Business Facilities Staff

The Race to Plan the “Ultimate City” Starts at the Airport


The Race to Plan the “Ultimate City” Starts at the Airport

The Rise of the Aerotropolis

BF Staff


Indiana Corporate Moves

Cummins to Expand Seymour Engine Plant Executives from Cummins Inc. joined recently with Lt. Governor Becky Skillman to announce the company will expand its High-Horsepower Technical Center and High-Horsepower engine product line at the newly renamed Seymour Engine Plant, creating up to 200 new jobs by 2015. The Fortune 500 Company plans to invest approximately $100 million in machinery, equipment and the construction of a 28,500 square-foot expansion of its technical center. The technical center expansion will almost double the current engineering footprint in the facility and increase Cummins’ High-Horsepower mechanical development capability. “Cummins is a homegrown Indiana company making its mark in nearly 200 countries and territories around the world. We are proud of what they’ve grown here and are excited to see them add even more high-wage, high-tech positions in southern Indiana,” said Skillman. The selection of the Seymour Engine Plant for this expansion is further evidence of Cummins’ commitment to Indiana. The facility opened in 1976 and currently manufactures diesel and natural gas engines used in mining, power generation, marine, oil and gas, and rail markets around the world. “Cummins is excited to be able to strengthen its presence in Indiana and provide more good jobs in our home region,” said Mark Gerstle, vice president and chief administrative officer. Preparations for the technical center expansion are scheduled to start immediately and construction is expected to be complete by mid-2011. Cummins plans to begin hiring engineers and mechanics immediately. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Cummins, Inc. up to $2.4 million in performance-based tax credits and $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Lawrenceburg will provide Seymour a $1.75 million regional economic development grant from its municipal development fund to assist with the project. The city of Seymour will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation. The company’s commitment is contingent upon all state and local government approvals “This is, obviously, great news for the entire region,” said Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman. “We are pleased that Cummins selected Seymour for this new project, and we have pledged to work with them as this project unfolds.” Portland Agriculture Expands into Solar Fort Recovery Construction & Equipment, LLC has announced it will expand its SolarAg division here, creating up to 120 new jobs by 2013. Founded in 2003, Fort Recovery Construction & Equipment designs agricultural buildings and equipment. In late 2009 it launched SolarAg to develop and produce solar collectors and equipment. The company plans to invest $1.9 million to renovate […]


U.S. EDA Funds Business Innovation Center in Pennsylvania

U.S. EDA Funds Business Innovation Center in Pennsylvania

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded more than $2.2 million to build a second small business innovation center in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The announcement was made by Willie Taylor, regional director of the Economic Development Administration’s Philadelphia office. Taylor was joined at the downtown Wilkes-Barre site by U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, Luzerne County Commissioner Maryanne Petrilla and officials from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Development Corporation, an affiliate of the chamber, will undertake the project, which involves constructing a 30,000-square-foot building at 27-29 S. Main St. at an estimated cost of about $5 million. In addition to the award of $2,263,500 in federal funds, the project already received $2 million from the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Industrial Development Program and Local Share Account grant funds. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Development Corp. will pay the remaining debt through equity financing, said John Augustine, senior director of economic and entrepreneurial development for the chamber. Construction of the new innovation center should begin in the first quarter of next year and will take about one year to construct, according to the chamber. Since its opening in 2004, the current Innovation Center on South Main Street has housed 15 start-up companies, which have created more than 115 jobs paying average annual wages of $62,000, according to the chamber. Twelve remain today in the entrepreneurial resource center. which provides service to start-up and early stage firms. The site for the second center is located in a Keystone Opportunity Zone, excluding it from specific state and local taxes.



CGS Tyre Plans New Facility in Iowa

CGS Tyre Plans New Facility in Iowa

Gov. Chet Culver and CGS Tyre have announced that the company will invest $43 million in a new agricultural tire plant in Charles City, IA. The announcement was made at the Farm Progress Show. CGS Tyre said it would create 159 jobs at the new plant, which is expected to open in 2012. Gov. Culver said the Iowa Department of Economic Development has been talking about bringing the company to Iowa for the past six years. CGS Tyre and the Iowa DED signed an agreement at the news conference this week.


