2009 | Page 5 of 23 | Business Facilities - Economic Development, Site Selection & Workforce Solutions

Metro Spotlight


Metro Spotlight

Ardmore, Oklahoma

6 years ago



Texas Corporate Moves

Toyota Moving Tacoma Truck Production to San Antonio Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that it will relocate production of the Tacoma pickup from a plant in California to its manufacturing facility in San Antonio by next summer. San Antonio and Bexar County officials estimate 100,000 Tacomas will be produced annually following a $100 million retooling at Toyota’s San Antonio campus. The Tacoma line will diversify the plant with a second vehicle and as many as 1,100 new jobs to the facility. It will also create new jobs at 21 on-site suppliers. The Japanese automaker has ended its relationship with a joint venture plant in the San Francisco Bay area as part of an effort to reduce excess production capacity. Toyota will stop making vehicles at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant—its first manufacturing facility in the United States, which started in 1984 as a 50-50 business deal with General Motors—in March 2010. The relocation will return work at the San Antonio plant, which has the capacity to build about 200,000 Tundras annually, back to two shifts for the first time since it shuttered for three months last summer to sell off excess inventory. “This is what we wanted, a dual line to alternate with the Tundras,” a San Antonio Chamber of Commerce official said, according to wire service reports. “We had thought several years ago it might be the Highlander hybrid, but this plant and its workers have the flexibility to keep jobs strong there.” Temporary plant workers who had been laid off in San Antonio or those who applied for Tundra work and didn’t get the job could be first in line for the new positions, Bexar County officials said. Toyota’s decision to end its 25-year relationship with the NUMMI plant, which also produces the Corolla, came nearly two months after GM said it was pulling out of the joint venture. It marks the first time the Japanese automaker has closed a plant, either at home or abroad. In the midst of the current recession Toyota announced the first quarterly losses in its 70-year history earlier this year. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said the announcement demonstrates the Texas city’s attractiveness to business looking for a skilled, low-cost workforce. “San Antonio is emerging as an economic powerhouse. This demonstrates the talent of the work force and the low cost of doing business in San Antonio, as well as a high level of public and private cooperation,” he said. The chief executive of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of […]


Ohio Corporate Moves

Amylin Pharmaceuticals Plant Nears Completion in West Chester, OH Amylin Pharmaceuticals is nearing completion on a $400 million manufacturing facility in West Chester, OH that is expected to support at least 500 jobs in the Butler County area. The biotech firm, which is based in San Diego, made a commitment in 2005 to invest in the Ohio facility. Company officials say the eventual footprint of the plant is dependent on the success of a new form of its diabetes treatment BYETTA©. The drug, administered by injection, is awaiting Food and Drug Administration approval. “The manufacturing facility in Ohio is nearing completion. We have made great progress by finalizing the commercial-scale manufacturing process at the facility,” an Amylin spokesperson told Business Facilities. “We are producing and shipping commercial scale material for use in ongoing exenatide (BYETTA)© once weekly clinical studies while we await approval of the drug from the FDA. The eventual footprint of the facility will be determined by the potential of exenatide once weekly, the product that we will manufacture there.” Initially, the project envisioned a 151,000-square-foot biopharma plant costing about $150 million to set up and equip, to be run as a subsidiary of Amylin Ohio LLC. In 2005, Amylin purchased a 26-acre site, including existing buildings, for $9 million. Two years later, the company expanded its plans, purchasing an additional 17 acres for $4.5 million and upping its overall investment in the Ohio facility to $400 million. The first phase of the project began in 2006. Filling and sterilization equipment installation began at the end of last year. Employment at the West Chester plant will be ramped up over a three-year period. “It’s a major, major expansion,” said Butler County Commissioner Michael Fox. “We worked with the state and the county on an incentive package.” West Chester Township trustees also played a role in crafting incentives for the expansion of the Amylin project in 2007. The state of Ohio, via the development arm the Ohio Department of Development, has committed around $117 million in benefits and financial assistance for the new manufacturing facility project, including $30 million provided by Butler County and West Chester Township. Amylin also received a 10 year, 75% tax abatement, an agreement that requires them to reimburse the Lakota school district 100% of the taxes owed, totaling of over $4 million in the long run. Part of the incentive deal is a public-private partnership to meet Amylin’s workforce and research and development needs by creating a partnership with adult career technical schools, community […]


