From the May Issue


Just Picking Up Some Chips

Investments from a semiconductor company and a gambling technology company highlight two facets of the Connecticut economy.

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Northwestern Mutual on February 2 announced plans to invest more than $500 million in its North Office Building in downtown Milwaukee. The plan, which includes enhanced amenities, events space and more public engagement via a pedestrian plaza, is “contingent on City of Milwaukee approval of a tax increment financing (TIF) plan that will bring millions of dollars in additional property tax revenue to the City,” the company said. “We are doubling down on our Milwaukee campus by investing in the future of the workplace for Northwestern Mutual and a thriving downtown community,” said Northwestern Mutual Chairman, President and CEO John Schlifske. The building plan calls for nearly 2,000 employees to be gradually relocated from the company’s campus in Franklin (located on the city’s southwestern perimeter), in addition to providing space for organic growth. Pending City of Milwaukee approvals, construction could begin as early as fall 2023, with potential occupancy in 2027. As for the Franklin campus, “the company has no immediate plans to sell or lease the buildings, as employees will continue to operate from the Franklin location for three to five years,” the company said. However, “the company anticipates the property will be highly desirable to a future company seeking Class A office space.”

Source: Conway Projects Report

New York

Samson Stages on February 1 announced it would build a new 330,000-sq.-ft. studios and soundstages complex on the waterfront in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on the current site of Sunshine Lighting. The $400 million project includes a public park. “Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, the new Samson Stages Red Hook Studio is envisioned as a dynamic vertical village,” the company said, “where the building structure is created from the stacking of eight stages.” “The new addition to Samson Stages will create jobs, will give the neighborhood a new waterfront park, and will continue to make New York the center of TV and film production," said Sam Geiger, co-founder and CEO of Samson Stages.

Source: Conway Projects Report





Strength in Small Numbers

Micropolitan areas outperform Kansas metros in recent economic rankings.

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From the September Issue


Kansas by the Numbers

A roundup of data resources paints a picture of the Kansas economy in terms project sectors, capex and job creation; household statistics and demographic profiles.

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Universal Orlando Resort bills its area dedicated to “The Simpsons” as “the only place in the world where guests can walk the streets of Springfield.”

Image courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Years ago we had some fun looking at corporate facility investment activity in all the places we could think of named Springfield. But if we thought we had most of the Springfields covered, boy were we mistaken. To truly investigate place names, you of course need to turn to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Geographic Names Information System. Among recent news involving this system was the September 2022 announcement by the U.S Department of the Interior of new place names for federal use in places whose names included the derogatory word “squaw.” As for Springfield? There are 276 citations for places with Springfield in their names, affiliations or histories.


Photo by Frank A. Trusdell courtesy of USGS

A number of recent documentaries have focused on the topic of volcanoes. We couldn’t help but notice while nosing around in the U.S. Geological Survey’s web resources this December 2022 photograph of fissure 3 on Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone in Hawai’i erupting the morning of December 1, 2022. The image was made by Frank A. Trusdell, a research geologist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) who last year received a Meritorious Service Award, the second highest honorary award that can be granted to a career employee by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

“In addition to being the world’s authority on Mauna Loa, Mr. Trusdell’s meticulous investigations of eruption histories and volcano structure have also made him a foremost expert on Kīlauea and Hualālai volcanoes,” the citation stated, noting how his “calm demeanor and decades of experience critically informed HVO hazard assessments shared with the public and emergency managers.” In addition to his work in Hawaiʻi, Trusdell has led USGS responses to volcanic crises in Ecuador, Alaska, the Cape Verde Islands and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands.