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cltbwimob last won the day on December 20 2015

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  1. cltbwimob

    Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

    Fun fact: the Carolina’s Aviation Museum is a Smithsonian affiliate museum. I believe their second centerpiece aircraft, the DC-3 is still airworthy, and it’s unlikely that they will move it to a museum in which it will never fly again. Conversely I don’t believe they’d ever move to a place where they couldn’t take the DC-3 with them, so I imagine it’s pretty much a surefire bet that the new museum will be on airport property with ramp access. I will say an Uptown aviation museum would become a smash hit, and my guess is it would probably easily outpace attendance at the NASCAR HOF. Something like the Virginia Air and Space museum in Hampton, VA would be pretty sweet in Uptown (or even on airport property).
  2. cltbwimob

    New Hotels in/around Uptown

    With the Hyatt Centric announcement yesterday, Charlotte will now have, either under construction or proposed the following luxury and boutique brands: Hyatt Centric JW Marriott InterContinental Moxy Canopy Grand Bohemian Additionally, in adjacent counties there are two Cambria hotels and one Ascend collection hotel either in development or under construction. Coupled with our current brands such as Kimpton and Ritz, Charlotte is really starting to up its game in this segment of the hotel market. Now all we need is a Loews, Hyatt/Hyatt Regency, W, and Hotel Indigo, and we’ll be pretty week represented in the full service/lux/boutique market.
  3. cltbwimob

    1000 Room Convention Center Hotel

    Back to the topic of a Convention hotel: Since convention hotels tend to come with a significant amount of space devoted to convention type operations such as meeting/assembly spaces, exhibit halls, and ballrooms, I was wondering if it was possible for the city to construct these spaces on the land currently occupied by the data center along with a support structure capable of supporting a 1000 room hotel above the notional new exhibit halls. Perhaps this could serve as a sort of backdoor subsidy for a convention hotel wherein the city expands the size of the convention center by an additional block, but the expansion just so happens to be constructed in such a way that it can serve as the base/ancillary spaces needed to build a 1000 room convention hotel. Then the city could sell the air rights to a hotel developer with the agreement that all the meeting and exhibit halls constructed in the base of the hotel were to be shared use spaces between the convention center and the hotel itself. I could see this being a viable strategy because it would expand the usable space for the convention center by a significant amount, and it would allow the city to indirectly subsidize a large hotel without causing too much consternation in the local hotel association and advocacy group. If a 1000 room hotel never comes along then the city still has an expanded convention center which is part of what the tourism tax exists for anyways.
  4. cltbwimob

    2019 Predictions

    I-74/future 74 doesn’t come within 60 miles of Charlotte. US-74 is not an interstate, and some sections of the road are pretty terrible. US-74 will be a freeway between 85 and 26 and parts of it will be built to interstate standards but there are no funded plans at the moment to upgrade the whole thing to interstate standards and there are no concrete plans to seek a designation. Between Marshville and Rockingham, the future of the road is even less certain for a number of reasons. The value of an interstate designation reaches far beyond what kind of traffic flows it can manage. Because interstate designations mean something in terms of quality and safety, they are more valuable than a US highway with a patchwork of bypass sections and stop and go sections. Even if US-74 was a freeway for its entire length, it still would not be as valuable as it would be if it carried an interstate designation. Several of the towns along the route on both the east and the west portions of the corridor have already signed resolutions in support of the corridor being upgraded to an interstate, and Robert Pittenger, before he lost his primary for the NC9 was spearheading an effort to get it designated as such. Furthermore economic development professionals, especially in rural towns will tell you that one of the most important things for their economic success is close proximity to an interstate. With so many Tier 3 counties along the US-74 route and with it serving as the route between the state’s largest city (and by far it’s largest export market) and the state’s largest port, my guess is that upgrading the Asheville-CLT-Wilmington corridor to an interstate would be probably the single biggest economic win that state leaders could hope for.
  5. cltbwimob

