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From Site Selection magazine, March 2020

Cementing Growth


2019 Top Industries

by Number of Projects
Industry New Exp. Total
Machinery, Equipment & Construction 483 347 830
Food & Beverage 371 289 660
Business & Financial Services 353 306 659
IT & Communications 317 208 525
Transport & Logistics 320 204 524
Source: Conway Projects Database

This year’s tallies of the top industries of 2019, as they did last year, once again show machinery, equipment & construction leading the way. The category encompasses everything from cement plants and cranes to plants that make machines that go in other plants to make other machines.

Food & beverage comes in second. As CBRE reported in January, it’s not just about making food, it’s about moving food. The food & beverage industry accounted for several million more square feet of the 100 largest industrial leases in the U.S. last year than in 2018, said CBRE, “as grocers and distributors continue to build out their supply chains for home delivery.

The map shows the five largest projects by investment tracked by Conway Analytics, which qualifies private-sector projects involving new construction that meet at least one of three criteria: 1) at least $1 million in investment, 2) at least 20 new jobs, or 3) at least 20,000 new sq. ft. of space.

In a virtual project tally tie with food & beverage was business & financial services. Another virtual tie takes place between IT & communications and transport & logistics — two sectors that influence one another more than ever in the age of e-commerce.

These findings resonate with the annual re-benchmarking of “The Conference Board Innovation α Index powered by M•CAM,” which on the first trading day of the new year rank and identify the 100 most innovative US companies in the Russell 1000 universe of companies and the 120 most innovative global companies in the MSCI World Index universe of companies. The report notes leadership in the health tech sector in the U.S. and in electronic technology and telecommunications equipment globally.

Adam Bruns
Editor in Chief of Site Selection magazine

Adam Bruns

Adam Bruns is editor in chief and head of publications for Site Selection, and before that has served as managing editor beginning in February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.


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