ALEDA worked on more than 50 economic development-related projects in last year

Published 9:42 am Friday, February 10, 2017

A local business development organization assisted in increasing the city’s tax base in 2016 by facilitating business development.

Progress made by Albert Lea Economic Development Agency was given at the annual Greater Jobs Inc. meeting Jan. 25.

Ryan Nolander

Ryan Nolander

ALEDA worked on more than 50 projects in 2016, with 28 percent of them moving forward, said Executive Director Ryan Nolander.

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The organization’s work helped grow the city’s tax base by 3 percent, which resulted in the city only having a 1.29 percent tax levy increase, Nolander said.

Property taxes for a $100,000 home that had not changed in value, however, decreased $17 because of tax base growth.

ALEDA sold two acres to Minnesota Energy Resources to build a new facility in Habben Industrial Park, and Enderes Tool property in Jobs Industrial Park was sold to a local manufacturer looking for a future expansion project.

Downtown Albert Lea has grown with development from businesses such as intellicents, formerly known as Alliance Benefit Group; Conger Meat Market and Good Steward Consulting, Nolander said. The Sterling Drug building has been sold to Snap Fitness, and Granicrete has moved to a new building at Northpark. Crossfit InnerDrive is scheduled to open March 1 to Albert Lea.

Most of the 260,000 square feet of space the organization manages is filled, Nolander said.

ALEDA, which does not levy a tax, has local agencies underneath it, including Albert Lea Port Authority, Greater Jobs Inc. and Albert Lea Business Development Center.

Nolander said ALEDA is working on a handful of projects that could bring more than $55 million in capital investment and create more than 300 jobs. The organization plans to continue to focus on enticing industries such as agribusiness, manufacturing, food-related industry, data centers and distribution centers. The organization also plans to continue to work with local businesses.

ALEDA is at Albert Lea Business Development Center, 2610 Y.H. Hanson Ave.

Jobs Inc. was founded in 1943 by local businessmen in response to possible economic problems from the end of World War II. The organization later restructured with Albert Lea Industrial Development Corporation and was renamed Greater Jobs Inc.

The Business Development Center is a business incubator that helps entrepreneurs launch new businesses.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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