    2019 Predictions

    Predictions I have some confidence in: -Lowes will base 60%-75% of their recently announced 2000 IT/technology workers in the Charlotte region. It remains to be seen if they will be in Mooresville at their HQ or if they will put them in Uptown or somewhere nearby. I’ll go ahead and predict they’ll anchor the NAI Elizabeth tower, get naming rights and signage. -Charlotte will gain two Fortune 500s but it will be two companies already based here: Brighthouse Financial and Coke Consolidated. Brighthouse will be on the 2019 list. Since the list is published based on previous year’s revenue figures, Coke Consolidated won’t be on the list until 2020 but it will surpass the revenue threshold needed to gain a spot on the F500 list in 2019. -A current F500 company will drop off the list-specifically, Sealed Air. They will drop off the list due to their recently announced divestiture of some of their business. Sealed Air will still be headquartered in this area and it will still be an F1000 company. By the 2020 list (again based on 2019 figures) Charlotte will be home to the following F500s: Bank of America, Lowes, Duke Energy, Nucor, Sonic Automotive, Honeywell, Brighthouse Financial, and Coca Cola Consolidated (and Domtar if you count them). Predictions I am less confident in: -UNCC decides to double down on Engineering and other STEM related fields as well as Data Analytics. Because of this push they see a significant increase in research funding. -Wingate officially announces initial cohort of Optometry students at their planned Optometry school. Shortly after, they announce they will add programs at the Masters and Doctoral levels for Nurse Practitioners. -Panthers won the NFC South and end up making it to the NFC championship. -Hornets make a splash in free agency, get Kemba some help, and make it to the second round of the playoffs. -UNCC football becomes bowl eligible for the first time. -UNCC, Winthrop, and Davidson all make it to the dance in basketball but are all eliminated by the second round. -Aer Lingus is added to the AA/BA/IB transatlantic joint venture and adds service-perhaps seasonal-to Charlotte. Predictions I think could happen someday, but not anytime in the next 5 years: -Phil Dubois really gets sick of being called Chapel Hill Phil by students and alumni and becomes a fierce advocate for UNCC. He announces plans for a medical school and a law school along with a host of other STEM and research related degrees and programs. He also decides to establish the first school of aviation in the UNC system. During the last few years of his tenure he decides to commission a study for changing UNCCs name to University of Charlotte. He ultimately decides not to actually start the name change process but retires as Chancellor having ushered in the football program, a medical school, aviation school, and a law school. Annual research grants exceed $175 million in his final year and he is remembered as the most transformative chancellor in the institution’s history. -Wingate after graduating a cohort of Optometrists and DNPs (see above), announce their intent to bring the full gamut of health sciences programs to the Levine School of Health Sciences. They begin with a school of Podiatry and a school of Osteopathic Medicine and then follow with a School of Dentistry. Finally they add a School of Audiology, a School of Sleep Science, and a Veterinary School. Between Wingate and UNCC, Charlotte finally has the educational assets in place to be a big power player in the knowledge economy. -UNCC football ascends to the top of CUSA in football and basketball and occasionally climbs into the top 25 rankings for both. Both programs consistently make post season appearances in Bowl games and the dance respectively. App State and ECU are both persuaded to drop their current conferences and join CUSA creating a major three-way, in-state rivalry. -Davidson and Winthrop, not to be outdone (at least in basketball) also consistently appear in the NCAA tourney. Winthrop, as usual gets knocked out in the first round but Davidson and UNCC start making runs into the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. Both eventually make it to the Final 4 though not in the same year. The battle for the Hornets Nest trophy becomes a nationally televised annual “game to watch” and a local sensation. Charlotte becomes somewhat of a hotbed in college sports. -Ally, LPL Financial and XPO Logistics move their HQs to Charlotte to get out of high tax states and to be closer to their operational centers/largest employment hubs/where their executive staff live. Charlotte also flirts with Wells Fargo and TIAA, but nothing ever comes of either courtship. -BMW and Daimler Trucks both establish their NA HQs in the Charlotte area. -The local fathers take up the Asheville-Charlotte-Wilmington Interstate cause and help get the corridor designated as the I-32/Future I-32 (or I-34/Future 34) corridor. -British Airways returns to Charlotte, taking over one of the American flights to Heathrow. The beautiful Speedbird 777s finally reappear in Charlotte after a more than two-decade hiatus. -Charlotte lands a flight to Tokyo via Japan Airlines. The flight is operated with a 787. -Lufthansa is still flying to Munich on the A350. -American returns to South America with a year-round flight to Bogota and a winter seasonal to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival. The flights are operated with an A320 and A330-200 respectively. -CLT lands the third Amazon Air hub after Cincinatti and Fort Worth Alliance with 25-30 Prime Air flights per day. Their ramp and sorting facilities are constructed near their mega warehouse. -CLT establishes itself as a major international air cargo point of entry like Columbus Rickenbacker airport. Cathay Pacific cargo, Lufthansa cargo, IAG cargo, Icelandair cargo, Cargolux, Kalitta Air, Qatar cargo, and Atlas cargo (the 747s) all make routine scheduled appearances at the airport. -E-Commerce, Pharmaceuticals manufacturing, apparel, and cold goods logistics become major players in the local economy due to the new interstate, the growth in air cargo, and the intermodal yards. Because of all this UPS decides to build its first combined mechanized air/ground/rail hub at the airport. -CLT gets a major OEM aircraft manufacturer to establish a final assembly plant on grounds. Edit: most of the above is more wishlist than prediction, but some of these things I do believe have a legitimate chance of happening.
  6. cltbwimob

