Week of August 12, 2002
  Project Watch
 
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Warner
"While this type of scenario is unusual in economic development, it is important to remember that the company is the client," Gov. Warner (pictured) said of Trinity's change of site selection direction.
Trinity Packaging Reverses Field, but
300-Worker Plant Still Lands in Virginia

Rocky Mount, Va.Trinity Packaging said yes, Virginia - twice, in fact. The second of the company's location decisions is the one that will stick: Privately held Trinity Packaging has decided to site its 300-employee plant in Rocky Mount, Va.
        Trinity's announcement is welcome news for Rocky Mount, which has been hit hard by closings and layoffs. The Armonk, N.Y.-based company will produce food service and industrial plastic bag products in the South Virginia city of some 145,000 residents. Trinity Packaging has selected an existing facility in Rocky Mount that once housed a Standard Register manufacturing plant.
        Standard Register, as local officials pointed out, was one of the Rocky Mount operations that shut down during the economic downswing.
        "We are very gratified that Trinity Packaging has chosen Franklin County," said Wayne Angell, chairman of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors. "Our community has lost 1,800 jobs over the past 36 months, including the 140 who worked for Standard Register. It will be truly wonderful to watch more than twice as many employees go back to work in that building as were there before."

Urgency, Building Availability
Shuffle Trinity's Location Deck
Gov. Mark Warner, however, called Trinity's selection of Rocky Mount "bittersweet." Warner's mixed emotions stemmed from the fact that another Virginia community had earlier sewed up the same deal - or so it seemed. That, though, was before Trinity's plans changed.
        The company had announced in February that its new plant would be built in Clarksville, Va., a city some 106 miles (169.6-kilometer) east of Rocky Mount. As in Rocky Mount, Clarksville's economy has suffered during the economic slowdown.
        "We expected Trinity to locate in Clarksville," Warner said, "yet I am pleased that Franklin County, another economically hard-hit Southside community, will gain 300 new jobs," said Gov. Warner.
        Trinity's urgency to get its new operation online rapidly triggered the company's change of plans. Building a totally new facility in Clarksville, the company decided, was simply going to take too much time.
        With that, Trinity ditched its plans to build a new plant. The company was mulling over other location options - including out-of-state sites, local officials said - when it learned of the old Standard Register facility's availability in Rocky Mount.
        "We regret our premature selection of Clarksville in Mecklenburg County for this facility and want to thank everyone involved at the community level for their commitment to this project," said Trinity Packaging President Dave Williams. "After further research, we came to the conclusion that Trinity's start-up schedule did not allow enough time for the construction of a new building in Clarksville. We had learned of an existing facility in Franklin County that also offered an available qualified work force and larger corporate savings. "This was simply a business decision," Williams said.

Warner: 'The Company Is the Client'
Trinity's business-driven change of direction left Virginia in an awkward position vis--vis project assistance. The company's initial plans had seemed solid enough that Warner had held a February news conference announcing the company's choice of Clarksville.
        At that announcement in Clarksville, the governor had said that Trinity would receive incentives that included a US$500,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund and $400,000 in funding from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission (TICRC).
        "While this type of scenario is unusual in economic development," Warner said in announcing the company's selection of Rocky Mount, "it is important to remember that the company is the client, because they create the jobs and bring added revenue to the community, region and state. After careful consideration, I have decided to approve a Governor's Opportunity Fund grant to assist Franklin County with this project."
        The Governor's Opportunity Fund grant for the Rocky Mount project will total $450,000, state officials said. In addition, the Virginia TICRC approved $500,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity funds to assist with Trinity's Rocky Mount facility.
        The Virginia Dept. of Business Assistance will also provide work-force training services for Trinity employees in Rocky Mount. The company will qualify for further tax credits by virtue of locating in an enterprise zone, state officials said.
        Trinity said that it will spend some $9.1 million on the Rocky Mount production facility, including adding 135,000 sq. ft. (12,150 sq. m.) of new space. The 300 manufacturing jobs will be added over a 30-month span, company officials said.
        Trinity also has existing plants in Lewistown, Pa. and in Remington, Va.

Editor's note: For more on the Old Dominion State, see the
Virginia section in the November 2002 Site Selection.



