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gman430

The bust hits the boomtown that banks built

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Very interesting article here from Washington Post: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33409169/ns/bu...ashington_post/

Now Charlotte is suffering. Unemployment has spiked to 12 percent, well above the national average. Subdivisions sit unfinished. Mansions cannot be sold. The school system, which for years had recruited teachers from shrinking cities such as Detroit, laid off more than 1,000 employees this summer.

I'll let you guys decide what you think of the article. It was the top story on MSNBC's website. Not the kind of publicity I would want to see for Charlotte. :(

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Didn't the school system hire many positions back?

Most of the points in the article are true facts, and it does hurt that Charlotte was chosen to be the centerpiece of the article; but with the problems at Bank of America and the former Wachovia it's not surprising that a piece like this has run nationally.

It really doesn't state anything that hasn't been run on local or regional news, IMO.

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This is like only the 10th article that has been written about this. Nothing new here. Some of the information is actually a little outdated. Our regional unemployment rate has dipped below 12%, CMS hired some of the laid-off teachers back, the Park found a buyer and will resume construction shortly, and the Vue merely hit a bump in the road and construction has since resumed. We're still hurting here of course, but we'll make it. I think one of the good things that might come of this is that we'll focus less on Uptown trophy pieces and more on practical issues like parks, downtown retail, etc. Actually, I think we already are.

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It was written by Binyamin Appelbaum, the Observer reporter that brought down Beazer. He's a bit full of himself and never liked living in Charlotte. This is is way of getting the city back. Look at his writing style and the words he chooses in the piece. Bitter, party of one....

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Like everyone else said...most of the points are true, but it also presents a very negative perspective on Charlotte's future outlook. Very few positive points are discussed until the absolute end of the article.

Bottom line is...yes, Charlotte was hit by the recession. Just like every other major city. Certainly nowhere near the worst (Detroit, Las Vegas, parts of Florida). But certainly worse than some more resilient major cities (New York, Boston, Atlanta).

That being said, Charlotte remains one of the most desirable cities to live on the East Coast. There are many reasons why people continue to flock to Charlotte from New York, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, etc. Those reasons include an abundance of high-paying jobs per capita, affordable housing, excellent quality of life, low cost of living, moderate weather, a relatively lively downtown, professional sports teams, quick access to major cities, beaches, and resorts...the list goes on and on.

It's a fair article, but hopefully it doesn't detract too many people who were considering a move to the CLT. Because in the grand scheme of things, the future of Charlotte is brighter than 99.9% of all cities in the United States (out of the 20,000+ cities in the U.S., most people couldn't name more than 5-10 that they'd rather live in)...

...so again, a bit of perspective is needed.

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Like everyone else said...most of the points are true, but it also presents a very negative perspective on Charlotte's future outlook. Very few positive points are discussed until the absolute end of the article.

Bottom line is...yes, Charlotte was hit by the recession. Just like every other major city. Certainly nowhere near the worst (Detroit, Las Vegas, parts of Florida). But certainly worse than some more resilient major cities (New York, Boston, Atlanta).

That being said, Charlotte remains one of the most desirable cities to live on the East Coast. There are many reasons why people continue to flock to Charlotte from New York, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, etc. Those reasons include an abundance of high-paying jobs per capita, affordable housing, excellent quality of life, low cost of living, moderate weather, a relatively lively downtown, professional sports teams, quick access to major cities, beaches, and resorts...the list goes on and on.

It's a fair article, but hopefully it doesn't detract too many people who were considering a move to the CLT. Because in the grand scheme of things, the future of Charlotte is brighter than 99.9% of all cities in the United States (out of the 20,000+ cities in the U.S., most people couldn't name more than 5-10 that they'd rather live in)...

...so again, a bit of perspective is needed.

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Among SOME of the inaccuracies:

  • In Mr Appelbaum's eyes, Duke Energy is not one of the largest energy companies in America, it's a "regional power company".

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Just curious to see how Charlotte stacked up against some other similarly sized cities in terms of Fortune 500 companies...

(I would have included Cincinatti, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Austin, Orlando, Seattle, and a few others...but too much work determining their metro regions. If anyone else wants to, go for it...)

FORTUNE 500 Companies (2009)

*including metropolitan areas for all cities listed*

Charlotte - 8

11 Bank of America Corp.

47 Lowe's

106 Nucor

204 Duke Energy

337 Sonic Automotive

354 Goodrich

359 Family Dollar Stores

402 SPX

St. Louis - 7

94 Emerson Electric

115 Express Scripts

235 Monsanto

327 Ameren

353 Peabody Energy

479 Charter Communications

439 Graybar Electric

Memphis - 3

59 FedEx

97 International Paper

380 AutoZone 380

Atlanta - 12

25 Home Depot

43 United Parcel Service

73 Coca-Cola

111 Delta Air Lines

116 Coca-Cola Enterprises

149 Southern

211 SunTrust Banks

247 Genuine Parts

306 AGCO

367 Mohawk Industries

387 Newell Rubbermaid

486 Asbury Automotive Group

Salt Lake City - 1

262 Huntsman

Denver - 10

197 Qwest Communications

231 DISH Network

257 Liberty Global

265 Liberty Media

295 First Data

400 Newmont Mining

426 ProLogis

436 CH2M Hill

451 Western Union

487 Molson Coors Brewing

Portland - 2

136 Nike

362 Precision Castpart

Las Vegas - 2

263 Harrah's Entertainment

344 MGM Mirage

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Here ya go. You were off on a couple (Denver, St. Louis and Atlanta).

From the 2009 Fortune 500 list.

