2008 | Page 19 of 24 | Business Facilities - Economic Development, Site Selection & Workforce Solutions

The convergence of two weighty North American industries—plastics and medical devices—has facilitated numerous healthcare advances. We bring you a sampling of locations that are helping these industries prosper.


The convergence of two weighty North American industries—plastics and medical devices—has facilitated numerous healthcare advances. We bring you a sampling of locations that are helping these industries prosper.

A Tale of Two Industries

8 years ago



Ohio Corporate Moves

Ohio Corporate Moves

Cleveland’s Teamwork Wins Over ViewRay In February, ViewRay Incorporated, a medical device manufacturer, announced that it will move its headquarters from Gainesville, FL to Cleveland, OH. The company will hire 25 professionals within the first year and will fill more than 90 positions within three years. According to ViewRay CEO William Wells, the company chose the Cleveland region after considering several bioscience hotbeds including Boston, MA; the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina; Atlanta, GA; and the Bay Area in Northern California. The company stated a key factor that led to its decision was the state of Ohio’s commitment to and infrastructure for supporting bioscience companies. Wells was also impressed with the team approach in both Cleveland and Ohio. “Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher was instrumental in our decision making process,” Wells says. “The state’s commitment to the bioscience industry is encouraging and leads me to believe that our company will prosper here.” Wells also notes the unique opportunity to work with established engineering teams in medical imaging, world-class health institutions like the Cleveland Clinic, and the region’s cluster of start-up businesses as additional reasons for selecting the city. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Monday approved job creation tax credits for ViewRay estimated at $537,431 over 10 years to help the company move and equip its facility. “Ohio is making incredible strides in the biosciences, attracting companies like ViewRay that are pioneers in ground breaking products that will save lives and transform the industry,” says Fisher, who also serves as the director of the Ohio Department of Development. “This collaborative effort between Cuyahoga County, TeamNEO, BioOhio, BioEnterprise, and a number of our other partners highlights the region’s continuing commitment to growing this sector.” “As a team, they were comprehensively better than anyone that we talked to in the other states,” says Wells. According to ViewRay, which acquired $25 million from venture capitalists in January, its investors originally advised the company to move from Florida and to consider Cleveland for its headquarters. That Other Penn Station Chooses That Other Miami In March, Ohio-based restaurant chain, Penn Station, announced that it will begin building its new headquarters in Miami Township, OH this spring. The $1.5 million, 10,000-square-foot facility will be used by 14 current employees, including the company’s management team, and will provide enough space to hire an additional four employees in the future. The new facility will be located on 10 acres along US Highway 50. The company is considering creating a training restaurant on the property where it can train […]


Nebraska Corporate Moves

Nebraska Corporate Moves

Catalog Retailer Doubles Capacity One of the most prominent recent corporate expansions in Nebraska is Oriental Trading Company, Inc.’s (OTC) new 737,000-square-foot fulfillment center in La Vista, NE. Headquartered in Omaha, NE, OTC is the largest direct marketer of novelties, toys, and party supplies and the second largest direct marketer of home décor products. To serve its 18 million customers with over 30,000 unique items, the privately held company needed to nearly double its order processing capacity. The new fulfillment center does just that, bringing OTC’s fulfillment space up to a total of 1.9 million square feet. La Vista is part of the Greater Omaha region, throughout which OTC employs about 3,000 people. The new building is the largest distribution facility in eastern Nebraska and, according to the company, “utilizes the latest in technology, including a sophisticated order management system.” “Our newest fulfillment center embodies the future of Oriental Trading Company and our goal of becoming a world class organization,” says Steve Frary, OTC’s president and CEO. “It is an essential part of Oriental Trading Company’s overall platform for growth. When combined with the strength of our brand, our vast product selection and e-commerce capabilities, we are well-positioned for our next phase of growth.” Ethanol Flowing From Nebraska There has been speculation that the boom in ethanol plant construction across the Midwest will slow, but it hasn’t stopped ethanol projects already underway in Nebraska from opening recently. US BioEnergy Corporation began production in May 2007 at its Ord, NE facility. Ground was broken on the 50-million-gallon plant in December 2005 and construction was completed ahead of the normal 20-month schedule. The Ord plant is expected to produce approximately 50 million gallons of ethanol and 275,000 tons of modified wet distillers grains per year from the 15 to 18 million bushels of corn provided by local farmers. Forty new jobs were created by the plant. The facility is served by Loup Valleys Rural Public Power District, a Nebraska Public Power District wholesale customer. The next month, Siouxland Ethanol, LLC held its grand opening on June 18, 2007, at its site in Jackson, NE. The $80 million plant, for which ground was broken in September 2005, is estimated to be able to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol and 165,000 tons of distillers grain annually. The company employs 35 people. Abengoa Bioenergy hosted an open house last October to showcase its new $34 million, state-of-the-art cellulosic biomass-to-ethanol pilot plant. The plant, located adjacent to Abengoa’s 55-million-gallon per year ethanol facility, researches and […]



