INVESTOR WATCH EXCLUSIVE

BREXIT

'Invisible Chain'

A hard Brexit could have very hard consequences, says one global corporate location expert. A government leader says the chains that appear to bind the post-Brexit UK economy could instead be stronger links to global partners in trade and democracy.

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FROM SITE SELECTION MAGAZINE JANUARY 2019
SAPPHIRE ANNIVERSARY

SITE SELECTORS SURVEY: HQ2: THE PROCESS

Eastern Promises

In part two of our four-part series, we document how Amazon turned the world upside down to deliver HQ2 packages to New York and Virginia.

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INVESTMENT PROFILE

Location, Location, Changxing

In the heart of the Yangtze River Delta along the banks of Lake Taihu, Changxing's many economic development assets are "in the middle of everywhere," says one U.S. business leader.

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 CONWAY ANALYTICS SNAPSHOT 

Conway Analytics' offering is driven by sophisticated algorithms, indicators and data layers pointing you toward a possible future. But as we celebrate our 65th anniversary, we also heed our past. Lest you think Amazon invented the concept of the site selection free-for-all, we take you back to our March-April 1955 issue. In "How Much Secrecy? Advisory Board Suggests Careful Control of News," our founder H. McKinley "Mac" Conway wrote of the decision by International Paper to announce a $20-million pulp mill investment (the equivalent of $188 million today) in a location yet to be determined: "Company officials who have revealed expansion plans to the press have learned that initiative and enterprise are not yet dead in the land. International Paper reports receiving some 400 telegrams, phone calls and letters from development groups within a week after their announcement."

In addition to direct accounts from real estate directors at Sylvania and Westinghouse, Mac reported on Carrier's similar experience with a proposed new air conditioner plant, causing the company to put a special staff assistant in charge of chamber and economic development contacts and hire, of all things, an outside consultant to screen the "profusion" of proposals. Our editorial advisory board made opposing lists, with secrecy advocates citing such factors as competition, "unhappy losers," relocation headaches and land speculation, and publicity champions citing "free advertising," labor recruitment, public opinion testing and stockholder relations.

Mac's conclusion? Controlled secrecy, rather than complete secrecy. Complete secrecy was "well-nigh impossible," he wrote, before recalling a tale of a New York exec whose need for secrecy meant using plain paper and his secretary's home address for correspondence. One developer chose to employ a detective agency to find out the secretary's employer, and followed up by walking into the executive's New York office. "He was well on the way to a sale," Mac wrote, "before the dumbfounded executive could gather his wits."

 

 LANDED LEAD OF THE WEEK 

DC Blox

 

Lead Signal: In 2018, Conway Analytics delivered a Lead Signal indicating that DC Blox had raised $37 million in new equity and debt funding to fund expansion and build three new data centers in the southeastern U.S.

Project: Subsequently, DC Blox announced that it was in the process of building two facilities in Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama. DC Blox has plans to build a total of 19 data centers in the Southeast. (Watch for the latest in our ongoing coverage of data center investment trends in the March 2019 issue of Site Selection.)

Lead Signal

Source: Conway Analytics

Project(s)

Source: Conway Analytics

 

 

 PROJECT WATCH 

UNITED KINGDOM

Illustrating increased UK FDI from Germany, Materials Solutions, a subsidiary of Siemens AG, recently opened a new 48,000-sq.-ft. additive manufacturing facility in Worcester, England. The $34-million investment is focused on 3D printing manufacturing technology and robotics. Materials Solutions manufactures components for the aerospace, automotive and power generation sectors.

Source: Conway Analytics

SOUTH KOREA

Umicore has announced the expansion of its fuel cell catalyst production facility in Seoul. The expansion will open at the end of 2019 and increase production for its primary customer, Hyundai Motors. There is also allocated space for further expansions beyond 2020. Umicore is a global materials and recycling group with 9,700 employees and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Source: Conway Analytics

 

 SITE SELECTION RECOMMENDS 

We published analysis of Opportunity Zones in our November 2018 issue. You'd do well to also heed the Tax Foundation's report released earlier this week, "Opportunity Zones: What We Know and What We Don't," and how their projected results may compare to other place-based incentive programs.

 

 PHOTO OF THE DAY 

Site Selection Publisher and President Adam Jones-Kelley this week made this photo of the Monument to the Equator, built in 1979 and located in Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City) at longitude 78°-27'-8" and latitude 0°-0'-0" in the parish of San Antonio, canton of Quito, Pichincha province, Ecuador. (Word has it, however, that the actual, GPS-calculated equator is located about 800 feet to the north.)