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City of Marion Welcomes New Enterprise Center

MARION, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--First a new building for the police department, now the City of Marion has a park for industrial and commercial businesses.

This afternoon, city leaders cut the ribbon at the Marion Enterprise Center.
The City of Marion is known for its family and residential vibe

"Over 80 percent of Marion's tax base is residential, said President of the Marion Economic Development Company, but that's going to change.

"What it will really help us do is to help balance out that residential versus the business side of the community, said Marion City Manager Lon Pluckhahn.

Hes talking about the Marion Enterprise Center--A large scale industrial development or business park created by the Marion Economic Development Company and the City of Marion.

The goal: to bring more businesses into the area.

"Companies that want to establish themselves in Marion can begin construction in a matter of several weeks versus maybe a year and half two years from start to finish, Lake said.

The city is footing the bill for the 184 acre property with some help from various grants -- an investment city leaders say will pay off.

They say before the park, the City of Marion had little chance of competing with other locations when it came to housing for out-of-state businesses.

"We couldn't even submit a proposal. The economic development cooperation puts it in terms that we couldn't even get invited to the dance, said Pluckhahn.

Now, they say they will and it's bound to help not just the city, but residents as well.

"We want to bring employers out to Marion and we want to bring business investment out to Marion and this gives us a place to do it, said Pluckhahn.

City leaders estimate there will be about 15 to 18 businesses in the center.

So far, one company has already signed up and the city is currently in talk with others.

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