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From the May Issue


Entrepreneurs Serve Up Farm Fresh from Florida

In the innovative world of food & drink startups, a coastal town is making waves.

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From the September Issue


North American Reports

Lego lands in Virginia; Seqirus expands in North Carolina; CBRE names its top 25 life sciences talent markets; Stellantis bets on Great Lakes locations; Novelis picks the South Alabama Mega Site; and Caterpillar becomes the 54th Fortune 500 company to move its HQ to Texas.

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A streetcar moves through the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon.
Photo by Justin Katigbak courtesy of Travel Portland

According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), nearly half of the urbanized areas leading the country in transit ridership per capita (see chart) are college towns. They include Ames and Iowa City, Iowa; Champaign, Illinois; Boulder, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Davis, California; and State College, Pennsylvania. That figures, given the propensity of students for riding buses around campus and around town.

The balance of those top metros (as of 2019, pre-COVID) are urban areas whose urban rail and bus systems go back a century or more: New York; San Francisco; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Chicago. Citizens grow up not ever needing or wanting a driver’s license. Hopping onto a bus or taking the stairs to a rail stop come as natural as eating, walking and breathing.

But what about the leaders whose populations are neither huge nor predominantly matriculating? They must be doing something innovative in terms of connectivity and transit-oriented development to garner all those rides.

Among the top ridership-per-capita metros, the communities that fit that description — nothwithstanding their prominent higher education institutions — include No. 9 Seattle (more than 71 rides per 1,000 residents); No. 15 Portland, Oregon (nearly 60 rides per 1,000 residents); metro Denver and Bellingham, Washington (41 rides); and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (38 rides) — a location where even Zoom itself chose to physically locate two years ago. -Adam Bruns

New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT 18,351,295 4,209,297.9 229.4
San Francisco-Oakland, CA 3,281,212 406,960.7 124
Ames, IA 60,438 6,121.0 101.3
Washington, DC-VA-MD 4,586,770 419,224.3 91.4
Boston, MA-NH-RI 4,181,019 376,391 90.0
Champaign, IL 145,361 11,637.3 80.1
Urban Honolulu, HI 802,459 63,372.8 79.0
State College, PA 87,454 6,602.8 75.5
Seattle, WA 3,059,393 217,909.2 71.2
Chicago, IL-IN 8,608,208 553,155.6 64.3
Philadelphia, PA-NJ-DE-MD 5,441,567 347,457.4 63.9
Ithaca, NY 53,661 3,334.7 62.1
Portland, OR-WA 1,849,898 110,112.6 59.5
San Marcos, TX 52,826 3,047.1 57.7
Atlantic City, NJ 248,402 14,225.3 57.3
Athens-Clarke County, GA 128,754 7,272.2 56.5
Blacksburg, VA 88,542 4,975.5 56.2
Boulder, CO 114,591 6,213.9 54.2
Davis, CA 72,794 3,904.1 53.6
Concord, CA 615,968 32,879.5 53.4
Iowa City, IA 106,621 5,513.1 51.7
Gainesville, FL 187,781 9,025.4 48.1
Ann Arbor, MI 306,022 14,352.3 46.9
Waterbury, CT 194,535 9,120.5 46.9
Danbury, CT-NY 168,136 7,613.8 45.3
Source: APTA




Mighty Numbers

Check out the latest data on Mississippi projects, innovation and tourism.

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New York

As reported in May, this Brooklyn home base is one of two major offices that creative agency Huge, part of Interpublic Group of Companies, is redefining as “experience centers” as it reassesses its physical location footprint. Smaller offices of between 50 and 150 staff will gradually be phased out, said Huge Global CEO Mat Baxter, with employees given membership access to co-working spaces in those locations. The other location transitioning to a clubhouse-like “experience center” is in Medellín, Colombia, a location Site Selection’s Adam Bruns visited in 2015 and wrote about in “This is a Huge story.” Read this Ad Age article for an in-depth discussion with Baxter about Huge’s approach to the hybrid workforce.

Source: Conway Projects Report


Sanofi in June announced the opening of an Artificial Intelligence Centre of Excellence in downtown Toronto, joining Sanofi's global network of existing digital hubs in Paris, Boston, New York and Barcelona. Identifying the city as having “one of the world's premier AI and data ecosystems,” Sanofi Global Chief Data Officer Joyce Drohan said, “By attracting top AI talent and partnering with leading academic and research institutions locally, we will further our global commitment to addressing healthcare's biggest challenges and improving the lives of patients. We are the only multi-national pharmaceutical company with a global digital hub that services the world from right here in Toronto.” The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada, said the project “has further underscored the success of our Pan-Canadian AI Strategy in attracting and retaining experts and leaders in artificial intelligence. The announcement also builds on our government's partnership with Sanofi with the recently announced $900 million end-to-end vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto.” The global company employs around 2,000 people in Canada, and in 2021 announced an investment of C$925 million in the new vaccine manufacturing facility at its existing Toronto site.

Source: Conway Projects Report




Benson Hill co-founders Todd Mockler (left) and Matt Crisp have watched their company blossom since planting their HQ at the Danforth Plant Science Center in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Benson Hill

Two bits of news this month are cause for some Site Selection callbacks. First, building on a growing financial services profile in Florida and in its hometown of Jacksonville, Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business & Technology announced it is now offering two fintech programs in its BBA and MBA degree programs. “Jacksonville is a burgeoning FinTech city, and as more companies move to the city and expand their operations across the country, there’s truly no better time to be launching this program for our students,” said Jacksonville University Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Christine Sapienza.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, St. Louis–based food tech company Benson Hill announced a long-term strategic licensing partnership with global company ADM to “scale innovative soy ingredients that will help meet the rapidly growing demand for plant-based proteins.” “We’re excited to launch this collaboration with Benson Hill, building full seed-to-fork capabilities with cutting-edge technologies that will allow us to offer new, innovative products to our alternative protein customers,” said Leticia Gonçalves, ADM’s president of Global Foods. “The global trends of food security and sustainability are driving significant and ongoing demand growth for alternative proteins: Alternative meat and dairy sales alone are expected to grow 14% a year, reaching $125 billion by 2030. ADM has expanded global capacity to meet that demand with the acquisition of Sojaprotein and the recently announced investment to enhance processing and supply capabilities and build a new protein solutions innovation center in Decatur, Illinois,” located 2. 5 hours’ drive northeast of Benson Hill’s home base in metro St. Louis. “This partnership with ADM represents a major milestone in advancing our business to its next stage of growth, “said Benson Hill CEO Matt Crisp, “which also will serve to broaden our proprietary product portfolio and drive significant scale of ingredients derived from Benson Hill genetics.” Site Selection has followed the growth of Benson Hill over several years, beginning with this 2019 profile, and including this follow-up conversation with Matt Crisp last year.


Photo courtesy of Illinois Office of Tourism

Actor, producer and writer Jane Lynch shows she can manspread with the best of them in this image made in Springfield, Illinois, as part of the state’s new “Middle of Everything” tourism campaign, which she directed. The daughter of Chicago’s southwest suburbs honed her craft in Chicago’s theater and comedy scene and earned a degree from Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal. Lincoln's bench is a life-size reproduction of Colorado artist Mark Lundeen’s smaller piece, donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield by Siciliano Construction Company President Rick Lawrence in honor of the Siciliano workers who built the museum and library.