Gov. John Kitzhaber took a tour of Facebook?s data center in Prineville Friday, then launched Oregon?s new industrial and commercial site online database.
The tool, expandinoregon.com. previously was available at OregonProspector.com. It has been upgraded and enhanced using feedback from site selectors in the state and across the nation.
While in Prineville, the governor was joined by representatives of leading Internet companies at a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 1532, clarifying Oregon tax law for companies building data centers in Oregon. A dispute arose last year when the social network giant had learned the state might use its "central assessment" process for utilities to raise its tax bill, having worked out a property tax break with local officials before constructing its giant Prineville data center.
?Connecting industrial employers with the developable sites they need to grow or locate in Oregon is one of the most important things we can do to get Oregonians back to work,? said Kitzhaber.
The new site, now administered by Business Oregon, was developed in partnership with PacifiCorp, Portland General Electric, Avista, NW Natural, and Greater Portland, Inc. and with the invaluable assistance of Cy Smith, Statewide GIS Coordinator for the State Department of Administrative Services.
?This tool allows employers to quickly connect with available industrial sites in Oregon, sites that are tailor fit for their needs,? said Business Oregon Director Tim McCabe, who led the creation of the original OregonProspector.com site nearly a decade ago while serving as chair of the Oregon Economic and Community Development Association.
ExpandInOregon.com provides a searchable database of available commercial and industrial properties available in Oregon, allowing the user to search by parameters such as square footage, utility access, proximity to airports and population size. Upgrades over the previous site include enhanced map functionality, new search parameters, a more streamlined interface and more.
The importance of available industrial sites for job creation was highlighted in the recent ?Value of Jobs Land Availability? report. The report, co-produced by Business Oregon and the Portland Business Alliance among others, estimated that by building out 12 major industrial sites, the Portland region could create nearly 10,900 jobs.
Business Oregon works hard to find and ready such sites through its industrial lands certification efforts - www.oregon4biz.com/The-Oregon-Advantage/Sites/.