    The Good News Report

    And another nearly 1000 jobs coming to the region via ServiceMac, just over the border in Indian Land. We are now well in excess of 4000 jobs announced for the region in less than a month. Edit: NM this is another SC poach job moving them from one county in the region to another. I am sure that there will be several hundred additional jobs as it looks like an expansion as well. However this is another Red Ventures/LPL/Movement/Roundpoint story. Wash, rinse, repeat.
  7. cltbwimob

    The Good News Report

    While not as glamorous as the Lending Tree, Avid Exchange, and Honeywell announcements, don’t forget the 500 job Sonic call center (which will pay a high avg wage for a call center) jobs and the 250+ food and beverage jobs between the Huntersville beverage plant and the Norwood tortilla plant. That brings the total up to just a shade under 3200 announced jobs for the metro area in the past month.
  8. cltbwimob

    The State of Higher Education in Charlotte

    Good news for higher education in the Charlotte region, albeit barely in the Charlotte region. Wingate University has started an occupational health doctoral program in the Levine College of Health Sciences and intends to also add a school of optometry. With the addition of those two programs, the Levine College of Health Sciences will have undergraduate nursing and graduate programs/schools in Pharmacy, Optometry, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant Studies.
  9. cltbwimob

    New Panthers Stadium in 2022?

    The problem is that the amount earmarked for the Panthers is only enough to cover an additional round of renovations. Covering half the cost of a new $1+billion stadium could not be accomplished under the existing hotel tax even if the city abandoned every other priority and threw every dime from that fund toward a new stadium. As a result, some sort of debt instrument would have to be part of the finance picture. This is why opportunity cost has to be a consideration. The same bonds that would have to be issued to cover stadium construction costs could also go to affordable housing or various infrastructure improvements including possibly the Big Bang transit plan. Now if the Panthers were to front 90+% of the construction costs it would be a different story. But consensus opinion is that the ask, should there be one will be 30-50%
  10. cltbwimob

    New Panthers Stadium in 2022?

