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krazeeboi

Is your city trying to establish a new economic cluster?

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Most cities these days are building on their existing economic clusters (and understandably so), but are any cities trying to carve out new economic/industrial clusters?

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In Murfreesboro, Tn, we have two large economic engines outside of downtown, those being the Gateway Project and the Joe B. Jackson Corridor. The Gateway Project is a 400 acre master planned community. The project includes over 2 million sq. ft. of new retail, restaurants, and banks, a large hospital, a large medical clinic, several medical offices and complexes, multi-storied condominiums, an extension of the city's Greenway, new housing, a four star hotel and conference center. This project is located in the west to northwest portion of the city. On the south side, Joe B. Jackson Parkway has allowed for several industrial sites. Currently there are houses, townhomes, and many large warehouses under construction. Besides being part of the future loop around the city, plans have been submitted for a 2 million sq. ft. development including more retail, grocery stores, large hotels, and a movie theater. The city has kept quiet about the development, but it is highly likely given the underserved market in South Murfreesboro and its proximity to MTSU. There are many other economic boosts happening around the city, but these two are currently the largest.

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The Columbus GA strict MSA hasn't been able to break into a new economic industry, though it has greatly expanded on traditional military growth to add another 5,000 to 10,000 jobs (30,000 give or take in population) in the next five or six years. If you add Opelika-Auburn AL + Troup GA to expand the metro area, however, it is seeing a great deal of new growth in the auto industry thanks to Hyundai suppliers and a new Kia Plant in West Point, GA along with suppliers. The city of Columbus has tried unsuccessfully to capture a supplier. But the combined affect of the new military jobs, AFLAC expansion (Columbus is AFLAC HQ) and the new Kia plant is expected to create a more dynamic economy between these three areas.

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The Columbus GA strict MSA hasn't been able to break into a new economic industry, though it has greatly expanded on traditional military growth to add another 5,000 to 10,000 jobs (30,000 give or take in population) in the next five or six years. If you add Opelika-Auburn AL + Troup GA to expand the metro area, however, it is seeing a great deal of new growth in the auto industry thanks to Hyundai suppliers and a new Kia Plant in West Point, GA along with suppliers. The city of Columbus has tried unsuccessfully to capture a supplier. But the combined affect of the new military jobs, AFLAC expansion (Columbus is AFLAC HQ) and the new Kia plant is expected to create a more dynamic economy between these three areas.

Columbus has also been fortunate to expand many existing industries like PCI and Cessna.

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My area is similar. Downtown St. Pete has been the focus of develpoment in recent years so it now contributes 15% of the overall economy of the city. That's not impressive but recently that number was as low as 4%.

What's more remarkable is Tampa. A lot of people work in downtown but more people work in "New Tampa" than anywhere else in the metro area. New Tampa is almost like an unorganized sprawling secondary downtown and it consists of a couple dozen 8-15 story buildings.

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Atlanta's been trying to turn the area around Centennial Olympic Park into a central destination for tourists in the city with the park (obviously), the GA Aquarium, the new World of Coke, the GA Dome, Phillips Arena, and other things.

Another notable attempt in Atlanta is the Atlantic Station area. I'm sure most of my fellow southern forumers have already heard something about that, but they're still trying hard.

Downtown and Midtown Atlanta in general have also been the foci of attempts at revitalization and urbanization. Many new projects, many of them mixed use, have been going up, and the skyline shows it.

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I've heard a lot about the Atlantic Station and I went there in 2009. It is truly amazing. In the Charlotte metro, Charlotte has been expanding its energy sector, the Western part of the metro has been adding data centers. The most impressive is in Concord/Kannapolis in the northeastern part of the metro. This area has transformed an area that was a textile mill into a biomedical research campus. It's pretty neat.

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