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The Good News Report

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I earlier mis-reported in this thread that Electrolux was looking to move from Augusta, GA to Charlotte, when in fact the Augusta company was Husqavarna (a former subsidiary of Electrolux)......well....it turns out that Electrolux IS looking to relocate its US HQ from Augusta as well. No confirmation on where it will be, but the operation will have 700 jobs and consolidate all their US divisions under one roof. Considering they have their national sales center in Huntersville and the fact that their former child (Husq.) picked Charlotte to move to, I think we have a strong shot at landing this one. They expect to make their decision by the end of the year.

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So why exactly are all of these different companies moving around HQ's during the recession?

Well if you're gonna do it, this is a great time. With commercial real estate struggling, they can get some great lease rates. And construction prices if they decide to build.

Unfortunately, the downside is that it most certainly results in layoffs for the departed city, to be replaced by hirings in the destination city.

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Attractive leasing/building prices as was mentioned.

Also, many businesses are trying to reduce overhead/fixed costs, so consolidating offices is a good way to accomplish that.

Also, when they relocate, they can shed many workers and replace them at a lower cost in their new HQ city.

Also, planning for the future when there is the expectation that transportation costs will rise again, it makes sense to be more centrally located to your core market and near major airports/distribution network.

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Attractive leasing/building prices as was mentioned.

Also, many businesses are trying to reduce overhead/fixed costs, so consolidating offices is a good way to accomplish that.

Also, when they relocate, they can shed many workers and replace them at a lower cost in their new HQ city.

Also, planning for the future when there is the expectation that transportation costs will rise again, it makes sense to be more centrally located to your core market and near major airports/distribution network.

...and if the WSJ is to be believed, Corporations are sitting on a great deal of cash these days; and investing in long term savings on overhead costs while the opportunity is at hand. is just smart business...

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So why exactly are all of these different companies moving around HQ's during the recession?

From the perspective of Electrolux and Husqvarna, before the recession they bought a handful of other companies (RedMax, Jonsered, BlueBird, etc.) which resulted in a redundant network of warehouses, distribution facilities and administrative offices.

During a recession, companies are looking to consolidate operations in order to cut costs and gain efficiencies.

Charlotte is in a good spot compared to other cities because of its supply of cheap commercial space, highway access, international airport and cheap labor/cost of living, obviously.

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...and if the WSJ is to be believed, Corporations are sitting on a great deal of cash these days; and investing in long term savings on overhead costs while the opportunity is at hand. is just smart business...

Ya. During a recession, as the WSJ has frequently noted, there is an increase in purchasing power that derives from deflationary pressure. While banks and other lending institutions sit on their cash the real money supply shrinks increasing the value of currency in the hands of consumers and other financial institutions. This deflationary pressure was exacerbated by the comparatively worse conditions in Europe which caused skeptical consumers to shed Euro and Pound based assets for the, if only slightly, safer Dollar based assets in the US. So if you are a company with extra cash but no safe investment options now is a good time to upgrade to new facilities, especially ones that reduce to labor to capital ratio since real wages are higher now than they have been for a few years.

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If these announcements continue, Charlotte will come out of this mess all the better with a local economy that's a little more diversified. We certainly have what it takes.

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Anyone heard about "Project Cardinal?"

I was scouring through some NCDOT agendas and came across that one. It says it is an existing industrial company that is looking at doing a $148M expansion in Charlotte that will bring in an additional 190 employees initially (up to 650 within 5 years). It was on the NCDOT agenda because they will need additional rail access.

Here's more info, well not much b/c everyone is still hush-hush, on Project Cardinal from Charlotte Biz Journals

Sounds like some kind of announcement is imminent. 650 jobs would be a nice plus in addition to the nearly $150 cap investment.

Edited by dbull75

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Can't believe they devoted so much space in the article as to whether the "cardinal" reference means anything in particular, when it really doesn't. The names are quite arbitrary. I mean it's the state bird, and how generic is that? LOL

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Can't believe they devoted so much space in the article as to whether the "cardinal" reference means anything in particular, when it really doesn't. The names are quite arbitrary. I mean it's the state bird, and how generic is that? LOL

I know, that was really dumb. They even called the other company. How lame.

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Bell Lines Inc, a trucking operation, is relocating to Kings Mountain and adding 400 jobs. Additionally 30 more jobs will also come to Kings Mountain when Qualtech opens.

http://www.wbtv.com/....asp?S=11537114

That is really great news for King's Mountain. That place could use the additional jobs. I'm happy to hear Gaston County making some progress.

Here's more info, well not much b/c everyone is still hush-hush, on Project Cardinal from Charlotte Biz Journals

Sounds like some kind of announcement is imminent. 650 jobs would be a nice plus in addition to the nearly $150 cap investment.

This is really awesome. I wonder if this announcement will help fuel the "Energy Hub" status that Charlotte is trying to attain. Also, doesn't Siemens deal alot with trains and rail? Just curious.

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There was a story in today's CBJ about the Lash Group adding employees in Charlotte. It is a healthcare consulting firm, and they plan to add 150 permanent positions and have already hired 350 temp workers. The article is for paid subscribers, so I can't read all of it, however, I think it is good news.

