WIUM Tristates Public Radio

KEDC Developing Virtual Spec Building

Apr 26, 2013

The Keokuk Economic Development Corporation (KEDC) will soon have a new, high-tech tool at its disposal.

An example of a virtual spec building in Laurens, SC
Credit Laurens County, SC Development Corporation

Speculative (spec) buildings are built to give commercial or industrial clients something physical to consider as they look for a new home.

Not every city, county or economic development group can build one, though, because of the cost of construction and the uncertainty surrounding the search for a tenant.

Executive Director Chuck Betts says that is why KEDC is developing a virtual spec building specifically for an available lot in Keokuk’s industrial park.

He says unlike a physical building, KEDC’s 3-D model will be portable and adjustable, such as adding a second floor or shipping bays.

Betts says this initial design will target smaller industries, but if it proves successful, larger models could be developed for other properties in Keokuk.

He says a state grant is paying for the virtual spec building, which is being developed by Shoemaker & Haaland Professional Engineers and the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission.

Betts hopes the project is completed within the next few weeks.