BF Staff Archives


North Carolina Corporate Moves

North Carolina Corporate Moves

FedEx Ground to Build Package Sorting Hub in Guilford County FedEx Ground will build a new southeast sort facility in Guilford County, NC. FedEx has purchased a 125-acre site along I-40 in the Triad Business Park and will construct a 400,000 square-foot facility capable of sorting 45,000 packages per hour at full build out. The FedEx Ground facility will open in 2011 with about 500 full- and part-time employees, of which about 150 will be new positions. Additionally, independent contractors at opening are projected to be about 250, with 150 of them being newly created for the hub operation. The existing employees and independent contractors will come from the two existing Piedmont Triad facilities moving into the hub. Approximately four years after opening, the company projects that about 260 full- and part-time employees as well as about 200 independent contractor opportunities will be added. The company will invest about $100 million in land, building construction, and new machinery and equipment. The announcement last month of the Guilford project came as FedEx Express was preparing to open a new $300-million mid-Atlantic express hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro in the summer of 2009. When both facilities are fully operational, FedEx will directly employ close to 2,000 locally. Kirk Perkins, chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, commented on the significance of the FedEx Ground decision. “It’s an exciting time for Guilford County and especially notable with the state of the US economy to have that kind of investment and future job growth potential being generated here by FedEx Ground,” he said. “The economic impact of a new FedEx Ground sort hub is tremendous,” noted Chuck Cornelio, chairman of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance (GEDA). “FedEx is making another very substantial investment in Guilford County because they see the opportunity our workforce and community represents. We assembled a great team to work with Ground to fully understand their project needs and then brought the necessary resources together to accomplish the task. Our goal is always to make a complicated site decision as seamless as possible.” GEDA, the Samet Corporation and the Town of Kernersville, worked with FedEx Ground for the last 18 months, assisting them with site decisions while leveraging the resources of local and state governments. Participants in the project included the Town of Kernersville, Guilford County Commissioners, North Carolina Departments of Transportation and Commerce, the North Carolina Community College System, Guilford Technical Community College, Winston-Salem Business Inc. and Duke Energy. Triad Business Park is being developed by […]





60 Seconds with Phil Alvarez, President, RCN Metro Optical Networks

60 Seconds with Phil Alvarez, President, RCN Metro Optical Networks

Felipe “Phil” Alvarez is president of RCN Metro Optical Networks, where he is responsible for all aspects of the business unit. Alvarez has more than 20 years in the telecommunications field with companies such as NYNEX and Bell Atlantic. Prior to RCN, Alvarez was Chief Operating Officer of Con Edison Communications. BF: What information infrastructure components are necessary for a large company to succeed in a new location? PA: Companies need access to high-bandwidth, fiber-based communications networks in order to compete. The reliance on computing over a wide area makes it critical to have a reliable, resilient network. According to one study, the average financial institution experiences 1180 hours of downtime per year, costing them 16 percent of their annual revenue, or $222 million (according to SETLabs Briefings). Finally, when looking at infrastructure, companies should consider choice and customer support. Having multiple providers from which to choose allows the customer to select the carrier that is best suited to support their needs. BF: Which U.S. industries require a first-rate information infrastructure to operate at their optimal peak, and why? PA: Any industry that relies on wide area networks to compete should demand a first-rate information infrastructure. We’ve observed that those industries that are most in need of high capacity transport are financial services, healthcare, education and governmental agencies, although all businesses need access to widespread information, especially given the emergence of “cloud computing.” Latency is becoming a greater concern for these companies where, for example, a millisecond can mean the difference between making or losing millions of dollars on a trade, or a delay in accessing critical services in a “cloud computing” environment. BF: How can an advanced information infrastructure help businesses work more efficiently with government agencies and/or educational institutions? PA: High capacity fiber-based networks provide the bandwidth required to support information sharing among communities of interest, such as between educational institutions or between suppliers and governmental agencies. Solving the bandwidth bottleneck unlocks the potential to add media-rich applications that allow companies and people to get access to the information they need in order to be productive. Also, having this capacity available allows them to store data at off-site locations, thus ensuring that the information is protected from loss. Facebook’s Facelift In November, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook Ads, an ad system allowing businesses to connect with users and target advertising to the exact audiences they want. “Facebook Ads represent a completely new way of advertising online,” Zuckerberg told an audience of more than 250 marketing […]



