ONTARIO -- Two city of Ontario officials will visit Washington D.C. later this month to market Ontario Commerce Park.
Mayor Randy Hutchinson and third ward council member Mark Weidemyre will represent the city and the 267-acre former General Motors property at SelectUSA Investment Summit, which runs from June 10 through 12 at the nation’s capital.
According to its website, SelectUSA is “the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States.” It brings together companies, economic development organizations and property owners from across the world and aims to form connections between those in attendance.
“Since we do have Ontario Commerce Park, we feel like we have something to offer. We have our own property that we can control,” said Weidemyre, who is attending in his role as council’s economic development chairperson.
In 2015, he and Hutchinson attended SelectUSA to market the former GM property, while the Adler Group of Miami, Florida was leading the site’s development. They left optimistic with “three or four leads,” but upon handing them off to the developers, the city officials knew of no follow up with those connections.
“This time, we own the property, and we have control over our own destiny,” Hutchinson said.
He’d like to bring at least one interested business back to Richland County to view the property. Weidemyre sees success from a similar perspective.
“If we come away with several solid leads and three or four that could produce some jobs, and I want to get them to the site,” he said.
They’ll be bringing along several flash drives with a presentation about the city and layouts of Ontario Commerce Park to show interested parties.
“We’re going into this prepared,” Weidemyre said.
They’ll partake in receptions held by JobsOhio and RACER Trust.
Also, they're staying “on-site” during the trip, something that was not done the first time they attended.
Weidemyre hopes this will better allow the mayor and himself to take full advantage of their visit, including attending many after-hours meetings.
“We have land to market right now, and we want to be aggressive as possible,” Hutchinson said. “We need to get in front of investors.”