Nobel/Sysco Food Services picked a site in the giant 4,700-acre (1,880-hectare) Forest City Stapleton redevelopment (outlined in the aerial photo above).
$40M Nobel/Sysco Relocation Will Keep 800 Jobs in Denver, Add 200 More
by JACK LYNE, Site Selection Executive Editor
of Interactive Publishing
DENVER Airports and food, as captive-audience travelers know too well, are linked at the proverbial hip. And now Nobel/Sysco Food Services is linking 1,000 headquarters and distribution jobs to Denver's former Stapleton Airport.
Eight hundred of those jobs are existing positions that are already in the Mile High City. But they were headed somewhere new, Denver-based Nobel/Sysco had decided.
The Rocky Mountain region's largest food service marketing and distribution organization, Nobel/Sysco had simply outgrown the 20-acre (eight-hectare) Denver site at 1101 West Ave. that now houses its headquarters/distribution operation. Over the last year, the Sysco Corporation subsidiary had also considered sites in Aurora, as well as in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, officials with Nobel/Sysco said.
But the company found solid business reasons to stay in Denver inside Forest City Stapleton, the giant 4,700-acre (1,880-hectare) redevelopment of Denver's former main airport. The decision keeps Nobel/Sysco anchored in the city that it's called home for 60 years.
Not a bad working environment: The Forest City Stapleton redevelopment will dedicate more than 1,100 acres (440 hectares) of land to new parks and open space, including Bluff Lake (pictured).
"We are very pleased we were able to find a suitable site with Forest City for a new facility at Stapleton," Nobel/Sysco President and CEO Chris DeWitt said in announcing the project.
The company, DeWitt explained, will invest $40 million in the 500,000-sq.-ft. (4,050-sq.-m.) relocation and expansion. The larger Forest City Stapleton site will enable Nobel/Sysco to add employees and to build a higher-clearance warehouse that's more technologically advanced, he said.
In addition, the new location boosts retention and recruitment efforts. Forest City Stapleton, DeWitt said, provides a more attractive, well-designed development, as well as offering numerous nearby retail opportunities and a vast network of parks. Even better, he added, the development, which includes a large residential component, is near many current employees' homes.
Larger Site Could Accommodate Further Expansion
The new site also augurs well for future Nobel/Sysco expansions in Denver. At 50 acres (20 hectares), it's two and a half times larger than the company's current tract.
State and local development officials also sweetened the project pie with incentives. Denver is providing Nobel/Sysco with $1 million in tax breaks over a five-year span, while the state is supplying a $500,000 incentive package.
"This success is the result of extraordinary efforts between Mayor (Wellington) Webb, the mayor's Office of Economic Development and International Trade and Forest City to encourage an existing company to remain and grow in Denver," Ron Bernstein, who directs the mayor's Economic Development and International Trade Office, said at the project announcement. "In a time where cities and states are in direct competition for relocating businesses, this retention effort shows Denver is a smart business decision."
13 Million Sq. Ft. of Commercial Space, 12,000
Forest City Stapleton is also boosting Denver's IQ as a business location. The site redevelopment, which began two years ago, is creating an estimated 13 million sq. ft. (1.17 million sq. m.) of commercial space in a 20-year build-out plan. Managed and developed by Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises, the project will also include 12,000 homes and apartments. In addition, the redevelopment is dedicating more than 1,100 acres (440 hectares) of land to new parks and open space - which alone will enlarge the size of Denver's parks system by more than 25 percent.
Homes and Apartments, 1,100 Acres of Parks
"Stapleton's regional highway access, its close proximity to downtown Denver and Denver International Airport, and its wonderful mix of housing affordable to a range of incomes clearly were among the considerations that played a significant role in Nobel/Sysco's decision," Forest City Stapleton COO John Lehigh said after the expansion plans were announced. "We were pleased to be on the team with Mayor Webb and the mayor's Office of Economic Development and International Trade that provided Nobel/Sysco with this tremendous opportunity to remain in Denver and become part of a mixed-use community that is winning recognition across the nation and around the world."
Lehigh's comments, unlike more than a few blustery project-announcement pronouncements, were based in substance. Forest City Stapleton has been singled out for recognition by the Stockholm Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities.
The ambitious undertaking to remake the site that once served as the city's airport began to take shape way back in 1990, when a group of Denver's civic and business leaders formed the Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation. A year earlier, Denver voters endorsed the plan to build the new Denver International Airport. Stapleton closed in 1995.
By 2001, Forest City had purchased the land and begun the redevelopment. Earlier this year, the project's first residents moved into their new homes. In August, the Denver Public Schools will open a 350-student elementary school and a 220-student charter school inside the redevelopment.
Rather fittingly, Nobel/Sysco will now offer its current Denver quarters for redevelopment. Once the company completes its relocation, it will sell its current site and facility for commercial or industrial use, Nobel/Sysco officials said.
Editor's note: Look for more coverage of the Rocky Mountain area in
the Regional Review in the September 2003 Site Selection.
