Economic growth and prosperity for the future demands Sioux City embrace a bold, visionary commitment to acquisition of additional land for development.
A front-page story in Sunday's Journal described the challenge of available land for industrial development faced by Sioux City. Whereas Dakota Dunes and North Sioux City in South Dakota, South Sioux City in Nebraska and Sergeant Bluff in Iowa do not face a land crunch, the two business parks in our tri-state metro region's largest city - Southbridge and Bridgeport West - are almost full.
In our view, this isn't a time for local public and private leaders to rest on laurels of yesterday, but rather a time for them to position this community for economic development successes tomorrow.
One component of this comprehensive plan should be Sioux City working with Woodbury County to breathe new life into discussion of a "mega site" - a goal we first broached in this space more than six years ago.
In state economic development circles, a "mega site" commonly means at least 1,000 acres of shovel-ready land.
Imagine the impact on this city and, indeed, region if, say, an auto manufacturer decided to locate a plant and a couple of thousand jobs on a "mega site" at the south edge of Sioux City between Southbridge and the Port Neal complex.
We understand the process of acquiring land for economic expansion (in particular, assembling enough land for a "mega site") is complex business. Still, we encourage local leaders to dream big and leave no stone unturned in pursuit of this objective.
“I think (Marty Dougherty, the city of Sioux City's economic development director) is probably right that we are kind of victims of successes, but now is not the time to wait and not be aggressive, either,” Mayor Bob Scott said in Sunday's Journal story. “We are going to continue to look for land and opportunities where we can acquire.”
Without question, we believe that's the right strategy.