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That is really great news for King's Mountain. That place could use the additional jobs. I'm happy to hear Gaston County making some progress.

This is really awesome. I wonder if this announcement will help fuel the "Energy Hub" status that Charlotte is trying to attain. Also, doesn't Siemens deal alot with trains and rail? Just curious.

Siemens does have a rail siding on Westinghouse and you can frequently see flatbed cars sitting on the siding with generator components. The number of rail cars cited would seem to be in line with their business. It's not a continuous process industry, that would require a lot more than 40 per year.

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This is really awesome. I wonder if this announcement will help fuel the "Energy Hub" status that Charlotte is trying to attain. Also, doesn't Siemens deal alot with trains and rail? Just curious.

apologies for fueling speculation, the CBJ article spurred me to do some googling: The Siemens LRT production facility in Sacramento cranked out 58 cars in 2007 and planned to produce 100 in 2008 http://sacramento.bi.../10/story2.html -- I am guessing that would generate around 40 rail cars worth of freight. It appears that Sacramento facility employs around 700 people (the CBJ article about project cardinal says "up to 650 new jobs within 5 years")

This September article from the WSJ discussed Siemens plans for expansion due to increased funding for all types of rail thanks to the stimulus (although there was nothing specific about new facilities or sites):

http://online.wsj.co...0447984485.html

I would assume that rail car production will require chunks of steel that are larger (and heavier) than can be easily transported by truck and is the type of production (of heavy / bulky things) that make sense to do near a market (and perhaps near the port of Charleston to facilitate exports to Puerto Rico and the east coast of South America). If Siemens feels that the Sacramento facility will hit capacity due to stimulus related expansion, then an east coast location (in a non-union state) might make sense.

The "expansion of a production facility" statement from today's CBJ article could go either way.

It sure would be nice if Charlotte's national (but not local) reputation for "progressive transit planning" combined with the Siemens facility down on Westinghouse might lead to some really nice new factory jobs in town. It might also be an event that might help silence some of the local transit critics by creating a tangible connection between transit and employment.

EDIT: Atlrvr, given your track record I'll believe your gut before my confirmation bias any day.

Edited by kermit

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I do think it is Siemans, but probably an expansion of their steam turbine plant, as opposed to a new business line.

That said, I do think that Siemans will open an east coast LRT factory, and Charlotte would be a sensical location, but my gut is that isn't project "Cardinal"

Whatever it is, 650 jobs and a lot of investment is nothing to sneer at.

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post-21486-1258806162209_thumb.jpeg

Sorry, I couldn't embed the full size image (didn't pay the Pbase charge since I'm getting rid of it, haven't started the new one yet). It is attached.

From Polaris, Siemens owns everything inside the green, you can see how much land they have. Obviously, much of it is not usable, but there is an awful lot that is.

New attach feature is great!

Edited by JayGee

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That is really great news for King's Mountain. That place could use the additional jobs. I'm happy to hear Gaston County making some progress.

Kings Mountain is in Cleveland County. Not Gaston.

I love this thread! It's so nice to hear all this great news :)

Edited by AirNostrumMAD

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There was a follow up article in a Dallas area newpaper today that stated that the original source/leak of the info in Tampa has indicated that Tampa is now most likely out of the running for the HQ relo and that in their perspective Charlotte is the leader in the race based on the incentive package being offered here. Crossing my fingers, as it would be a huge boost.

Sounds like Radio Shack is not being shy, they are looking at the Triangle area as well. The same 300,000 sq ft number is there, but no space this large is available in the Triangle so RS people were quoted: "the company would consider a build-to-suit building if the site plan has been approved."

http://triangle.bizjournals.com/triangle/stories/2009/11/30/story1.html

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OF COURSE no business will consider relocating to North Carolina without considering the Triangle area for relocation. How much you guys wanna bet if they do choose North Carolina, they will end up picking the Triangle area over Charlotte. Who knows though.....maybe Charlotte can pull out mroe incenstives than the Triangle can.....we shall see.

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Still no official word on who or what "Project Cardinel" is but it has now popped up on the Meck County agenda. They plan to allocate all of Mecklenburg's Obama Stimulus Recovery Zone Facilty Bonds to Project Cardinel. That comes out to $13.2M

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OF COURSE no business will consider relocating to North Carolina without considering the Triangle area for relocation. How much you guys wanna bet if they do choose North Carolina, they will end up picking the Triangle area over Charlotte. Who knows though.....maybe Charlotte can pull out mroe incenstives than the Triangle can.....we shall see.

Triangle has no approved 300,000 sq foot site plans... Charlotte has at least two approved mixed use projects that can be built to suit, last I heard 300 South Tryon was ready to be built just waiting for an office tenant. with 25k average floorplates making up 14 floors there is more than enough square footage for RadioShack

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Here is a Forbes article that shows a Full List of America's fastest recovering cities. The list is ranked by using the 100 largest MSAs and includes unemployment rank, home price rank etc.

Unfortunately, Charlotte is ranked 54 out of the 100 MSAs listed.

Edited by NCMike1990
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