Cornerstone Alliance, Berrien County’s lead economic development agency, and its utility partner Indiana Michigan Power, have collaborated to identify key industrial sites throughout portions of Berrien County, as well as commercial development properties in the City of St. Joseph. Details of this inventory are included in a recently completed Industrial Property Study. The study’s focus was to identify sites suitable for industrial development in order to attract new business or expand existing business in Michigan’s Great Southwest. The study and supporting data was conducted and compiled by Abonmarche Consultants of Benton Harbor.

Indiana Michigan Power supported the study which is a powerful tool that enables Cornerstone Alliance to be more responsive to companies, site selectors, real estate brokers and those looking to locate a company or expand an existing business in Berrien County. Nearly 100 properties were reviewed, of which 12 were identified as key sites and are included in the study. Comprehensive details including zoning, topography, soil conditions, proximity to wetlands and floodplains, accessibility to utilities and transportation corridors are included in the study; all significant data for industrial and commercial development.

“This study represents a partnership with our economic development partners to identify the best available properties that will thrive based on existing assets and resources,” said Greg Vaughn, Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President, Business Development, Cornerstone Alliance. “It is also part of a larger effort of Michigan’s Great Southwest Strategic Leadership Council’s focus to share information among Berrien County economic development organizations and municipalities to bring more opportunities to the region. To that end, having access to this pertinent site data will allow Cornerstone Alliance to be responsive with specific details to companies considering Berrien County for development or expansion.”

“The Abonmarche team was able to bring our land surveying, engineering and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping expertise to this project,” said Christopher Cook, PE, President and CEO, Abonmarche Consultants, Inc. “We assisted in narrowing the list down to the 12 top sites throughout sections of Berrien County based on the property meeting the detailed criteria as a suitable location for industrial or commercial development.”

“Indiana Michigan Power supports economic growth in the communities we serve,” said Shelley Klug, Economic and Business Development Manager for Indiana Michigan Power. “We are proud to partner with Cornerstone Alliance and help provide the resources to enhance business attraction and expansion initiatives. This industrial study will offer critical information about Berrien County’s top inventory, giving prospective businesses and developers better and faster access to attraction and expansion projects.”