Business Facilities July/August 2010 : Page 28

W e recognize that growth potential is not deter-mined by size; in fact, there are a number of “overgrown” metropolises in the U.S. that rapidly are being outpaced by mid-sized con-tenders. Also, some of the most dra-matic growth possibilities can be found in smaller communities. So we’ve divided our Top 10 Metros for Economic Growth Potential ranking into two sub-categories, giving large cities and their smaller brethren a chance to shine side by side. In the small population sub-cate-Top 10 Metro Economic Growth Potential 1. CHATTANOOGA, TN 2. ALBUQUERQUE, NM 3. SAN ANTONIO, TX 4. CHARLESTON, SC 5. CHARLOTTE, NC 6. TUCSON, AZ 7. INDIANAPOLIS, IN 8. KANSAS CITY, MO 9. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 10. LOUISVILLE, KY 28 JULY/AUGUST 2010 gory, Panama City, FL remains front-and-center on our growth radar. Aswe detailed in our June cover feature [Editor’s Location Picks], it would be hard to find a better example of the seemingly overnight transformation of a region than the current activity on the Florida panhandle. One of the nation’s largest economic develop-ment initiatives is taking shape amidst the piney trees and pristine beaches in Northwest Florida near Panama City. What makes the 75,000-acre West Bay development unique is not just a huge public-private effort that is Top 10 Metro Economic Growth Potential (Under 200k Population) 1. PANAMA CITY, FL 2. MANHATTAN, KS 3. MIDLAND, MI 4. NEWPORT NEWS, VA 5. KNOXVILLE, TN 6. GREENVILLE, SC 7. DUBUQUE, IA 8. JUNCTION CITY, KS 9. SIOUX CITY, IA 10. SURPRISE, AZ spearheaded by the area’s largest property owner, The St. Joe Co. and has brought together state, regional and local agencies: West Bay is the only economic development project in the nation that comes with its own brand-new international airport. The $318-million Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport began operations with the first land-ing by Southwest Airlines onMay 23 after a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gov. Charlie Crist. It is the first greenfield commercial service airport to be built in the U.S. in more than 15 years, replacing the existing Panama City-Bay County Interna-tional Airport. The new airport boasts a 10,000-foot runway built on approximately 1,300 acres of a 4,000-acre site in the West Bay develop-ment. The land for the airport was donated by St. Joe Co. The 125,000-square-foot passen-ger terminal at NW Beaches features seven gates, two restaurants, two retail shops and six car-rental coun-Top Logistics/ Distribution Shipping Hubs 1. MEMPHIS 2. CHICAGO 3. DALLAS 4. NEW ORLEANS 5. LOS ANGELES

2010 Rankings: Top 10 Metros

We recognize that growth potential is not determined by size; in fact, there are a number of “overgrown” metropolises in the U.S. that rapidly are being outpaced by mid-sized contenders.<br /> <br /> Also, some of the most dramatic growth possibilities can be found in smaller communities. So we’ve divided our Top 10 Metros for Economic Growth Potential ranking into two sub-categories, giving large cities and their smaller brethren a chance to shine side by side.<br /> <br /> In the small population sub-category, Panama City, FL remains frontand- center on our growth radar. As we detailed in our June cover feature [Editor’s Location Picks], it would be hard to find a better example of the seemingly overnight transformation of a region than the current activity on the Florida panhandle. One of the nation’s largest economic development initiatives is taking shape amidst the piney trees and pristine beaches in Northwest Florida near Panama City.<br /> <br /> What makes the 75,000-acre West Bay development unique is not just a huge public-private effort that is spearheaded by the area’s largest property owner, The St. Joe Co. And has brought together state, regional and local agencies: West Bay is the only economic development project in the nation that comes with its own brand-new international airport.<br /> <br /> The $318-million Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport began operations with the first landing by Southwest Airlines on May 23 after a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gov. Charlie Crist. It is the first greenfield commercial service airport to be built in the U.S. in more than 15 years, replacing the existing Panama City-Bay County International Airport. The new airport boasts a 10,000-foot runway built on approximately 1,300 acres of a 4,000- acre site in the West Bay development.<br /> <br /> The land for the airport was donated by St. Joe Co.The 125,000-square-foot passenger terminal at NW Beaches features seven gates, two restaurants, two retail shops and six car-rental coun-Ters. Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines will offer daily service to Atlanta, Memphis, Orlando, Cincinnati, Houston, Baltimore and Nashville.