From Site Selection magazine, March 2001
he year-to-year domination on the football field by legendary giants such as the Dallas Cowboys has nothing on the City of Detroit. Once again Motown claims the title as Site Selection's No. 1 U.S. metro for new and expanded facilities and for new manufacturing projects. This title, the fourth straight Site Selection Top Metro for the Motor City, means Detroit still reigns supreme as the top U.S. spot for new and expanded business.
In the last year, Detroit posted an astounding 1,163 new or expanded facilities, according to Site Selection's New Plants database. Thriving business has returned with gusto. In the last year alone, 139 new business facilities were announced in Detroit.
What's the city's formula for success? Detroit Mayor Dennis W. Archer has taken an activist role in propelling the Motor City into the 21st century. He and his administration along with business advocates have pushed for programs to create jobs and draw business to revitalize the Detroit area.
"The City of Detroit is engaged in one of urban America's greatest revitalization efforts," says Archer. "Between 1994 and 1999, more than US $12 billion has been invested in out great city."
The success of Detroit might be attributed to two economic development programs, The Detroit Renaissance Zone and the Detroit Empowerment Zone. The Empowerment Zone, the most successful project of its kind in the country, is a federal project and has created more than 5,000 new jobs since 1994. The Renaissance Zone is a state economic development project composed of six industrial areas within the city. It has created more than 1,200 high-tech jobs.
The Detroit Greektown Casino project, located in the downtown district, is one of the largest job generators for the year 2000 in the U.S. The $150 million investment is expected to employ more than 3,000. Webvan Group announced in May of 2000 a $47 million distribution warehouse in Detroit and anticipates employing 900.
The Windy City still holds the No. 2 spot for Top Metro cities in Site Selection's list. Chicago retains its runner-up spot with 407 reported new and expanded facilities in the year 2000. Ford Motor Co. announced a $200 million assembly plant in Chicago. The company expects to employ nearly 500 workers at the plant. Central City Productions, a Chicago-based TV film production company, announced last year a $192 million TV-film studio to be located in the city.
Mayor Richard M. Daley and community business leaders have encouraged the fresh growth in the Chicago area, with renewed interest focused on the southside. Midway Airport is slated for an extensive expansion that is expected to generate 94,000 jobs in the district and will bring $4 billion into the area by the year 2010.
The Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, Mich., area saw almost a 10 percent increase in new and expanded plant facilities in 2000. The increase moved the area from the No. 7 spot in 1999 to the No. 3 spot in 2000. Hydro Automotive Structures of North America, in Holland, and the Van Andel Institute, in Grand Rapids, both announced massive expansions of more than $30 million last year. Haworth furniture will employ 455 at its new $18 million facility in Holland, Mich. Orange County, Calif., slipped from the No. 3 to No. 4 spot this year. Orange County continues to hold it's No. 3 spot for new facilities. MBK Construction began work on a hotel/mixed-use $500 million facility, Pointe Anaheim, last year. The project will likely employ more than 350 workers in the future.
The Big Apple continues to move up Site Selection's Top Metro list. New York finished No. 5 for new and expanded plant projects. The city reports 339 new and expanded projects for the year 2000.
The Golden State also posted another metro winner with the Los Angeles-Long Beach area finishing in the No. 6 spot for new and expanded plants. The Los Angeles area finished No. 5 in the 1999 ranking. The area moved from the No. 5 spot last year to No. 4 this year.
Newcomers this year include the Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minn., area coming in No. 7 on the new and expanded facilities list. The area was No. 6 last year in new plant facilities. The Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria, Ohio, metro moved from the previous No. 10 spot to No. 8. Ann Arbor, Mich., and Columbus, Ohio finish out the Site Selection Top Metro Top Ten lists.
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