Paging Mr. Kong

For almost 80 years, the Empire State Building has reigned supreme over the New York skyline. Although it was supplanted as the world’s tallest building in the 1970s, the Empire State Building never lost its unsurpassed majesty. The awesome spire that rose from the depths of the Great Depression in less than 14 months and soared into the imagination of everyone who wanted to touch the sky remains an iconic symbol of power, determination and achievement. The Empire State Building towered alone and apart from all the pretenders, a reassuring sentinel connecting our past with our future. Until now. A real estate outfit called Vornado Realty Trust has convinced New York City’s Planning Commission that it would be a great idea to build a hulking 1,216-foot-tall monstrosity on 34th Street and Seventh Avenue, two blocks west and directly in line with King Kong’s favorite roost on 34th and Fifth. If Vornado’s block of granite and glass goes ahead as planned, only the top 34 feet of the Empire State Building’s antenna will be visible to everyone west of the Hudson River. From the north, the two towers will look like a poorly planned replica of the World Trade Center, or perhaps the South Tower and the box it came in. Vornado is a large, faceless conglomerate that buys and sells properties. One of its first ventures in the late 1950s was a shabby department store in New Jersey called Two Guys From Harrison. After selling a few truckloads of discount lampshades, a second store was opened in another Jersey town and the name was reduced to Two Guys. From this inspiring vision, a real estate dynasty was born. The ingenious planners of New York decided to permit Vornado to exceed the height limit for its tower at 15 Penn Plaza by a whopping 56 percent because the site is across the street from Pennsylvania Station, gotham’s busiest transit hub. The site of Vornado’s proposed atrocity adds irony to insult. New York City natives painfully recall the City Planning Commission’s 1967 approval of the demolition of the original Penn Station to make way for a third and depressingly round iteration of Madison Square Garden. The original Penn Station was a Victorian masterpiece. Its wanton destruction has long been considered the vilest desecration of New York’s architecture in the city’s storied history. The current Penn Station is a cramped and underground rat warren that is so bad the city has been trying without success for two decades to convert the mammoth U.S. Post […]


Hot Air

The Pentagon is not backing down on its claim that clusters of huge wind turbines springing up across the land are a threat to military operations and national security in general. To the contrary, the Department of Defense has made itself the biggest obstacle to the development of wind energy in the United States. A report in today’s New York Times includes this mind-boggling statistic: last year, DOD succeeded in blocking projects that would have generated an estimated 9000 MW of wind power—nearly as much as the total amount of wind-energy capacity that actually was built in 2009. Faced with the prospect of taking on the military-industrial complex, many developers either abandoned or delayed their wind-farm plans. Projects that came under fire from the big five-sided building in Washington have included wind farms in the Columbia River Gorge and turbines planned for the Great Lakes Region. More recently, the Pentagon has turned its guns on plans to erect the nation’s largest wind-energy combine in the Mojave Desert in California. The military says the largest wind turbines, which can be as high as 400 feet, are indistinguishable from airplanes on radar and can even cause “blackout” zones in which aircraft disappear from radar entirely. Clusters of wind turbines can look like storm activity on weather radar, the generals say, making it harder for air traffic controllers to give accurate weather information to pilots. DOD maintains that wind turbines pose an “unacceptable” risk to training, testing and even national security in certain regions. In an interview with the Times, Gary Siefert, who has been studying the radar-wind energy clash at the Idaho National Laboratory (a U.S. Department of Energy facility), called the argument between the military and the emerging wind-energy industry “the train wreck” of the new century. “The train wreck is the competing resources for two national needs: energy security and national security,” he said. Before things get out of hand—and a 2010 version of Gen. Ripper orders Air Force pilots to start using U.S. wind turbines for target practice—we have a few questions for the Joint Chiefs: — Regarding the alleged threat to national security, are you really going to wait until enemy jets reach the Great Lakes before you shoot them down? — You say wind turbines will cause our aircraft to “disappear” from radar. Haven’t we spent billions on stealth technology to make our aircraft disappear from radar? — If wind turbines look like aircraft on radar, won’t this help prevent our pilots from flying into them? — […]