Inside LiveXchange

Business Facilities LiveXchange is an invitation-only event for corporate executives responsible for choosing a new location for their companies’ next facility. Delegates meet with senior economic developers from across North America; attend seminars, workshops, and think tanks led by experts in the field of relocation and expansion; and network with other corporate executives faced with the same corporate growth challenges. This month, we preview some of the high-profile speakers who will be making presentations at our 2009 LiveXchange keynote address, seminars and workshops. Each year, our LiveXchange event provides a fertile meeting ground for site selectors and senior economic developers. This year—as every sector battles its way from the depths of recession into the sunlight of an emerging recovery—we believe LiveXchange presents a crucial, not-to-be-missed opportunity for locations to zero in on pre-qualified, viable projects in an economy that has winnowed the field and intensified the competition. No other event can offer this kind of  value in return for time well spent. As in our past events, the unique LiveXchange experience will be supplemented by an all-star list of guest speakers who will be making presentations and leading discussions on a number of hot-button issues. This year, we are paying particular attention to an emerging sector which rapidly is becoming an economic driver from coast to coast: alternative energy. Fueled by $3 billion in federal stimulus grants, alternative energy projects for solar, wind, biomass and other renewable fuels are being pulled off the drawing board and rushed into construction, blossoming like hundreds of “green shoots” across the national landscape. Our keynote speaker at this year’s LiveXchange has been in the forefront of the ongoing debate over an issue that is central to the transition to a green economy: the introduction of a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. Delivering an address entitled “What You Need To Know About Carbon Trading” will be William Sloan, an attorney in the global law firm Morrison & Foerster’s Cleantech Group. Sloan previously served in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice, and is a member of the Energy Bar Association’s Emission Trading Commission, the Climate Change Advisory Committee for the California Manufacturers and Technical Association, and the Environment, Energy and Resources Section of the American Bar Association. In his keynote, Sloan will explain how a carbon-credit marketplace could make the cost of carbon emissions a primary factor in the site selection, expansion, relocation and facilities management decision-making process. Several of our seminars and workshops at this year’s LiveXchange also will focus on the […]


60 Seconds with Bruce A. Kellogg, Chairman, OSCRE Americas, and Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Argus Software Inc.

60 Seconds with Bruce A. Kellogg, Chairman, OSCRE Americas, and Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Argus Software Inc.

The Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate (OSCRE Americas) is preparing to merge with PISCES Ltd to form OSCRE International. Bruce Kellogg, chair of OSCRE America, explains how the merger will impact on the development of global standards for real estate commerce. BF: How will the merger effect the ongoing development of standards for real estate commerce and operations. BK: The merger of OSCRE and PISCES will have a major ongoing impact for real estate commerce and operations based on our united efforts to be a global organization. This union of the two leading developers of real property data standards and interoperability will unify the entire real estate industry and related entities to establish the most utilized interoperable data standards in real estate today. The ultimate goal will be data standards that are truly global. BF: How soon will globalization of the real estate industry be achieved, and what are the benefits? BK: Globalization of the real estate industry [will happen] when the industry understands and values the benefits of decreased labor cost, increased productivity, and the open and flexible exchange of information. The potential merger will expedite the process [and] create the platform to do business in a fraction of the time and with higher quality results. The merger will speed up the growth of (interoperable) e-business in real estate by removing barriers to individual innovation, reducing the repetitive and non-value added work for the industry. BF: How will standardized formats for electronic transfer of information improve the way real estate transactions are conducted? BK: We are establishing a common language for real estate commerce and providing neutral, verifiable formats for information interchange. For example, classification of space is used in conjunction with space measurement standards to describe and manage space allocation, account for premises costs and coordinate many real estate property performance metrics, including space, personnel, asset allocation, financial and contracted services. The U.S. Air Force has a goal of reducing their physical plant 20 percent (85 million square feet) by 2020 in order to offset a 20 percent reduction in funds available for installation support activities. They plan to meet this goal by implementing a standardized process utilizing the OSCRE Space Classification Standard that incorporates the Unified BOMA and IFMA Floor Area Measurement Standard. BF: Will there will be a dramatic transformation of the real estate industry? BK: We must see a dramatic transformation of the real estate industry! While many would like to see the status quo, the reality is that we will move forward to […]



Toyota Trucks Move to San Antonio

Toyota Trucks Move to San Antonio

Toyota Motor Corp. has confirmed it will relocate production of the Tacoma pickup from a plant in Northern California to its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in San Antonio by next summer, according to company officials and wire service reports. The announcement came hours after the Japanese automaker ended its relationship with a joint venture plant in the San Francisco Bay area as part of an effort to reduce excess production capacity at plants around the globe and return to profitability. As part of the plan to shift Tacoma production to San Antonio, Toyota will stop making vehicles at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUUMI) plant—its first manufacturing facility in the United States, which started in 1984 as a 50-50 business deal with General Motors — in March 2010. San Antonio and Bexar County officials estimate 100,000 Tacomas, about 50,000 less than NUMMI is capable of producing at peak capacity, will be pumped out annually following a $100-million retooling at Toyota’s San Antonio campus. The Tacoma line not only will diversify the plant with a second vehicle but also is expected to add as many as 1,100 new jobs to the facility over time and will rev its 21 on-site suppliers back up to capacity and employ hundreds of new workers. The relocation will return work at the San Antonio plant—which has the capacity to build about 200,000 Tundras annually—back to two shifts for the first time since it shuttered for three months last summer to sell off excess inventory. “This is what we wanted, a dual line to alternate with the Tundras,” said Ramiro Cavazos, the chief executive of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who played a key role in luring Toyota to the Alamo City in 2002 as the city’s economic development director. “We had thought several years ago it might be the Highlander hybrid, but this plant and its workers have the flexibility to keep jobs strong there.” Temporary plant workers who had been laid off in San Antonio or those who applied for Tundra work and didn’t get the job could be first in line for the new positions, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. It wasn’t immediately clear if Toyota would offer jobs to any of the 4,700 NUMMI workers who will be unemployed next year as a result of the plant’s closure. Toyota’s decision to end its 25-year relationship with the NUMMI plant, which also produces the Corolla, came nearly two months after GM said it was pulling out of the joint venture. […]


