In business, time isn’t just money to the operating company.
Two website tools (bizloudoun.gov) recently upgraded or implemented by the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development shows time also can be money for communities trying to attract businesses.
“Companies and site selectors look for current, easily accessible and reliable data to make decisions about where to relocate and expand, and our new web tools provide a wealth of information,” DED Executive Director Buddy Rizer said.
The Commercial Real Estate Listing database is a one-stop tool for companies to find available properties for sale or lease in Loudoun County.
A map overlay tool can allow prospective businesses to sort properties by size, zoning distinction and other important factors in their decision-making process. It is also a handy source of contact information for the property owner or broker.
The database in provided by CoStar, a membership-based commercial real estate service that allows property owners and brokers to upload their information for easy access.
“We have tools, hard-copy maps and soft-copy materials, that we might bring to different types of conventions where we can talk to customers directly,” said Karen Lanham, real estate intelligence manager for Loudoun County DED. “What happens a lot of times you have site selectors doing research before they even come talk to us, so they may select or knock us out before they would even come speak to us. We wanted to have the best tools available online so when they are looking either for buildings or properties.”
The second tool, the Available Commercial Land Inventory, is based on an Environmental Systems Research Institute GIS product. It lists more than 140 parcels representing 4,400 acres of commercially zoned properties appropriate for office, flex industrial, retail and mixed-use development available for sale or lease between Leesburg and Dulles International Airport.
Lanham said the second tool fills in some the gaps that might exist if someone just uses the Co-Star database.
“That has buildings and some land on it,” Lanham said. “If a realtor or commercial broker puts his listing on a premium listing it gets shown on this site. We are getting approximately 60 percent of the commercial listings out there.
“We wanted to have another tool that would show some of the land that maybe a property owner has not signed up with a broker yet. They just want to have their options open and see if someone might contact them about their property. We reach out to property owners, brokers – people we think may be interested in showing their land and if they have an interest we will put in our database.”
Both of these site selection tools are an upgrade of the land and building databases that were previously on the department’s website.
The new tools show more listings, provide more details, and offer a better interface for decision-makers. Economic Development staff also have information about additional properties to help prospective businesses find the sites that fit their needs in Loudoun County.