Toyota Corolla
Toyota do Brasil's $300 million expansion will increase its Indaiatuba plant's production of the Corolla model (pictured above) from 15,000 to 57,000 units a year, adding as many as 1,000 new jobs.
$300M Expansion Complete, Toyota May Add 1,000 Workers
in Brazil

INDAIATUBA, Brazil – With its $300 million expansion complete, Toyota do Brasil has almost quadrupled annual production capacity at its plant in Indaiatuba, Brazil. The enlargement of the plant, which first opened in 1998, will allow Toyota Motor Corp.'s Brazilian subsidiary to add as many as 1,000 new jobs.
        With the expansion, the Indaiatuba plant's total floor space has increased from 322,222 sq. ft. (29,000 sq. m.) to 766,667 sq. ft. (69,000 sq. m.). That larger floor plate will enable Toyota's production capacity to increase its output of the Corolla model from 15,000 to 57,000 units a year, company officials said.
        The revamped operation, they added, can also now increase local content of the Corollas made in Indaiatuba to more than 70 percent. The pre-expansion local-content percentage at the plant was only 60 percent.
        The expanded Indaiatuba plant will adopt a two-shift system, company officials explained. Implementing the second shift inside the enlarged operation will add as many as 1,000 additional positions, they said.

Increased Output Aimed at Export Market
At first glance, the timing for a Brazilian auto-plant expansion wouldn't seem propitious.
        With the nation's well-publicized economic struggles, 2002 sales of new cars and light trucks in Brazil were 16 percent lower through the end of May than during a similar period in 2001.
        For Toyota, the Brazilian slump has been more pronounced. The Japanese automaker's sales in Brazil have fallen 46 percent during the first five months of 2002, according to Anfavea, a Brazilian association of automobile and agricultural-machinery manufacturers. Toyota sold 24,000 vehicles in Brazil during the entirety of 2001.
        But the Indaiatuba plant's increased output, Toyota officials said, will be primarily aimed at a broad spectrum of the South American and Central American market. The Corollas made at the plant in Sao Paulo state, they explained, will be exported to more than 20 nations, part of the company's strategy to establish Toyota do Brasil as an export base to all of Latin America.
        "This new model Corolla is a world car in which Toyota takes pride the world over," Toyota Vice Chairman Kosuke Ikebuchi said at ceremonies marking the completion of the Indaiatuba expansion. "We are confident that people in Central and South America will also be pleased with it."
        The increased domestic content of the Indaiatuba-built Corollas will allow the plant's output to be exported tariff-free to the member nations of South America's Mercosur trade bloc. Mercosur members include Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, plus "associate members" Chile and Bolivia.

President Urges Brazilians to Emulate Toyota
Toyota officials praised governmental officials for their assistance on the project.
        Brazil's President Fernando Enrique Cardoso, who has sharply been criticized in some quarters during the country's economic slump, also spoke at the ceremonies. The president used the occasion to urge Brazilians to emulate Toyota's trust.
        "It is necessary to follow the example of Toyota and contribute for the development of the country," Cardoso said. "It is in this Brazil that we have to believe."



Minneapolis skyline
Protein Design Labs' plant in Brooklyn Park will be the second production facility that the biotech company has established in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro (pictured: downtown Minneapolis).
Protein Design Labs to
Build $200M Biotech Plant
in Twin Cities Metro

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. – A major biotech plant will apparently be built in Brooklyn Park, Minn., and Protein Design Labs is going to build it. After that, the project specifics get fuzzy.
        For certain, Protein Design Labs has bought a 29-acre (11.6-hectare) tract in Brooklyn Park, part of the northwest Minneapolis-St. Paul metro. And the Fremont, Calif.-based biotech player has filed plans with federal drug regulatory agencies that indicate that the company will spend some $200 million in building a facility on the site.
        The company is mum, though, on how many employees may work in the plant, citing competitive concerns for its reticence. Biotech industry analysts are predicting that the new Brooklyn Park facility will likely produce commercial supplies of Zamyl, a leukemia antibody, as well as other, as-yet undetermined products.
        Protein Design Labs already has a significant presence in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The company operates a 74,000-sq.-ft. (6,660-sq.-m.) production operation in Plymouth, Minn., some 11 miles (17.6 kilometers) southwest of Brooklyn Park. Protein Design Labs has already announced that it will spend $10 million in upgrading the Plymouth plant.
        The company currently has some 370 employees. Last year, Protein Design Labs increased total employment by 18.2 percent and increased sales by 11.3 percent, with annual revenues totaling $44.4 million. The company has signed R&D deals with major companies that include Eli Lilly and Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical. Zenapax, the company's flagship product, which combats rejection of transplanted kidneys, is licensed to Hoffman-LaRoche.


Editor's note: For more on the Midwest region, see the
regional coverage in the November 2002 Site Selection.



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