60 Seconds with Mark O’Connell, CEO of OCO Global

60 Seconds with Mark O’Connell, CEO of OCO Global

Mark O’Connell is the CEO of OCO Global, a consulting firm he founded in 2001 that specializes in international investment and trade. O’Connell also oversees the operations of Mintel International Group in Ireland. BF: In 2007, the United States saw a 20% increase in FDI from 2006. Is this an unusually large increase and, if so, what factors do you think account for it? O’Connell: The United States currently offers a bargain to international investors; the weak dollar, combined with the slowdown in the U.S. economy, is creating a unique opportunity for foreign companies to establish a U.S. presence. Property is relatively cheap and investors can negotiate since it’s a buyer’s market. Skills are abundant since many U.S. firms are not hiring, and some in the financial services are shedding jobs, making labor costs more competitive. Economic development organizations in the worst-affected states will sell their grannies to get new jobs and investment, so big incentives are on the table. We expect 2008 to be another strong year for inbound FDI to the U.S. BF: California, New York, and Texas attract the most U.S. FDI. What other states can you identify as possible alternatives for foreign companies to consider? O’Connell: Arguably, some of these front runner states are over shopped and over heated from an FDI perspective. We are seeing shrewd investors look at overspill states like Arizona and Nevada, where you can still find skills and quality without paying California prices. Florida and Georgia also offer excellent gateways for investors to the wider Southeast U.S. and Latin America. Lastly, New York has some stiff competition in financial and business services from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New England, which offer lower costs with often better operating environments and skills. BF: What can states with smaller economies do to lure foreign investment? O’Connell: The best advice here is to specialize—choose one or two sectors or activities where you can shine and demonstrate competitive advantage to investors. Get to know those sectors and the business issues that need to be addressed. Then prepare your short list of active companies and build relationships directly with these companies and their advisors. BF: Why do you think the Asia-Pacific region attracts 40% of the world’s FDI? (I assume it’s more complicated than just being the largest land mass.) O’Connell: Many commentators assume all the FDI flows to Asia are cost seeking projects. Undoubtedly, in the past much of the volumes of FDI flowing into China and India have been precisely that. However, we are increasingly […]



Chicken Industry Served a Big “Cluck You”

Chicken Industry Served a Big “Cluck You”

Apparently the emerging ethanol industry is wreaking havoc on the chicken industry. So, you might ask: what does an alternative energy fuel source have to do with chickens? The answer is *insert drum roll here* … a lot … so much so that the world’s largest poultry processor, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., is blaming the ethanol industry and recently passed legislation supporting it for what the company’s president and CEO proclaims is a “crisis” in the chicken industry. And this “crisis” translates to a just-announced 1,100 jobs cut and several facility closings for Pilgrim’s Pride. (See the list at the end of the blog post.*) So, the question still remains: What does an alternative energy fuel source have to do with chickens? Well … it just so happens that the major ingredient in chicken feed (and one of the largest overall expenses in producing and delivering chicken products to consumers) is corn. And corn happens to be the main ingredient in (you guessed it) corn-based ethanol (I think the name gives it away here). Recent federal incentives for corn-based ethanol production have caused the price of chicken-feed to soar. Based on current commodity futures markets, the Pilgrim’s Pride total costs for corn and soybean meal to feed all their chickens in fiscal 2008 would be more than $1.3 billion higher than what they were two years ago, according to the company. “Our company and industry are struggling to cope with unprecedented increases in feed-ingredient costs this year due largely to the U.S. government’s ill-advised policy of providing generous federal subsidies to corn-based ethanol blenders,” Chief Executive Officer J.Clint Rivers said in a press release. This matter over the effects of the ethanol industry’s need for corn on the chicken industry has been a concern for a few years now, and seems to have hit critical mass with the Pilgrim’s Pride closings. Matthew Herman, manager of a Tyson Foods chicken production and processing complex in Monroe, NC testified before a House Agriculture Subcommittee at the beginning of last year that demand from ethanol producers has doubled the cost of corn and driven up by 40% the feed cost of the chicken industry alone. He also noted at this hearing that the livestock and poultry industries normally purchase more than half of the corn produced in the country to make feed for their animals. However, the rapidly expanding ethanol industry consumed more than two billion bushels of corn (18% of production) in 2006 and will take as much as 3.5 billion bushels in […]