At last, my supplier has come along: Long a just-miss site for Hyundai's supplier wave, history-rich Prattville (pictured) scored the biggest supplier operation yet with Venture's 600-employee plant.
Venture Industries' 600-Worker Plant Bama-Bound as 10th Hyundai Supplier
by JACK LYNE, Site Selection Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
PRATTVILLE, Ala. Venture Industries is bringing a 600-worker plant to Prattville, Ala., ending the city's just-miss string in landing suppliers for Hyundai's $1-billion, 2,000-worker plant in Montgomery.
Moreover, Prattville (population: 27,500) landed the biggest fish yet in the supplier stream.
"Today's announcement brings more jobs, more prosperity and more opportunity to one of Alabama's fastest-growing communities," Gov. Bob Riley (R) said at a news conference at Montgomery's Commerce Center. "The fact that Venture Industries is now the largest tier-one Hyundai supplier in the area makes Prattville's accomplishment even more impressive."
And an earlier site selection decision made the accomplishment even sweeter still: Prattville was the other finalist contender to land the 430-employee Hyundai Mobis plant, which landed instead in Montgomery, some 12 miles (19 kilometers) to the northeast. Now, though, Venture's $100-million production facility will supplant Mobis as the largest job-generator yet from the Hyundai supplier surge.
Venture's plant marks the 10th operation that has come to Alabama to supply Hyundai in Montgomery (see accompanying chart).
The Hyundai 10
Hyundai's $1-billion plant in Montgomery has generated 10 major supplier operations in Alabama thus far. Here are those supplier firms, along with the jobs they're expected to generate, their projected capital investment, the cities they selected, and the products they'll make:
Daehan Solution Co.: 180 jobs and $25 million in Tyson; insulation parts
Halla Climate Control: 200 jobs and $28 million in Shorter; heating and air conditioning units
HS R&A, Ltd.: 350 jobs and $20 million in Enterprise; weather stripping, rubber tubing and hoses
Hwashin Co. Ltd: 400 jobs and $70 million in Greenville; chassis and body parts
Mando Corp.: 150 jobs and $30 million in Opelika; braking, steering and suspension systems
Mobis Alabama: 430 jobs and $30 million in Montgomery; cockpit modules
Samlip Industrial Co.: 400 jobs and $53 million in Alexander City; lighting parts and systems
Sejong Industrial: 100 jobs and $10 million in Fort Deposit; mufflers and exhausts
Shin Young Industrial Metal: 400 jobs and $110 million in Luverne; stamped-metal parts
Venture Industries: 600 jobs and $100 million in Prattville; body panels, dashboards and front-end systems
Site Was Also Mobis Finalist
Venture Industries is one of the leading manufacturers of injection-molded plastic components for automotive OEMs. In addition to Hyundai, the company's global network of plants makes products for automakers that include BMW, General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Nissan, Saab, Toyota and Volkswagen. GM in 1999 named Venture as its supplier of the year.
The company's 670,000-sq.-ft. (60,300-sq.-m.) Prattville plant will make custom-molded, assembled interior and exterior systems, including body panels, dashboards and front-end systems. The operation's output will be used on the Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe models that are made in Montgomery.
Venture will build its new plant on a 118-acre (47-hectare) tract in the South Industrial Park - the same park that was the other finalist site for the Hyundai Mobis project.
Though headquartered in Fraser, Mich., Venture's most predominant presence lies outside the U.S. The company has 15 facilities in Europe, three in Asia, three in Australia and one each in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Africa. That broad network reflects automakers' embrace of a build-'em-where-you-sell-'em strategy.
"It is refreshing to expand in North America, which is our home," Venture Chairman and CEO Larry Winget said in Montgomery. "We have received a phenomenal, warm reception in Alabama and Prattville."
Venture, Winget said, liked Prattville's proximity to the Hyundai site and the South Industrial Park's access to both I-65 and U.S. 31.
Plant Will Be One of Area's Largest Employers
State and local officials are making that access better. Part of the project's incentive package includes building a five-lane access road and viaduct to the South Industrial Park. Project subsidies, which haven't yet secured final local approval, will likely total around $2 million, according to county officials.
Plant construction will begin in July, with full production scheduled for June 2004, Winget said. The Alabama plant will be Venture's 14th U.S. production facility, but the first based in the Deep South. The company currently has seven plants in Michigan, two in Ohio, and one each in Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada and New Hampshire.
Venture's operation will rank as one of Autauga County's largest employers. Currently, the county's greatest jobs concentration is at International Paper's 750-worker paper mill. The mill opened all the way back in 1964 as a Union Camp operation. International Paper bought the mill from Union Camp five years ago.
Reason for staying home? Located in Teesport, the area's deepwater port (pictured) is the UK's second largest in terms of total tonnage.
