1.

England said construction on the 3,000-squarefoot building began about three weeks ago. It will be England’s building with Frito- Lay renting.

“We’ve been renting to them (Frito-Lay) for seven or eight years,” Terry England said. “They’ve been here longer than that and came to us when they needed something bigger. They need something bigger again, but we are just busting at the seams here as it is. And I think for security reasons they wanted their own stand-alone structure.”

England said he has been working with Frito-Lay for some four months, noting that a smaller
building was the first plan. It has since grown to accommodate another route, with the foundation just recently completed.

England Contracting is looking at getting more involved with industrial construction, while continuing to maintain various rental properties throughout the area. One of those is the old
Riverside Book and Bible complex nearby which the company bought and filled with renters. Some 50,000 square feet of the building will soon to be available.

The industrial park is an enticing area, England said, noting that if he has tenants then he would
be interested in building there. As it is, he said, it’s all he and his brother 14 employees can do to get current jobs finished.

Once Frito-Lay moves out, the bulk of the home building will be put back into England Contracting use. That, England said, is a sign of growth.

“We’re doing a 60-by-120 spec building right between New Modern Concepts and the USDA building,” he said. “We do a fair amount of that. We’ve done three or four spec houses and we’re trying to get more into commercial buildings and concrete work now.”

England sees such buildings becoming a trend in the area. He noted that many companies are looking at their budget when it comes to such buildings, noting that his business will maintain the property leaving only utilities and rent on Frito-Lay’s list of expenses.

Owning several lots primed for industrial growth, England said his company is poised well for such economic growth.

England Contracting began when the brothers decided to turn their school jobs into their own business. Doing projects during the summers and weekends,the two have built the company up since 1996.

“Rental properties have always complemented what we do well,” England said. “Most everything we bought for commercial had already been built. Even our own is just a remodel. Commercial buildings are growing, especially warehousing because there’s no leaky plumbing, only one tenant and a lot of square feet.”

There’s also a need for personal storage units, something England said is in the works for his company.“We just haven’t had time,” he said. “We always think we’ll get concrete poured in the fall then build through the winter, but we’re always busy getting everybody else caught up.”

Those units may be on hold for a while if more projects like this new building pop up. That’s a good problem to have, he said, both for his company and for the economics of the Scenic
City.

“Building these kind of places spreads us out a little bit,” England said. “And it helps other companies with their own growth here in town. That’s good for everybody.”

For more information, contact Corey Meints at: mmeints@iafalls.com