    1. Cost-benefit analysis. Super Bowls, BCS championships, and final fours always carry with them some sort of headline of “blah blah blah $200 million economic impact blah blah blah” but such headlines never indicate how much tax revenue was generated from those “economic impacts.” Much of that “economic impact” is sales which being taxed at the relatively low sales tax rate. Even if the city/state recovered 10% of the economic impact in the form of taxes how many major events would it take to recoup only the nominal value of the potentially half billion dollars spent? Is it 20-25 Super Bowls and BCS games? What about an analysis considering the time value of money. Given a 25-30 year span a nominal $500 billion today worth of taxpayer money is worth ~$1 billion dollars. Are we going to ever recoup that? Nope. Not if we hosted the Super Bowl every other year for the duration of a new stadium’s existence would we as taxpayers recover such an expense. Of course you can disagree with my opinion, but your disagreement would also be with roughly 90% of economists including sports economists who have conducted far more rigorous analysis than my back of the napkin calculations. If you don’t believe me then subscribe to the American Economics Association and just do a search of sports stadium economics. I’ll bet you’ll find scant evidence that they ever turn out to be what boosters crack them up to be in terms of economic impact, and football stadiums tend to be the worst because they cost the most and have the fewest events. 2. I am well aware of the differences in design between the new were stadiums such as US Bank in Minneapolis and Mercedes-Benz in Atlanta and the older stadium such as Bank of America. However, most of the differences you’re referring to are aesthetics as opposed to functional differences. In terms of functionality, which is what I was referring to, Bank of America has many of the trappings of newer stadiums. It just doesn’t have the space-age aesthetics of something like a Mercedes-Benz dome. But there are people who do not care for space-age aesthetics, myself included. I much prefer the classical bowl design because it is a timeless design in football stadium architecture. Are we to Continually spend hundreds of millions of dollars building new stadiums every time the “latest and greatest” in football stadium aesthetics changes all because there are those whose eyes are attracted to the newer aesthetic? 3. A new football stadium is not likely to get built in downtown Charlotte. I know everyone likes to pontificate about the Charlotte Pipe land, however I Have substantial knowledge of the inner workings of that company. And they are probably not selling it unless demand for iron pipe goes so high that they cannot keep up at the current facility and absolutely must build a new facility elsewhere. Otherwise, that plant is their pride and joy; even though most of the volume they produce is plastic pipe, ask people in the company and they will tell you that corporate culture revolves around the foundry in downtown. They consistently retool it and put new machinery in it, and they just built a large new training facility on the old Beazer land inside 277. From a dollars and cents perspective, their land is far more valuable to them with a factory on it than just as land holdings. Ergo they would have to be compensated not only for the land value itself, but also any foregone revenues they could have made in producing pipe and any other disruptions to their operation caused by abandoning their current plant. Translation: their land in downtown isn’t going to sell for the nominal value of the land. Also they cannot move the operation to Monroe or anywhere else because The foundry in downtown Charlotte is the only place in their entire operation where they cast iron pipe-everything else is plastic. And any hope that they would sell their holdings to an NFL team without being grossly compensated probably to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars is likely a pipe dream (pun intended). 4. There are exactly 3 cities in the history of the Super Bowl that are smaller than Charlotte that have hosted Super Bowls...Indianapolis, Jacksonville and New Orleans. Of those three, only one-NO-has hosted more than one Super Bowl. Chances are Charlotte gets precisely one Super Bowl and will not get another one unless they build another new stadium 20 to 30 years down the road. Is it wise to continually spend taxpayer money on that? Or is that a borderline criminal use of taxpayer funds when things like infrastructure and affordable housing are way higher on the list of city needs. 5. Advocating for taxpayer investment in the football stadium on the grounds of economic development is a losing argument, even when considering the total economic benefit including new jobs in construction, higher property tax returns, etc. Advocating on the basis of hosting a couple of events over the course of the stadiums life is an even worse argument because they would only provide incremental revenue over what the current stadium hosts. IMHO it is tantamount to suggesting that one should spend a dollar to earn a dime. Like I said before, I would begrudgingly accept a taxpayer investment in a new stadium to keep the Panthers in metro Charlotte, If and only if that is what keeps them from moving to another metro area. But if the choice is a taxpayer funded stadium in Mecklenburg county or a stadium in York County, the benefits to Mecklenburg do not and will not outweigh the cost unless David Tepper fronts ~90% of the capital cost. If the taxpayers are on the hook for 50% as is the case in most new stadium builds then it is all but certain that we would never recoup such a cost. And I am willing to let York county bear those costs instead. As for Bank of America Stadium I am willing to put more taxpayer money into it, not because I believe it will be recouped, but because I believe in salvaging history and I have my own personal stories that were lived out in that stadium. Ergo I have a nostalgic attachment to it and do not want to see it get abandoned. If they are going to put it to pasture then I want absolutely zero dollars of my money as a Mecklenburg county tax payer going to its replacement. It is a cause I do not support.
  11. cltbwimob

    New Panthers Stadium in 2022?

