From the September Issue


North American Reports

Quick-hitting news stories cover the “gut renovation” of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago; the new Center for Global Health Innovation in Midtown Atlanta; electric bus maker Proterra’s expansion in Upstate South Carolina; where tech is leading office market recovery; and an agreement in the Pacific Northwest to prioritize high-speed rail.

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From the September Issue


Australia’s Magnet for Green Hydrogen Investment

Renewable energy projects made a beeline for Queensland in late 2021.

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Map courtesy of ATRI

Last week the American Transportation Research Institute released its 2022 Top Truck Bottleneck List, topped for the fourth year in a row by the intersection of I-95 and SR 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey. (Remember Gary Daughters’ up-close-and-personal look at that intersection in Site Selection’s March 2020 issue?) ATRI uses truck 2021 GPS data from over 1 million freight trucks along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location, producing a top 100 most congested locations list from the 300 freight-critical locations it continuously monitors.

Even as consumer-driven e-commerce continues to consume highway space, more people have returned to the workplace, meaning average rush hour truck speeds were down more than 11% from 2020, to 38.6 miles per hour. Here are the rest of the top 10:

  • 2. Cincinnati: I-71 at I-75
  • 3. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
  • 4. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
  • 5. Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)
  • 6. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94
  • 7. Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57
  • 8. Dallas: I-45 at I-30
  • 9. San Bernardino, California: I-10 at I-15
  • 10. Chattanooga, Tennessee: I-75 at I-24

ATRI says its report serves to remind national, state and regional leaders of urgent infrastructure needs, including bridge replacements. If Site Selection’s home state of Georgia needs any further motivation for infrastructure investment, leaders can consider the fact that Greater Atlanta accounts for six (28%) of the top 21 bottlenecks. Texas, however, has the most among the top 100 with 14, followed by Georgia and Tennessee with nine each and California with eight. Some might see these states’ congestion as a symptom of economic development success, as they not only routinely rank at or near the top in Site Selection rankings, but continue (especially in Texas) to attract new residents to some of the nation’s fastest-growing metro areas. — Adam Bruns







Grants Boost Rural Participation in the Digital-Focused Economy

The state’s new Broadband Acceleration Grant Program will improve access to high-speed internet for citizens and businesses statewide.

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From the September Issue


Air Capital

A legacy of innovation and collaboration elevates the state’s aerospace sector.

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While the company has yet to issue an official announcement, several press accounts report the Vietnamese government has announced this investment by Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. Ltd in northern Vietnam. “The investment will boost the company's existing production in Thai Nguyen province of printed circuit boards and other phone components,” said a Reuters report, “and will raise the company's total investment $2.27 billion, the government said in a statement.” Site Selection and our friends at Tractus Asia have documented the economic progress of Vietnam (as well as Samsung in Vietnam) closely over the past decade, including this prescient analysis from nine years ago, and this recent analysis of the country’s industrial real estate conundrum.

Source: Conway Analytics


Australia-based Syrah Resources earlier this month reported that its board had approved a final investment decision on this expansion of its active anode material (AAM) facility as the company seeks to become a vertically integrated natural graphite AAM supply alternative for U.S. and European battery supply chain and OEM customers. The investment distinguishes the operation as a first mover in this arena outside of China. Construction is scheduled for completion in Q2 2023. The company announced in December an offtake agreement with Tesla to supply natural graphite AAM from Vidalia, located just across the Mississippi River from Natchez, Mississippi.

Source: Conway Analytics




Bitcoin mining operations continue to proliferate around the country, including a new operation and regional HQ in Fayetteville, North Carolina, from Plan C Crypto, which already operates three other mining facilities in the state, including two in Tarboro. “Plan C Crypto expects to create 19 jobs in 2022, with more to follow, for skilled professionals in the electrical, security, and information technology fields, featuring yearly salaries that are significantly higher than the county average,” reports the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation (FCEDC). “The company is targeting military veterans and spouses as potential employees for the positions.”

“Fayetteville has everything we want to see for a world-class facility, including a business-friendly climate, strong existing infrastructure and talented workforce,” said Plan C Crypto CEO Antonio Bestard. “We will use demand response proof of work mining to bring zonal grid stability at the substation level and bring high-paying jobs to the region.”

Site Selection readers last September gained insights into the hyperactive cryptocurrency marketplace from Duke Energy’s John Geib in the Duke Energy Investment Report. You’ll gain a different sort of bitcoin insight from this fascinating story in The New Yorker documenting one Welshman’s dogged attempts (including the promise of economic development) to dig up a hard drive containing his bitcoin key from a town landfill, with hundreds of millions of dollars hanging in the balance.




From Hoop Dreams to Workforce Reality

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, a career educator and highly decorated high school basketball coach, is transforming the state’s approach to cradle-to-career workforce development.

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From the September Issue


A New Generation of Farmers

Western Growers is cultivating an AgTech workforce.

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Photo courtesy of TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

Three years after the death of oilman, corporate raider and late-life renewable energy advocate T. Boone Pickens at the age of 91, his renowned Mesa Vista Ranch in Texas has gone on the market for $170 million, down from the $250 million he was asking when he put it on the market in 2017. TopTenRealEstateDeals.com, which provided this image among many of the 64,672-acre property, noted that Pickens “amassed his fortune via a concept he figured out as a paperboy. He expanded his paper route from 28 customers to 158 customers by buying out other delivery boys’ routes. It was the same proven theory he used to grow his oil and natural gas business that in time brought him a net worth of $950 million.”

The property, which includes a 6,000-sq.-ft. family home, 12,000-sq.-ft. lake house and 33,000-sq.-ft. lodge, also features a chapel, pub, vet lab, golf course, tennis courts and airplane runway and hangar complete with a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment for the pilots.