EADS Finally Wins U.S. Contract: Let the Fallout Begin!

EADS Finally Wins U.S. Contract: Let the Fallout Begin!

A couple days ago, the Pentagon announced that EADS won a $36 billion ($100 billion growth potential) contract to build U.S. Air Force refueling tankers in Mobile, AL, ending a more than two-year bidding battle. But the real controversy, which raises issues of nationalism, globalization, homeland security, etc., is just beginning. Let me get you up to speed. Business Facilities began covering this story at its inception back in 2005, when French-owned EADS, primary shareholder of Airbus, selected Mobile over 70 other sites in 32 states to locate its airfield engineering center. In 2007, this facility opened as scheduled at the Brookley Field Industrial Complex. But at the same time back in 2005, EADS began its bid to win the air force tanker contract. Its main competition: Chicago-based Boeing, the company that had supplied the refueling tankers for 50 years, but which came under scrutiny in 2002 and 2003 when shady and illegal business discussions between Boeing CFO Mike Sears and Air Force procurement official Darleen Druyun sent them both to prison. In May 2005, the House of Representatives requested that the Pentagon deny military contracts to foreign companies receiving government subsidies in a World Trade Organization member company. This was seen as a fairly blatant attempt to knock EADS out of consideration, but EADS sidestepped this by partnering on the deal with U.S. company Northrup Grumman. Fast forward to this month when EADS was awarded the contract, much to the surprise of most industry analysts, and to the outrage of numerous politicians who claim that while 1,000 jobs will be created in Alabama, more would have been created nationally if Boeing won. Disgruntled lawmakers, some of whom are lobbying for the decision to be overturned, assert that 85% of Boeing’s planes would have been built on U.S. soil, while only 58% of EADS will be made in the U.S., as main manufacturing work will be done in Europe and only final assembly completed in Alabama. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cites a threat to homeland security as a reason for not wanting a foreign company building U.S. military equipment, while other politicians have acted particularly childish, calling the EADS product “crap” and Northrup Grumman “a front for the French.” The ubiquitous presidential candidates had their say, too, with Democratic delegate-leader Barack Obama, who shares his home state of Illinois with Boeing, perhaps showing his bias while expressing displeasure with the Pentagon’s decision. Hillary Clinton used the opportunity, more than anything, to blast the Bush administration (Pentagon), which is typical campaign […]


Now, Only the Brownfields Remain

Now, Only the Brownfields Remain

Saw this article in The New York Times today; it’s about how New Jersey’s brownfield redevelopment incentives didn’t do much during the 1990s, but now that there’s hardly any greenfield space left in the state, developers are giving them a shot. I think it’s kind of unfortunate that the easiest way for a developer to earn back their 75% of cleanup cost is by putting retail on the site. I live in New Jersey, and let me tell you, we have enough retail. Can’t they change the way the money is generated to give a boost to industrial or high-tech office work development? Companies that build a factory or research center on a brownfield site should be able to get their three-quarters cleanup reimbursement faster, not slower, than a speculative developer building yet another strip mall. Oh, and I should say (in defense of the Garden State) that when I wrote that there’s no greenfield space left to develop on, that’s not because we have no green space at all–it’s just that so much of the prime stuff has been protected by law (hurray). As the most densely populated state in the country (“New Jersey’s density is currently 1,165 people per square mile—denser than both India (at 914) and Japan (835). No other state even comes close.” – NY Times), we could be at the forefront of what development along the Bos-Wash corridor is going to look like soon.