Tonic for the China syndrome

Tonic for the China syndrome

The dispatches from the front lines of the global economic catastrophe have taken on a markedly schizoid quality during the past few days. In Washington, U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson executed yet another of his patented two-and-a-half backwards somersault, triple-salchow maneuvers. We haven’t received any scoring for Hank’s performance yet, presumably because the judges are waiting to see if he breaks his neck on the landing. After funneling about $290 billion in bailout funds to an unspecified number of financial institutions during the past month, Paulson told Congress in no uncertain terms last week that he had no intention of serving up any more huge portions of federal moolah. Then, on Monday, Paulson announced he was bailing out Citigroup to the tune of about $300 billion in debt guarantees and $20 billion in cash. On Tuesday, he announced that the Federal Reserve will pump out $800 billion in loans to anyone who wants to buy a house or a car. Hank, who apparently has more rescue formulas percolating in his head than Sybil had multiple personalities, didn’t specify who would supply the cash for this sudden burst of largesse. He didn�t have to — we could all hear the emergency printing presses at the Treasury roaring to life and spewing out extra-crispy Franklins. Adhering to the pattern of his previous mega-bailouts, Paulson didn’t ask for any management changes at Citigroup before he handed them $20 billion. He also didn’t ask them to rethink the $20 million they are spending annually to put their name on the Mets’ new ballpark. If he runs true to form, Hank probably will show up at Citi Field on Opening Day and get beaned by the first pitch. Before the markets could get roiled by Paulson’s frenetic careening, President-elect Obama emerged again in Chicago to reassure us that he has at least one hand on the steering wheel while Hank goes through his contortions and President George W. Bush models Peruvian leisure outfits during his farewell tour. The preternaturally calm Obama administered a hefty dose of verbal valium to bring us down from Paulson’s amphetamine-speak. Things eventually will work out, he told us, but it will take some time. And oh, by the way, it would be very useful if Congress could authorize about $700 billion in new public works spending before Christmas. Obama had his new crew of top economic advisors standing beside him as he administered this balm. Thankfully missing from this group was Robert Rubin, who ran the Treasury Department under President […]


Recipe for success in tough times

Recipe for success in tough times

The deepening economic malaise makes it imperative that businesses seize every potential revenue-generating opportunity that presents itself in coming months. The companies that succeed will be the ones that stay on top of their game, pay attention to fundamentals, and maximize the use of their resources. One such fundamental is the face-to-face meeting. We are pleased to report that early in 2009 commercial property dealmakers will have the opportunity to conduct a series of big-ticket meetings at a unique matchmaking event bringing together property owners/investors with real estate service providers. This month, Group C Media, Inc. held its fourth annual Business Facilities LiveXchange event in Huntington Beach, CA. For the past four years, LiveXchange has provided a unique and intensive meeting ground for site selectors and senior economic developers, supplemented with an all-star list of guest speakers addressing critical topics impacting on the current environment for development and economic growth. The up-close-and-personal interaction at LiveXchange between site selectors representing pre-qualified, big-ticket projects and the leading economic development specialists across the country has made the event a high-impact opportunity that provides a focal point for an essential part of the site-selection process. In 2009, Group C Media is introducing a new event that will apply our LiveXchange concept to the real estate services sector. The new event, Commercial Property Navigator LiveXchange, will take place at the landmark Hotel del Coronado in San Diego on March 22-24, 2009. According to Group C Media Co-President Ted Coene, Commercial Property Navigator LiveXchange is the next step in fulfilling Group C’s commitment to provide high-quality, value-add publications, online services and events that address the full life cycle of facilities development. Commercial Property Navigator LiveXchange will join a suite of successful products that include Business Facilities and Today’s Facility Manager magazines, Business Facilities LiveXchange, The TFM Forum, the annual Business Facilities Site Seekers’Guide, and a growing array of online services and databases. ”From the moment a company decides it needs to build, lease, or consolidate a new facility, corporate executives in charge of this daunting task can turn to Business Facilities or attend Business Facilities LiveXchange to find the perfect location,” Coene explains. ”Once the perfect location or building is identified, decision makers can now turn to Commercial Property Navigator LiveXchange to find the strategic services that are essential to successful commercial real estate development. Navigator LiveXchange, like Business Facilities LiveXchange, will create the most time-efficient and cost-effective event in the marketplace. High levels of repeat participation at Group C Media events demonstrate the value to […]


Magician makes $250 billion disappear

Magician makes $250 billion disappear

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson emerged from his bunker in the epicenter of the financial crisis today to give us an update on his recent efforts to keep the U.S. economy afloat. In an upbeat Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, Paulson reported that he has successfully ”deployed a $250 billion capital injection” and stabilized the financial system. The $250 billion that Paulson ”deployed” came from the emergency $700 billion appropriation that Congress passed on Oct. 3 in a measure it called the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The bailout bill was given this name because Paulson told Congress he was going to use the $700 billion to buy up all of the bad loans the banks made in their headlong binge to inflate the housing bubble. Hank now confesses that none of this money was used to purchase bad loans. He says it suddenly occurred to him a few days after the TARP bill was passed that ”the severity and magnitude” of the financial crisis necessitated an immediate injection of capital into the coffers of major banks — sort of like those huge needles of adrenaline that are jammed into the chests of heart attack victims on your favorite ER soap opera. Hank neglected to mention that the idea for this massive injection of capital actually came from the British prime minister, Gordon Brown. Brown used to be Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister), so apparently he has a clearer concept regarding the workings of the banking industry than Paulson, a former Wall Street titan who used to run Goldman Sachs before cashing in to the tune of $500 million. Brown tapped Paulson on the shoulder last month and informed him that if the U.S. treasury chief went ahead with his asset-purchase scheme, the entire global financial system would quickly collapse while he was busy buying bad paper. He politely suggested that the U.S. follow Britain’s example and inject a massive amount of capital directly into the ailing banks, and then require them to start lending these funds to borrowers. Hank also neglected to tell us in his Op-Ed report exactly which financial institutions received the $250 billion worth of ”injections” from Washington and what they did with these funds. He hinted that most had used the moolah to adjust their lopsided balance sheets. According to numerous reports, the banks that received Paulson’s injections have been busy buying up other banks and paying dividends and bonuses. What they are not doing is making new loans. So it appears […]