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ONLINE INSIDER
From the September Issue

Talent Attraction Study Shows Workers Heading South and West

The pandemic accelerates movement of degreed professionals to Sunbelt suburbs.

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FROM SITE SELECTION MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2022 ISSUE
From the May Issue

COVER STORY

Check Mate

Virginia outmaneuvers the perennial heavyweights to claim the top position in the 2022 Business Climate Rankings.

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From the September Issue

SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES

Global and U.S. Free Zones Leaders Think Outside the Box

James Forster of the Adrianople Group explores trends and best practices in free zones around the world, and we rank the top U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones and top states by FTZ impact.

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From the May Issue

OHIO RIVER CORRIDOR

The Cincinnati and Louisville Regions Tie for Top Honors

These two metro areas lead all regions along the entire length of the Ohio River in our annual analysis of corporate project tallie, investment and job creation. They both have pretty good professional soccer teams too.

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 DIGITAL EDITION 

The November 2022 Digital Edition is Here

All 192 pages of editorial content and valued advertiser messages is now available via the Digital Edition of Site Selection’s November 2022 issue. In addition to the stories above, learn why foreign companies are beating a path to the United States; discover how incentives are evolving; gain insights into new projects and trends in India, the Caribbean, South America and Germany; get the latest about huge projects from Rivian and Intuitive Surgical in Georgia and the megaproject from Micron in New York; and find out why two state are emerging as centers of unmanned aerial systems excellence. Get quick-hitting summaries of news in North American Reports and World Reports. And be sure to check out state and area spotlights from Virginia, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Washington and the Southwest U.S., as well as Investment Profiles of San Joaquin and San Bernardino counties in California.

 

 CONWAY DATA SNAPSHOT 
This map generated by Brookings’ research shows primary (orange), secondary (yellow) and monocenters in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina.
Map courtesy of Brookings Metro

Last week, Brookings Institution’s Metro team released a new report on activity centers, defined as “places within regions where economic, physical, social, and civic assets cluster at a clearly defined hyperlocal scale.” Authors Tracy Hadden Loh, DW Rowlands, Adie Tomer, Joseph Kane and Jennifer Vey mapped them out across all 110 U.S. MSAs with at least 500,000 residents using census block groups and identified five categories of assets that can contribute to an area being an activity center: community, tourism, consumption, institutional, and economic. The team then characterized the census block groups as monocenters (lots of one kind of asset); secondary centers (some of at least two kinds of assets); and primary centers (lots of at least two kinds of assets). Among their findings:

  • Activity centers occupy just 3% of all land but are home to 40% of all private-sector jobs on average (54.6% of business services jobs). Density can vary: “Five metro areas (Las Vegas; Durham, North Carolina; San Jose, California; San Diego, California; and Seattle, Washington) have over half of their jobs located in activity centers, while 12 metro areas have less than 30% of their jobs in activity centers.” The report notes the role of high-concentration areas such as Research Triangle Park and the Las Vegas Strip in boosting these percentages so high.
  • Metro areas that concentrate jobs in activity centers are more productive. “Every 1,000 jobs per square mile in a metro area’s median activity center was associated with an additional $1,723 in output per worker across the metro area.”
  • Activity centers have four times the commercial real estate assessed value relative to developed land area. “For two-thirds of metro areas, housing near activity centers is worth a weighted average of 26% more. In three high-growth metro areas (Raleigh, North Carolina; Deltona, Florida; and the Washington, D.C. area) these housing premiums exceed 50%.”

Most of us know about D.C.’s momentum, and the Research Triangle. But Deltona? The largest city in Volusia County is located on Orlando’s northeastern outskirts halfway to Daytona Beach along I-4, on the northern shore of Lake Monroe. A $100 million, 500-job fulfillment center from Amazon located there in 2020. Most of Volusia County project activity tracked by Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database is taking place outside Deltona proper. Those projects include a truck trailer manufacturing site from Alcom and a manufacturing and processing facility from cannabis and hemp product company Cookies Retail in DeLand; a headquarters for Sparton Corp. (recently acquired by Elbit Systems), a provider of sonobuoys and other engineered products for the military, in DeLeon Springs; and investments in Daytona Beach from Brown & Brown (600 jobs), Costa Inc. and Bloomio’s, among others. — Adam Bruns

 

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ARKANSAS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GUIDE 2022-23

EXECUTIVE VOICES

Executive Buy In

Four leaders tell us what makes their Arkansas business successful.