<br /> <br /> The West Bay Sector Plan initially calls for a business center and a regional employment center, divided into more than two dozen parcels ranging from 7 to 44 acres each. The business and retail sites are surrounded by more than 40,000 acres that have been set aside by the developers for environmental preservation.<br /> <br /> St. Joe’s new headquarters will be located within Phase I of the West Bay Sector Plan development near the entrance of the new international airport. The new offices will provide the company with a location central to its numerous residential communities and commercial properties under development.<br /> <br /> AEROTROPOLIS RISING<br /> <br /> For years, Memphis has rightfully branded itself as America’s Distribution Center. Today, the charming city on the banks of the Mississippi River is calling itself America’s Aerotropolis.<br /> <br /> This is not a hollow boast—we affirm Memphis’ global leadership as a megacargo/ shipping hub with the top ranking in our new Logistics/Distribution Shipping Hubs category.<br /> <br /> From its antebellum leadership, consolidating and distributing cotton and lumber to the nation and the world, through its 21st century position as the globe’s largest, fastest, and most connected multimodal logistics complex, Memphis and distribution have been synonymous.<br /> <br /> Largely due to its status as the global hub for FedEx, Memphis International Airport has an estimated $22 billion annual impact on the metropolitan economy, generating 166,000 jobs and moving up to 5 million metric tons of cargo, making it the world’s busiest cargo airport for 17 consecutive years.<br /> <br /> Memphis also boasts superior rail, water and road access. More than 400 motor freight companies operating in Memphis offer direct service to all 48 contiguous states as well as Mexico and Canada, and the city can deliver by road transport overnight to more metro markets (152) than any otherMajor U.S. shipping hub. Also, five major rail networks intersect in Memphis (CSX, Union Pacific, Canadian National, Norfolk Southern and BNSF). Memphis is the fourth largest inland port in the country, handling more than 18 million tons of cargo on the river annually.<br /> <br /> We also took a look at emerging logistics/distribution growth centers this year, and the Greenville-Spartanburg area of South Carolina jumped to the top of the list when we assessed mid-sized locations.<br /> <br /> There have been a bevy of major distribution facilities developed in upstate SC recently, the latest being the opening in Spartanburg earlier this year of Adidas’ massive $150 million, 1.9-million-square-foot center, the sporting goods and apparel-maker’s largest and most technologically advanced distribution facility in the world. The new Spartanburg facility employs more than 1,500 people.<br /> <br /> “At The Adidas Group, we’re passionate about performance— in order to get something right you have to create the conditions for it,” said Glen Bennett, head of global operations for The Adidas Group. “That’s what we’re trying to do here in Spartanburg.” The Spartanburg center includes two large distribution buildings that house more than 15 million units of Adidas and Reebok brand apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories. A state-of-the-art Shared Services Center on the eastern edge of the campus will process more than 2 million orders and answer more than 300,000 customer service calls annually.<br /> <br /> “This is one more reminder of South Carolina’s performance, attracting recruitment, investment and global recognition,” said Gov. Mark Sanford. “The dark days of textiles leaving are behind us. The fact is we have a more diversified economy. It’s a compliment to our workforce and geography, and it bodes well for our future.” Bob Henriques, head of U.S. distribution for The Adidas Group, said 1,100 of the center’s workers are local hires and 130 more distribution and customer service jobs will be added over the next month. Although the company is using 50 percent of its distribution space, the facility has been built with the ability to expand by another 475,000 square feet as orders for Adidas and Reebok products continue to grow.<br /> <br /> Adidas, which already shipped 300,000 jerseys and 1.2 million soccer balls to World Cup fans across the globe, completed its $3.8 billion acquisition of Reebok in January 2006.<br /> <br /> ALT ENERGY POWER TEAM<br /> <br /> With Arizona grabbing top honors in our new state ranking for Alternative Energy Industry Leaders, logic— supported by a cornucopia of major project announcements—dictates that Tucson, AZ takes the crown in the metro version of this category.