New York City (NY/NJ/CT) - 145

Bay Area - 29

Houston - 29

Chicago - 28

Dallas - 26

Los Angeles - 19

Minneapolis - 18

Detroit - 16

Washington D.C. - 14

Philadelphia (PA only) - 12

Atlanta - 11

Boston - 11

Cleveland - 11

Denver - 11

Charlotte - 8

Pittsburgh - 8

St. Louis - 8

Seattle - 8

Milwaukee - 7

Richmond - 7

Columbus - 6

Cincinnati - 5

Phoenix - 5

San Antonio - 4

Omaha - 4

Baltimore - 3

Kansas City - 3

Memphis - 3

Orlando - 3

San Diego - 3

Las Vegas - 2

Portland - 2

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Here ya go. You were off on a couple (Denver, St. Louis and Atlanta).

From the 2009 Fortune 500 list.

New York City (NY/NJ/CT) � 145

Bay Area � 29

Houston � 29

Chicago � 28

Dallas � 26

Los Angeles � 19

Minneapolis � 18

Detroit � 16

Philadelphia (PA only) � 12

Atlanta � 11

Boston � 11

Cleveland � 11

Denver � 11

Charlotte � 8

Pittsburgh � 8

St. Louis � 8

Seattle � 8

Milwaukee � 7

Richmond � 7

Washington, D.C. � 7

Columbus � 6

Cincinnati � 5

Phoenix � 5

San Antonio � 4

Omaha � 4

Baltimore � 3

Kansas City � 3

Memphis � 3

Orlando � 3

San Diego � 3

Las Vegas � 2

Portland � 2

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Appreciate the work and research (big-time), but the D.C numbers are obviously way low. The whole (metro region) thing makes it hard to calculate...Alexandria, VA certainly is equivalent to Mooresville, NC....but I do appreciate the research.

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Here ya go. You were off on a couple (Denver, St. Louis and Atlanta).

From the 2009 Fortune 500 list.

New York City (NY/NJ/CT) - 145

Bay Area - 29

Houston - 29

Chicago - 28

Dallas - 26

Los Angeles - 19

Minneapolis - 18

Detroit - 16

Washington D.C. - 14

Philadelphia (PA only) - 12

Atlanta - 11

Boston - 11

Cleveland - 11

Denver - 11

Charlotte - 8

Pittsburgh - 8

St. Louis - 8

Seattle - 8

Milwaukee - 7

Richmond - 7

Columbus - 6

Cincinnati - 5

Phoenix - 5

San Antonio - 4

Omaha - 4

Baltimore - 3

Kansas City - 3

Memphis - 3

Orlando - 3

San Diego - 3

Las Vegas - 2

Portland - 2

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It's interesting because while Detroit's core is pretty bad, the suburban areas seem to be doing OK for themselves. This is where many of their F500's are located. Well, that goes for many cities actually (F500's being located in the 'burbs).

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It's interesting because while Detroit's core is pretty bad, the suburban areas seem to be doing OK for themselves. This is where many of their F500's are located. Well, that goes for many cities actually (F500's being located in the 'burbs).

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Very true. I saw an article in the Atlanta Journal Const. that talked about how downtown Atlanta is seeing an exodus of businesses despite continued construction of office towers--a lot of which are largely vacant. Most of the businesses that are HQ'd in Atlanta enjoy having an Atlanta address, but actually prefer the suburbs. A lot of it has to do with crime and higher costs in the city.

Engine for growth has run out of fuel

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I wonder sometimes if the whole HQ of a fortune 500 being in your particular city isn't more an ego thing than anything else. Yes they are probably some very high paying jobs but really not that many jobs. I'm thinking of the company I work for which has it's HQ in the burbs of Chicago, but probably only have 300 to 400 employees there. But here in Nashville the company employees several thousand people. Nucor also comes to mind as having a very small work force in it's city. I know that's not always the case like BOA employees 10's of thousands. But I would prefer a company employeeing alot of people and the HQ somewhere else than the other way around.

Of course for boosterism it's always nice to have those HQ's. But small HQ's can easily pick up and move. For example a few years ago Rockwell International was based in Pittsburgh and changed CEO's. The new CEO was from California and decided that is where the HQ should be. A blow to the cities ego, but not a huge loss of jobs.

It remains to be seen the outcome of the loss of Wachovia, I hope Wells continues to employee many people there.

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Actually, downtown Atlanta hasn't really seen much in the way of office construction lately, at least not in comparison to Midtown and Buckhead. The most recent office construction I can think of are two midrises which are part of the Allen Plaza project, and they are occupied by Southern power company and Ernst & Young. Downtown just doesn't have the best reputation for business right now (but it is getting its fair share in terms of additional attractions). But if you look many of the F500's in other cities, a good bit of them are located in the 'burbs as well. It's not just an Atlanta thing. You also have to take into account that Atlanta's pretty much hemmed in as a city and doesn't have a lot of room to expand. If it could, Sandy Springs wouldn't be its own municipality and home to a lot of the region's corporate headquarters.

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I wonder sometimes if the whole HQ of a fortune 500 being in your particular city isn't more an ego thing than anything else. Yes they are probably some very high paying jobs but really not that many jobs. I'm thinking of the company I work for which has it's HQ in the burbs of Chicago, but probably only have 300 to 400 employees there. But here in Nashville the company employees several thousand people. Nucor also comes to mind as having a very small work force in it's city. I know that's not always the case like BOA employees 10's of thousands. But I would prefer a company employeeing alot of people and the HQ somewhere else than the other way around.

Of course for boosterism it's always nice to have those HQ's. But small HQ's can easily pick up and move. For example a few years ago Rockwell International was based in Pittsburgh and changed CEO's. The new CEO was from California and decided that is where the HQ should be. A blow to the cities ego, but not a huge loss of jobs.

It remains to be seen the outcome of the loss of Wachovia, I hope Wells continues to employee many people there.

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