The History of the CED
The Corporation for Economic Development was formed in late 1983 through the merger of two non-profit corporations: the Anderson Business Development Corporation and the Anderson Downtown Development Corporation. This merger was a response to the devastating recession which had gripped Anderson in the first years of the 80’s decade.
CED struggled to find a success formula in its first two years. In 1986 CED leadership began an internal reorganization. A blue ribbon board of directors was recruited, new funds were raised, and different staff was hired. CED reinvented itself as a completely private sector community marketing organization, which it remains today. Local financial supporters have remained steadfast for more than a decade.
In 1987, CED began planning an industrial park which later became The Flagship. This effort was undertaken in response to a lack of available industrial property in the area. In 1988, a partnership was formed on a handshake between CED, Anderson’s new mayor Mark Lawler, and the Madison County Commissioners. This strong relationship laid the foundation for CED’s (and Anderson’s) success. Since then CED has created not only The Flagship (230 acres), but also Orchard Industrial Center (32 acres). Aero Park (six acres) is the third business park under CED’s control. Nine buildings have been constructed on these properties since 1992.
CED has also undertaken the redevelopment of several vacant buildings. In the early 80’s it acquired and subsequently sold two industrial buildings from Lynch Machinery (160,000 square feet). In 1994, it acquired and developed a vacant 210,000 square foot factory from General Motors.
In 1996, it turned around a vacant 9,000 square foot office building formerly owned by Indiana Gas Company.
Its latest acquisition is a 91,000 square foot industrial building vacated by General Motors and slated for the wrecking ball. The building is being used for Electric Vehicles International’s new electric bus manufacturing operation in Anderson.
The Future of Anderson
Since 1987, CED has carried out a successful marketing program aimed at recruiting business investment and jobs to the Anderson/Madison County area. This program, which is international in scope, has provided information to almost 4,000 companies considering expansion activities. As a result of CED’s activities over the past decade, more than 5,000 jobs have been created or retained by expanding companies in Madison County.
CED has also played a significant role in rebuilding the Anderson/Madison county area. Its efforts have improved the data base of information available to companies making investment decisions. It helped establish the Madison County Community Foundation and Anderson International (Anderson’s Sister City Committee). CED has worked closely with city and county government officials to help plan and envision the community’s future. Teamwork is a hallmark of the community’s economic development effort.