Green Power: BioFuels Nears Site Decision on World's
Largest Biodiesel Plant
by JACK LYNE, Site Selection Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
MIDDLESBOROUGH, England The UK's BioFuels Corporation is fast coming down to cranking up the ignition to choose the site of the world's biggest biodiesel plant.
BioFuels' production operation will have a capacity of 275,000 tons (250,000 metric tons). That qualifies as the largest-ever biodiesel production facility. The operation's economic impact on the area that's selected will also be large. The plant, however, won't have jumbo-size capacity in terms of direct job generation. The facility will hire some 70 fulltime workers, according to BioFuels CEO John Nicholas.
Instead, it's the plant's product - an environmentally friendly biodiesel fuel made from renewable sources - that's the power source for the operation's broader impact.
Traditional diesel fuel is produced from mineral crude oil. Biodiesel, in contrast, is made from a variety of vegetable oils, including canola, coconut, cotton, linseed, mustard, palm, rape and soy oils.
Middlesborough, England-based BioFuels may locate the world's biggest biodiesel plant in the same northeast England area that's home to its operations base. (Pictured: the University of Teesside in Middlesborough's downtown.)
That, in turn, will mean indirect jobs for some 1,000 people, most employed in farming, in the area around BioFuels' plant, Nicholas explained. Those workers will grow, store and transport raw production materials to the plant, he said.
Will BioFuels Stay Home in HQ Region?
BioFuels will soon decide which region will harvest those benefits. The company plans to make its location choice in late June, Nicholas said.
"We are looking at various options within the European Union that can offer the right industrial facilities, the right work force and the right transport links," he explained. "The project is now at an advanced stage, and we are hopeful that, with the right facilities and support, we can make an early start on construction."
Middlesborough-England headquartered BioFuels has looked at sites in Ireland and in continental Europe.
In the end though, the company may anchor its first biodiesel plant in northeast England's Tees Valley - the same area that's home to its operations base. Tees Valley has an existing cluster of more than 30 chemical company operations, including facilities for BASF, BP, Dow Chemicals, DuPont, Eastman Chemicals and Enron. That chemical cluster directly employs some 12,000 workers.
"The UK looks a possibility for the first plant," Nicholas said, "and we have been particularly impressed with the enthusiasm and support we have received from agencies in the northeast. The northeast region has strong chemical infrastructure and storage capacity and a big water port, as well as the enthusiastic support of the local farming community."
Local Chemical Players Part of Recruiting Pitch
BioFuels also has the enthusiastic support of Tees Valley's petroleum community.
"With increasing demands for the development of cleaner and greener fuel sources, it would certainly be very good news if we could establish the Tees Valley as a center for this type of new technology," said Ian Click, chief executive of the Teesside Chemical Initiative, a coalition of the area's chemical companies and development agencies that works to attract more chemical operations.
"We feel that we can offer a very attractive package in terms of sites, an excellent work force and transport links," Click continued. "The really important benefit of this project is that it would widen the portfolio of chemical industry activities in the Tees Valley and would potentially make us a major player in the increasingly important new fuels sector."
Another factor favoring the Tees Valley is the area's deepwater port, which is located in Teesport. The port is the UK's second largest in terms of tonnage, annually handling some 55 million tons (50 million metric tons) of cargo.
Plant Dovetails with EU's Anti-Pollution Drive
Green fuels - as well as the BioFuels plant's significance - have gotten a high-octane boost from the European Union's pollution-reduction drive.
The EU's goal by 2005 is to have at least 2 percent of all vehicle fuels dispensed inside its borders made in part from renewable resources. The EU's goal triples by 2009, with some 6 percent of all vehicle fuels made partly from renewable sources.
One of a kind . . . for now: Operated by Nahwarme Mureck and Bioenergy SEEG, the world's only other biodiesel plant (pictured) is located in Mureck, Austria.
Biodiesel - a so-called blended addition to mineral diesel - fits squarely in that anti-pollution plan.
The fuel is carbon dioxide neutral, has no toluene and benzene emissions, and only negligible sulfur emissions. Biodiesel also reduces carbon monoxide emissions in diesel exhausts by 70 percent, and it reduces engine wear. In addition, the product is non-toxic and biodegradable; it's fully degraded from waterways in roughly 20 days.
The EU's pollution-reduction initiative has also had an impact that strengthens the UK's case for the BioFuels plant. The British government has reduced taxes on biodiesel fuel, dropping the levies 20 percent below low-sulfur diesel taxes.
BioFuels, Nicholas said, plans to develop other biodiesel plants over the next five years to supply the EU's fuel goals. Currently, the world's only other biodiesel plant of that kind is located in Mureck, Austria.
The newest, and largest, will come online rapidly, BioFuels' CEO predicted.
"With design engineering for the first plant completed," Nicholas said, "using technology from Energea Biodiesel Technology of Austria, we believe we could be in production by the middle of next year."
Editor's note: Look for more coverage of European site selection trends in the July issue of Site Selection.
PLEASE VISIT OUR SPONSOR CLICK ABOVE
©2003 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.