From Site Selection magazine, May 2002

Breakthrough Deals for 2001


n an era of dwindling resources and a slumping economy, development officials are searching for new ways to attract industry and business. Many cities are offering incentives for such traditional industries such as heavy manufacturing and logistics. Economic development groups are looking to attract tried-and-true businesses with workforce development programs and site incentives. There are still those communities willing to risk on high-tech development or new ventures. These breakthrough investments hopefully represent new jobs and greater opportunities for their communities. Site Selection's survey of nearly 400 global economic development groups turned up a variety of new breakthrough projects.

Austeel – New South Wales, Australia
This new steel plant represents a $2.8 billion investment in an area of Australia that was once known as the Steel City. The steel industry in New South Wales has dwindled in recent years and the announcement is the largest single industrial investment in the area.

Biopure – Sumter, S.C.
A Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company went looking for a home for its first full-scale manufacturing facility. The $120 plant represents the community's first biopharmaceutical investment. The site also represents the largest investment in Sumter County history.

Cingular - Ocean Springs, Ms.
The wireless carrier announced the location of a 700-person customer care center in a vacant Wal-Mart located east of Biloxi. The inbound customer care center represents a huge impact in an area hit hard by the recession. Local officials lobbied for three years before landing the deal.

Dell Computers – Twin Falls, Id.
The city purchased and retrofit an Albertson's grocery store. Dell will lease the facility from the city and the $3 million site will employ more than 500 workers. The state also provided workforce-training funds.

Fulflex of Vermont – Brattleboro, Vt.
Fulflex returned to Brattleboro after having ceased production 2 years earlier and transferred operations to other facilities in its corporate network outside of Vermont. Company officials recognized that its former workforce represented a valuable asset. This was an important factor in its returning to Vermont.

Iowa CHILD Project -Coraville, Ia.
The brainchild of Iowa businessman, Ted Townsend, the CHILD project is a $225 million rainforest located along Interstate 80. The space will include an Amazonian rainforest, an aquarium, wetland ecosystems and a prairie. The city may develop an adjacent hotel and conference center.

Lowe's Distribution Center – Cheyenne, Wy.
Lowe's Distribution Center, Cheyenne, Wy.
“Getting Lowe's to commit to Cheyenne was like catching a ‘Hail Mary’ pass to win the Super Bowl,” said Jack Crews, President of LEADS, the Cheyenne-Laramie County Corporation for Economic Development.
Lowe's will open its service center in the fall of this year. The center is the first largest distribution center of its kind to be located in Wyoming and will employ 400 to 600. Lowe's officials said the key factors in locating in Cheyenne were infrastructure, and geographic location (intersection of Interstates 80 & 25) and available labor.

Pfizer's Global Research and Development Center - New London, Ct.
Located on a 22-acre former brownfield, Pfizer's new bioscience research and development center represents one of the largest investments in Connecticut's history. The site will employ more than 2,000 and represents nearly $300 million in private investment.

Siemens-Westinghouse – Pittsburgh, Pa.

Siemens-Westinghouse Stationary Fuel Cell Division's manufacturing headquarters and research and development facility. The plant marks Pittsburgh as a major hub for the renewable energy industry.

Virtual-Agent Services - Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
The Chicago-based customer care provider came to Canada looking for one location in New Brunswick. They have since established 5 additional locations in non-urban areas of the province creating, tapping into both the rural and urban economies of New Brunswick. Site Selection

Related article: Top Ten Deals of 2001

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