<br /> <br /> The self-styled Solar City has shined so brightly in the alternative energy sector that it graced the cover of our April issue [Alternative Energy Arrives]. Here are some activities that nailed the top ranking for Tucson: Tucson today is the U.S. home to some of the world’s leading photovoltaic manufacturers, including Schletter Inc., which designs and manufactures solar mounting systems; Global Solar Energy, the leading manufacturer of thin-film CIGS photovoltaic modules; and SOLON, which like Schletter is German-owned.<br /> <br /> SOLON’s operation, Arizona’s first for the manufacturing of photovoltaic equipment, could serve as the cornerstone of the growing solar economic development market in Southern Arizona.<br /> <br /> The state’s solar push began a decade ago when the public utility regulator, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), began to aggressively pursue solar resources. ACC later announced that 15 percent of regulated utilities’ retail sales must come from renewable energy sources by 2025.<br /> <br /> Arizona released its Solar Electrical Road Map Study in 2007, leading to the creation of the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AZRise) at the University of Arizona, which serves as a solar energy center of excellence. Arizona has shown its commitment to meeting the 15-percent renewable energy standard. Tucson Electric Power (TEP) already has developed almost 10 megawatts of company-owned renewable energy generating capacity, and is on track to add another 3.4 megawatts of company-owned capacity and to purchase 31.5 megawatts in the coming years.<br /> <br /> Some of the power TEP will buy will come from a 5-megawatt concentrating solar power system being built by Bell Independent Power Corp. at the University of Arizona Science andTechnology Park in Tucson. TEP will purchase another 25 megawatts from a photovoltaic system owned by Fotowatio Renewable Energies. [for more information about Tucson and alternative energy, see Industry Focus on page 36 of this issue].<br /> <br /> Knoxville, TN also caught our attention when we rated the top metros for alternative energy leadership.<br /> <br /> We were particularly impressed with the bold plans announced earlier this year, when the area declared itself the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, bringing researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and University of Tennessee/Knoxville together in an ambitious effort to establish the region as a primary alternative energy hub.<br /> <br /> Improved LED lights, high tech air filtration systems and lighter, stronger and easier-to-ship materials— all developed locally—are fueling a promising, and increasingly green, future for the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley.<br /> <br /> Concrete examples of the region’s technical and entrepreneurial synergies are easy to find. LED North America wants to make LED lights last longer. The company also is making use of lightweight carbon foam developed at ORNL that reduces temperatures in LED engines by as much as ten degrees Celsius.<br /> <br /> Another example of Innovation Valley technology at work locally is Knoxville-based Bandit Lites, one of the entertainment world’s largest lighting providers. Gaining a competitive edge by working with GRNLite, the company has developed a full range of rugged, bright and affordable LED fixtures that reduce onstage heat, use 90 percent less electricity and reduce truck space, cutting related fuel and emissions.<br /> <br /> Technology transfer is also at work locally at Industrial Ceramic Solutions, which produces ceramic fiber filters for industrial and diesel exhaust applications. The company, headed by former Oak Ridge materials research scientist Dick Nixdorf, is also developing high performance reinforcement fibers to improve durability of combustion chamber liners in coal-fired power plants. Nixdorf ’s company also works with carbon nanotubes, which could improve fuel cells andLithium. The underlying technology developed was a joint effort by ORNL and Y-12.<br /> <br /> The synergies between research and the region’s economy are perhaps best symbolized by ORNL Lab Director Thom Mason’s chairmanship of the Knoxville- Oak Ridge Innovation Valley economic development partnership and by such events as the June Technology Resource Showcase, which connected local researchers and their innovative technologies with local companies.<br /> <br /> Also fueling growth in the area is increased demand for centrifuges produced at a site in Oak Ridge shared by USEC Inc and its manufacturing partner The Babcock & Wilcox Co. USEC recently announced that Toshiba Corp. and Babcock & Wilcox Investment Co., an affiliate of The Babcock & Wilcox Co., have signed a “definitive agreement” to a three-phased investment of $200 million in USEC.<br /> <br /> The alternative energy activities detailed above were major factors in our decision to include Tucson and Knoxville among our top 10 lists for economic growth potential.