    Here is my two cents: 1. No one can explain exactly why a new stadium is needed other than to say it’s necessary if we are to ever have a chance at hosting a Super Bowl, BCS Championship game, and Final Four. But are we really so desperate to have, if we are lucky, 1-2 Super Bowls, 1-2 BCS Championship games and a couple of final fours that we are willing to potentially spend upwards of 1/2 billion taxpayer dollars to get a few extra one/two-off events over the span of several decades? 2. No one can say exactly why BofA is so out of date. Sure the concrete itself is 22 years old, but beyond that the stadium is relatively up-to-date. The city and the team have implemented approximately $160 million worth of upgrades and renovations since 2013, including upgraded lux suites, large video boards and ribbon boards, escalators etc. to ensure it is relevant for the foreseeable future. Aside from the sideline suites that are popular in today’s new builds, the stadium to my knowledge has just about anything that any other newer or rennovated stadium has. 3. I have said this time and again-BofA in a lot of ways represents to football what Camden Yards represents to baseball in that it fundamentally changed how football stadiums were designed. It ushered in a new era in stadium architecture-an era dedicated to the fan experience-and a good number of stadiums since built have used BofA as a model. In this regard, if Camden Yards is “the Ballpark that changed baseball” then BofA can be viewed as the stadium that changed football. As such, it is a piece of NFL history unto itself in the same way Camden Yards is a piece of baseball history. 4. If nothing else BofA is certainly an icon of Charlotte and should be valued as such. For 22 years it has served as an anchor in the foreground of all skyline shots taken from the southwest and Is one of the most recognizable features of the skyline. It is, in a town that is all to quick to tear down every vestige of its past, a big part of Charlotte’s modern history and her coming of age. In fact one might argue that it (and of course the team it’s housed for 22 years) has not just been a part of Charlotte’s coming of age but was indeed integral to her rise to major city status. If and only if it is required to keep the Panthers in metro Charlotte as opposed to moving to Raleigh or some other metro in the Carolinas would I say the potential investment would be worth the cost. If the scenario is either the Panthers tear down and build anew in Charlotte or they tear down and build anew somewhere else in metro Charlotte area such as Fort Mill, then, I am fairly indifferent as to the location. If under such a scenario taxpayer money is involved, then let Fort Mill have it. I will gladly support additional taxpayer money going to continued renovation of the current stadium, but if the team is insistent on abandoning BofA for greener pastures, then I prefer that not a dime of my tax money go that cause.
  12. cltbwimob

    Honeywell HQ to Charlotte!

    That is incredibly good news.
  13. cltbwimob

    Carolina Panthers

    He is supposedly their “Swiss Army Knife” so I’m sure he can.
  14. cltbwimob

    Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

    Operationally, tunneling would be way better, but I’m with you in that I think the multi-billion dollar tunneling project may come at the expense of full buildout of the system. To me that additional $1.5 billion would be much better spent on additional lines rather than a tunnel
  15. cltbwimob

    Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

    Great news about the Centurion Lounge and Lufthansa. Do you know if the ramp space is just the gate space they’ve been using (D-12 I believe)? I thought that was a shared gate that both they and American both use. Or could it perhaps be cargo ramp space for Lufthansa Cargo flights? Was all the space leased prior to or after American’s announcement that they would start flights to Munich? Sorry for the game of 20 questions. On a separate note, on the cargo side, it looks like Fed Ex has reestablished flights to Newark and Nashville. And for a real treat, it looks as if UPS has upguaged its equipment on its Louisville flight from an A300 to an MD-11. Of course all these may have been short term or seasonal adds, but I’m hoping they stick around, especially the MD-11 as it is a beautiful aircraft.