The Zachary Chamber of Commerce hosted an informational coffee with area real estate agents June 16 at The Pointe at Americana to discuss working together for progress.

Chamber Executive Director Kate MacArthur talked about recent planning and development activity in Zachary.

The discussion — Unlocking Opportunities Together — outlined Zachary’s retail sales leakage report, trade area population, sales tax and building permit trends, and upcoming updates to the city’s master plan or land use plan.

Joining MacArthur was Jim Cavanaugh, a site development director with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

Cavanaugh told the real estate agents that they play a vital role in the economic growth of Zachary.

His presentation also centered on the Certified Sites Initiative Program, which promotes economic development.

Cavanaugh said a certified site is a development-ready industrial, manufacturing or office site that has completed a rigorous review process to understand a site’s characteristics.

Specific site details such as zoning restrictions, title work, environmental studies, soil testing and surveys are assessed for compliance and authenticity, he said.

These “shovel-ready” sites are presented regularly to potential companies looking at the Capital Region and receive significant attention from potential buyers because much of the “homework” is done already, Cavanaugh said.

“These prequalified sites can be a big incentive for companies, especially those looking to move quickly on getting a new facility up and running,” Cavanaugh said. “Working with a certified site can shave months off of a development schedule and that time savings is a valuable commodity.”

Real estate agents were given access to brochures on starting a new business in Zachary, Zachary’s marketing plan, SmartPlus informational packets, street maps and the Homeowners Handbook on preparation for natural disasters and hazards.