Blade Maker Chooses Fall River, MA Site

Blade Maker Chooses Fall River, MA Site

TPI Composites, Inc., a leading global supplier of wind turbine blades, has announced plans to open a wind blade innovation center in Fall River, Massachusetts that will support TPI’s manufacturing facilities around the world. The Fall River plant will serve as a center for development of advanced blade manufacturing technology and a launching pad for new wind blade products.  The facility will also offer limited production capacity for land based as well as offshore wind turbine blades.  Governor Deval Patrick, U.S. Representative Barney Frank and Fall River Mayor William Flanagan took part in the announcement. The 69,000 square foot Fall River development center will initially allow TPI to manufacture blades as long as 62 meters with even larger blades possible with further expansion.  Prototype blades produced at this location will be delivered by barge to the new Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, Massachusetts for testing and optimization. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to expand our wind blade development and prototype capabilities through this new innovation center,” said Steve Lockard, president and CEO of TPI. “The efficient access to the water, proximity to an outstanding work force and support received from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the city made Fall River the ideal place for TPI’s expansion. The addition of this facility will position TPI well for the future as the demand for larger, higher-performance wind turbine blades continues to grow.” “I welcome TPI Composites to Massachusetts, where they become part of our growing wind energy industry,” said Governor Patrick. “With facilities like the Wind Technology Testing Center and companies like TPI, Massachusetts will lead the nation in the next generation of wind energy technology.” To support this facility, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has awarded TPI a $250,000 grant, contingent upon creating and maintaining 30 jobs. The facility, located at the Tillotson Complex at 63 Water Street, is expected to open in early 2011 and will initially employ 30 to 50 associates. Neil Tillotson, who the complex is named for, was one of TPI’s initial investors in 1968. TPI built recreational boats in the building during the 1970s and 1980s. “Bringing a major wind blade manufacturer to the state to carry out development, testing and training for the advanced manufacturing of wind blades will help build the wind blade cluster in Massachusetts, and provide a local customer for our Wind Technology Testing Center,” said MassCEC’s Executive Director Patrick Cloney. The innovation center will operate as a sister facility to TPI’s Warren, Rhode Island plant located […]


NJ Aims to Lead in Offshore Wind Energy

NJ Aims to Lead in Offshore Wind Energy

New Jersey’s new Offshore Wind Economic Development Act directs the state’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to establish an offshore renewable energy certificate program that calls for a percentage of electricity sold in the state to be from offshore wind energy. The act would support the development of at least 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind energy capacity. The bill was signed into law this week by Gov. Chris Christie at a former BP port facility that will be transformed into a regional hub for the offshore wind industry. “Developing New Jersey’s renewable energy resources and industry is critical to our state’s manufacturing and technology future,” Christie said. The package will offer incentives including financial aid and tax credits to attract wind energy developers to the state’s waters. Two offshore wind development companies, Fishermen’s Energy and Deepwater Wind, already have plans to develop offshore wind energy off the coast of New Jersey. A report released last year by the Interior Department said shallow-water offshore wind farms could supply as much as 20 percent of the electricity in most coastal states.


Caterpillar Creates 392 Jobs in NC

Caterpillar Creates 392 Jobs in NC

Gov. Beverly Perdue has announced at a press conference at Forsyth Technical Community College that Caterpillar Inc. has chosen Winston-Salem for a significant manufacturing operation. The announcement represents 392 full-time jobs with an average salary of more than $36,000 per year plus benefits. The capital investment in a new building and equipment is expected to reach $426 million. An additional 100-plus jobs are expected to be created by an on-site contractor inside the new facility. Caterpillar plans to construct an 850,000-square-foot facility on 100 acres at the corner of Union Cross Road and Temple School Road. The plant will primarily involve the production of Lower Power Train unit for Caterpillar’s Large Mining Trucks. “We are very excited that Caterpillar has chosen Winston-Salem and Forsyth County for this operation,” said Winston-Salem Business Inc. president Bob Leak, Jr. “We have been working with the company and their consultants for the past six months and applaud the efforts of everyone involved to make it a success today. This is undoubtedly one of the largest economic development announcements in the history of our community.” Other local officials made the following statements regarding the announcement. Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines: “Winston-Salem is honored to be selected by Caterpillar as the site of this new manufacturing facility.  Caterpillar is a well respected, international company that will add much to the economic fabric of our community.  The economic impact of over 500 jobs and $426 million of investment is very significant in the rebuilding of our economy, however equally important is the fact that this decision validates Winston-Salem as a strong and attractive location for future economic development projects.” Forsyth County Board of Commissioners Chair David Plyler: “Caterpillar’s decision to invest and create jobs in our community affirms my long-time belief that Forsyth County is business friendly in every way. This is truly a ‘wow’ announcement.” Forsyth Technical Community College president Dr. Gary Green: “As a partner with the entire Winston-Salem community, Forsyth Tech is committed to ensuring that Caterpillar will have the highly skilled workforce it needs for success from day one.  The College’s certified programs in industrial technologies have been a key community asset since the Caterpillar’s first visit to Winston-Salem.” The Spartanburg, S.C. development company Johnson Development Associates, Inc. made available the site of the future plant. Caterpillar was represented by CB Richard Ellis Consulting in Atlanta. The announcement was made possible by a number of entities including Winston-Salem Business Inc., the City of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, Forsyth Technical Community College, the Winston-Salem Alliance, North Carolina […]