<br /> <br /> EMERGING AEROSPACE KINGS<br /> <br /> Wichita, KS maintaining its top position in our metro Aerospace/ Defense Manufacturing rankingWas no surprise, but this year’s results indicate that some rising competitors may give the Kansas city a run for its aircraft dollars in coming years.<br /> <br /> Wichita, hosts the world’s bestknown aviation cluster, and is often referred to as the “Air Capital of the World.” Aircraft and aircraft components have been built with Wichita expertise and craftsmanship for nearly 90 years. Wichita offers one of the largest aerospace labor pools and supplier networks in the world. According to a Milken Institute study, Wichita has the highest concentration of aerospace manufacturing employment and skills in the nation. About 57 percent of Wichita metro area manufacturing employment is in aerospace products and parts.<br /> <br /> The Wichita area hosts four aerospace OEMs (Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Bombardier Learjet, Cessna Aircraft and Hawker Beechcraft). Wichita also is home to an Airbus Engineering Design Center.<br /> <br /> In 2008, Wichita companies delivered 59 percent of all general aviation aircraft built in the United States, and accounted for 46 percent of global general aviation deliveries.<br /> <br /> Located in Wichita is some of the most specialized equipment in the world for metal and composite material fabrication. Decades of aircraft production have built a network of more than 200 precision machine shops, tool and die shops, and other aerospace subcontract manufacturers.<br /> <br /> There are more than 40 Boeingcertified gold and silver suppliers within a 200-mile radius of the Kansas city. These leading-edge suppliers include Spirit AeroSystems, the world’s largest independent producer of commercial aircraft structures.<br /> <br /> Wichita firms either directly manufacture, or provide critical components for, more than half of all general aviation, commercial and military aircraft.<br /> <br /> Industry-specific business advantages for aviation manufacturing include exemption of commercial aircraft and components from all sales taxes (including wet leases), liberal fly-away exemption and no excise tax on jet fuel and aviation gas.<br /> <br /> Wichita also is the global center of composites expertise. South Central Kansas hosts a rapidly developing industrial cluster of firms in the field of advanced composites, advanced polymers and elastomers.<br /> <br /> The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University was founded in 1985, and is the largest aerospace applied research and development academic institution in the nation. NIAR’s 120,000-square-foot facility houses 15 advanced research and testing labs, including several wind tunnels.<br /> <br /> In order to assure a steady supply of qualified workers for the aerospace industry, Sedgwick County Technical Education and Training Authority (SCTETA) is developing the $54-million, 222,000-square-foot National Center for Aviation Training. NCAT will be a world-class aviation manufacturing training center on the grounds of Jabara Airport in northeast Wichita.<br /> <br /> Two locations that are gearing up to challenge Wichita’s pre-eminence in aerospace manufacturing are Huntsville, AL, which repeats this year with the number two ranking in this category, and the Charleston, SC area, which has vaulted into fourth place on the wings of Boeing’s decision to locate its 787 assembly plant in N. Charleston.<br /> <br /> Huntsville, AL earned the moniker “Rocket City” as a primary hub for the nation’s missile defense, space and military aerospace programs.<br /> <br /> Huntsville/Madison County is home to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal, both combining to drive a strong research and development economy and affecting spinoff and commercial activity of technology innovations. Years, A few weeks ago, Huntsville scored a major coup when Raytheon Missile Systems announced it will build a new $75-million missile factory in Huntsville. The plant will be used for final assembly and testing of Standard Missile-3 Block IB, a seabased missile interceptor, and the Standard Missile-6, an advanced ship-defense weapon, the Tucson, AZ-based company said.<br /> <br /> The Alabama site will employ an estimated 300 workers at an annual average wage of $60,000. Several Raytheon divisions already employ about 600 people in the Huntsville area. Raytheon said it expects to break ground on the 200-acre Huntsville plant site later this year and build it in two phases over three years. Initial production is planned to begin in January 2013.<br /> <br /> Workers at the new, 70,000- square-foot plant—on the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal site and close to major NASA and U.S. Missile Defense Agency facilities—will perform SM-3 and SM-6 final assembly, integration, testing and life-cycle support, or ongoing maintenance.