Dollars for dishwashers

Dollars for dishwashers

Are you ready for Round Two of cash-for-clunkers? Fresh from the success of its rebate program for car trade-ins, the U.S. government is gearing up for a similar effort covering old appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators and air conditioners. The automotive version of cash-for-clunkers proved to be extremely popular, reportedly generating sales of about 700,000 new cars as consumers scooped up the $4,500 rebate the government was offering them to trade in their gas guzzlers for fuel-efficient vehicles. The application of the clunkers concept to appliances initially will be a much smaller program than the automotive initiative, which was financed by more than $2 billion in federal funds. Thus far, about $300 million in federal stimulus funds have been earmarked to provide rebates to consumers who junk their energy-hogging appliances for new energy-efficient models, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Rebates are not expected to exceed more than $200 per appliance. However, if the appliance effort proves as popular as the auto clunker bonanza, it is likely that funding will be increased and the program extended. The Department of Energy, which oversees the program, wants states to focus on 10 categories of appliances carrying the federal Energy Star seal of approval for efficiency, including washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, tankless gas water heaters, refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners. According to the Journal, the program allows each state to pick qualifying models and tailor rebate amounts. Manufacturers and retailers have indicated a reluctance to ramp up appliance production and inventories until it is clear which models qualify. If the “dollars for dishwashers” program takes off, we can envision the clunkers concept being applied to other sectors in need of a trade-in rebate. To wit: Pennies for Presents: Don’t know what to do with that tie-rack you got for Father’s Day last year, or the hideous yellow sweater you found under the Christmas tree? Uncle Sam wants to help you out! Cash for Congressmen: Tired of seeing the same old hack schmoozing with lobbyists while he pretends to represent you? Trade him in! Benjamins for Bonus Babies: Is your investment advisor telling you he doesn’t know how that crater developed in what used to be your 401k? Did your bank go belly up? Turn these turkeys in and get a brand new mattress! Miracles for Mistakes: Don’t have any use for those Mets season tickets you bought? Your government will help you convert them into a lifetime supply of bowling shoes! Get busy, folks. Let’s put those tax dollars to […]


Lion of the Senate

Lion of the Senate

Be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. William Shakespeare — Twelfth Night Shakespeare would have had a field day with the Kennedy brothers. There were four of them, driven into a life of public service by their Lear-like father, Joseph, who pushed them to grab for power that was beyond his grasp. Joe Kennedy instilled in his sons a relentless drive that left an indelible imprint on the course of American history for more than half a century. The Kennedy brothers also inherited first-class political genes from their mother, Rose, whose father John F. Fitzgerald had been the beloved mayor of Boston known to all as ”Honey Fitz.” In the first four acts of this Shakespearean epic, all-too-brief moments of exhilarating triumph were enveloped by overwhelming tragedy. This poignant history is familiar to all Americans of a certain age, seen here in snapshots: Joseph Jr., the oldest, volunteered for a dangerous World War II mission involving an aircraft loaded with explosives and died when the plane blew up over Europe. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a skinny and sickly boy who wanted to become a writer, joined the Navy and was commanding a small patrol boat in the Pacific when PT-109 was cut in half by a Japanese ship and sunk. Jack swam with an injured sailor on his back and shepherded his crew to a deserted island. Then he swam to a nearby island and left a message carved in a coconut with the natives that resulted in the crew’s rescue. Papa Joe’s buddies in the news biz magnified his son’s wartime exploits into the stuff of legend, fertile fodder for the launching of a post-war political career. With dashing good looks and a scintillating staccato speaking style—and his father’s connections—Jack rocketed to the top of the political charts. In 1960, the 43-year-old Kennedy, an untested junior senator whose resume consisted primarily of his family name and fortune, became the youngest man elected president of the United States and the first Catholic to hold the post. The 35th president soon was tested, and when the chips were down President Kennedy passed the test. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, with the world teetering on the brink of nuclear Armaggedon, Kennedy refused to be bullied by his generals into a potentially catastrophic invasion; for thirteen days, he coolly presided over a high-stakes diplomatic and military minuet that ultimately produced a face-saving way for the Soviet Union to back […]