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From the September Issue

PROJECT PROFILE

Where Business Thrives

Tractor Supply Company’s site selection story shows how Arkansas provides the resources companies need to succeed.

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 SITE SELECTION RECOMMENDS 

Graph courtesy of IFR

“The use of robotics and automation is growing at a breathtaking speed,” Marina Bill, president of the International Federation of Robotics, said as the IFR in mid-October presented its World Robotics Report 2022 report. In 2021 there was an all-time high of 517,385 industrial robots installed in factories around the world, a year-on-year growth rate of 31% that drove the stock of operational robots around the globe to a new record of about 3.5 million units. Asia — where 74% of all newly deployed robots were installed in 2021 (after 70% in 2020) — remains the world’s largest market for industrial robots, with China accounting for one out of every two industrial robots installed globally.

 

 PROJECT WATCH 

South Dakota

Albany Farms located this ramen noodle manufacturing facility in the heart of the country — literally. Belle Fourche, located northwest of Rapid City in western South Dakota, is home to a marker denoting the exact geographic center of the United States as determined by the National Geodetic Survey. As far as Albany Farms is concerned, it’s being in the center of the wheat that’s most important. As Lyle Rogalla, an engineer with the company, told Agweek in July, the site sits “right in the middle of 21,000 square miles of the very best wheat that grows on the planet. The factory was formerly a site for the manufacture of storage tanks. “I think we will be one of the larger, if not the largest, ramen producing facilities in the country,” said Albany Farms CEO Bill Saller of the site. “Anything that we possibly can source locally, we will.”

Source: Conway Projects Report

Tennessee

Water heater and water treatment manufacturer A. O. Smith continues to invest at its home campus in Tennessee — the same location hit hard by floods in central Tennessee in 2010. (Read our 2011 story about successful recovery efforts in the region.) Among the company’s recent investments at the site was a $16.6 million new levee inaugurated in August to protect against future floods. The 7,000-ft. berm, flood gates and pumping station surround the plant, the city’s water treatment facility and the Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation substation. The 20-month project was the culmination of a 12-year collaboration among the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the State of Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Cheatham County, town of Ashland City and A. O. Smith. “This project is a prime example of one of our company’s values in action — ‘A. O. Smith will be a good citizen’ — working to protect the people who live and work in the city we’ve called home since 1961,” said Dave Warren, president and general manager of the Company’s North America Water Heating business. “This project was vital to the community and our long-term sustainability in this town.”

Source: Conway Projects Report

 

 

 PHOTOS OF THE DAY 
Photo by Tom Arban courtesy of v2com

A certain generation hears the words “Massey Hall” and thinks of Neil Young’s landmark album created from two solo performances at the iconic Toronto venue in January 1971. That album didn’t get released for 36 years. But the venerable Toronto building — founded and funded in the 1890s by Hart Massey of the Massey Ferguson manufacturing conglomerate and referred to by some as “Canada’s Carnegie Hall” — has seen a lot of folks come through before Neil and after him, hosting such luminaries as Igor Stravinsky (1937), Oscar Peterson (1946), boxer Jack Dempsey (1919) and the only performance ever by a legendary combo who called themselves The Quintet: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. In 1920, 12 years after his Massey Hall debut, Enrico Caruso sold out the hall and came out on the balcony to sing an aria for those who could not gain admittance. So after 125 years, Massey was in need of a C$184 million revitalization, which closed the venue for three years until its grand reopening in November 2021.

Toronto-based architectural firm GBCA -Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd. Architects, the project’s heritage consultant, was recently honored with the Award of Excellence (Conservation – Architecture) from the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals; the Special Jury Award by the Architecture Conservancy of Ontario; and the 2022 Crafts and Trades Award from Heritage Toronto for its role in the overhaul, which included restoration of close to 100 Art Nouveau-style stained glass windows (many of them blocked off for years), the mid-20th-century neon sign out front, and the interior’s plaster ceiling and Moorish arches. “We are grateful to GBCA for the pivotal role they played in our restoration of Massey Hall, one of the country’s most cherished heritage assets, ensuring it will continue to make history one concert at a time for future generations,” said Grant Troop, vice president of operations at The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.

 
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