<br /> <br /> Section-level assembly, integration and testing for the missiles will remain at the Tucson and supplier sites, the company said.<br /> <br /> The agreement to build the plant<br /> <br /> Was announced by company officials, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby and Gov. Bob Riley at the Farnborough International Air Show in England.<br /> <br /> Alabama offers job training and a variety of tax breaks to companies building new facilities in the state, including abatement of sales taxes on construction and income-tax credits for capital costs of qualifying projects.<br /> <br /> Raytheon said Huntsville was picked over finalists Tucson and Camden, AR, where the company also has facilities. In a prepared statement, Raytheon said the company “conducted a rigorous site selection process for 18 months, investigating more than 80 locations.” In a statement on its website, the company said was unable to build the missile plant within Raytheon’s current Standard Missile final assembly compound at Tucson Interna-Tional Airport because of explosive facility siting regulations covering airports adjacent to industrial or residential areas.<br /> <br /> “Raytheon continues to have a long-term, strategic commitment to Tucson,” the company said. Tucson repeated this year in sixth place in the aerospace manufacturing ranking.<br /> <br /> AUSTIN’S STAR SHINES IN TX<br /> <br /> When we pull together our metro rankings, there usually is one location that stands out for its across-theboard achievements, and this year’s stand-out is Austin, TX. Austin took our top ranking for Quality of Life and also was the top-ranked metro in our new Renewable Energy Available Leaders category (its position in renewable energy use was one of the factors in the Quality of Life selection; we expect availability of greenEnergy to become a major benchmark moving forward in determining a community’s quality of life).<br /> <br /> Regarding its unsurpassed lifestyle, a sunny climate and idyllic setting on the edge of the beautiful Texas Hill Country make Austin a bonanza for outdoor activities. If you’re a golfer, you can choose from multiple golf courses in the area, including the prestigious Barton Creek and River Place Country Clubs.<br /> <br /> Zilker Park, located in the heart of Austin, offers more than 400 acres for activities including soccer, volleyball, summer theater and miles of hiking and biking trails. Gardeners delight in Austin’s year-round growing season, and no visit to Austin is complete without a trip to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. A quick hike up Mount Bonnell rewards the climber with spectacular hilltop views of the city and area lakes.<br /> <br /> The area’s diversified chain of lakes starts about 70 miles to the north and ends at downtown Austin.<br /> <br /> Each lake has its own personality.<br /> <br /> You’ll be enchanted by the spectacular waterfalls and excellent fishing on Lake Buchanan; diving, sailing and boating in the crystal-clear waters of nearby Lake Travis; the popular hikeand- bike trails along Town Lake in the heart of downtown Austin; and water sports and camping on Lake LBJ, Inks Lake and Lake Marble Falls. The nearby upper Colorado River area is the winter nesting grounds for a growing population of native Bald Eagles. And with a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, Barton Springs is the favorite year-round swimming hole for many Austinites.<br /> <br /> Austin’s sunny climate is match by the warmth of its welcome to businesses, one of the reasons the Texas capital and its surrounding areas have become known around the world as “Silicon Hills.” Although the hightech industry is the fastest growing and most visible part of the economy, Austin is well diversified with a strong government, education and financial base. Austin has been named one of the best cities in the United States for business by Forbes and FORTUNE Magazine.<br /> <br /> The influx of high-tech professionals into Austin from all over the world makes the city a challenging, exciting and diverse business environment. With more than a million residents in the greater metropolitan area, Austin is the second fastest growing city in the United States and is now the country’s 16th largest city overall.<br /> <br /> “Austin has become one of the few places in the country where people come to live by choice, for all it has to offer,” says Austin-based economist Angelos Angelou.<br /> <br /> Last, but certainly not least, Austin holds the title of “The Live Music Capital of the World,” with perhaps more musicians per capita than any other city.<br /> <br />

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
 

Loading