Metro Spotlight Articles
The Green Heart of Central Texas Nestled in the center of Texas, the Greater Austin metropolitan area, comprised of 11 cities in five counties, is home to nearly 1.5 million people. During the last few years, this progressive capital city, already recognized as a center of technology innovation in a sophisticated cosmopolitan community, has been busy carving out a niché for itself in the clean technologies arena. With access to research institutions, talent, and incentives—and incubators and parks dedicated to clean technologies—Austin is positioned to become a global green leader. A First for Texas: Clean Energy Park Earlier this year, the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities (TFIC) announced that Austin will be the location of the first Texas Clean Energy Park (TCEP). The first phase of the 140-acre development is a research park funded by a $600,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission. The second phase will be a business park for clean technology companies, such as the solar power company HelioVolt, which has the option to locate any of its research and development facilities and additional operations inside the park. The National Biodiesel Board ranked Austin as having the highest concentration of retail biodiesel in the nation in 2006. “The addition of the first Texas Clean Energy Park will provide excellent job growth opportunities for Austin as well as Central Texas,” says Jose Beceiro, director of Clean Energy, Austin Chamber of Commerce. “Developing efficient new clean energy technologies side by side with innovative applications will be significant in fostering development of the clean energy industry.” The TFIC will partner with research institutions across the country, corporations throughout the industry and other experts within the field in an effort to develop Texas’ human resource and knowledge base. The addition of the TCEP raises the prospect of state and federal funding for talent and research development and brings in another positive asset for attracting clean energy companies from across the nation. “As anchor tenant in the TCEP’s new facility, HelioVolt expects to be joined by academic and industrial partners in developing the future of smart, sustainable solar-powered architecture,” says B.J. Stanbery, founder and CEO of HelioVolt. GREEN POWER! Advanced Micro Devices’ new Lone Star Campus in southwest Austin is striving for a Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council through features including one of the largest roof-based rainwater collection and recycling systems in the world, as well as by using 100% renewable energy from Austin Energy’s GreenChoice program and recycling 75% of waste […]
New Mexico BorderPlex—ROCKET-POWERED DEVELOPMENT CITY OF LAS CRUCES • Type of Government: City Manager, City Council • Councilors/Commissioners: 6 Elected by district • Leadership: Mayor, Elected at large • Employees: 1,505 • Police/Sheriff’s Department: 164 Officers • Other Law Enforcement: Do–a Ana County Sheriff’s Dept., New Mexico State Police • Fire Department: 123 firefighters • Fire Insurance Rating: Class 4 • Planning Commission: Yes • Zoning Regulations: Yes The BorderPlex Region, comprised of the Las Cruces NM MSA (Do–a Ana County), the El Paso TX MSA and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico is the largest metropolitan area along the U.S.-Mexico border. This dynamic area is home to more than 2.7 million people and offers unlimited opportunities for business location and expansion. Situated in the middle of the Rio Grande River basin, it offers a superb quality of life with more than 330 days of sunshine and a multitude of recreational and cultural activities. Since 2000, the Las Cruces NM MSA labor force has grown at twice the national rate in the U.S., and employment has grown at almost three times the national annual average. The Las Cruces area is an aerospace hub that is home to the White Sands Missile Range and Spaceport America, a commercial launch facility. Year-end reported gross receipts (all industries) for 2007 increased 10.2% over 2006 and retail sales gross receipts increased 12% during the same period. Manufacturing and business services led all sectors with increases ranging from 19.8% to 46.7%. Spaceport America—Sending Commerce into Outer Space The nation’s first purpose-built commercial space facility, Spaceport America, is under development 40 miles north of Las Cruces in Southern Sierra County. Spaceport America will provide commercial space launch services for a wide variety of space-related industries. Construction of the spaceport is funded primarily by the State of New Mexico as well as Do–a Ana County and Sierra County residents, who have passed tax referendums to support the project. Working together with Virgin Galactic, New Mexico Spaceport Authority unveiled the design of the spaceport in September 2007. Since then, Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with future tenants including Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, UP Aerospace, and Microgravity Enterprises. Pending licensing by the FAA, construction of the main terminal is scheduled to begin in early 2009. Welcome centers will be built in Hatch (Do–a Ana County), home of world-famous Hatch chile, and Truth or Consequences (Sierra County) from which visitors will be able travel to the spaceport to view launches. Located just east of Las Cruces, White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) […]
Crossroads of Development in “Cenla”
Greetings from Long Island, NY W hile Long Island, NY generally refers to Nassau County and Suffolk County, it also geographically includes the two New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. Long Island is home to several well-known vacation spots of the rich and famous, such as the Hamptons, Jones Beach, and Fire Island, as well as several Atlantic Ocean beaches. Although tourism makes up a substantial part of Long Island’s economy in certain regions, the area supports a wide-ranging economy. Long Island has a diversified economy that currently supports more than 1.2 million jobs. The services sectors—including educational and health, leisure and hospitably, and professional firms—account for more than 40% of non-farm employment. Some of the corporations that have taken up residence on Long Island include: Computer Associates Arrow Electronics Henry Schein Pall Corporation OSI Pharmaceuticals 1-800-Flowers FESTO Corp. Forest Laboratories Canon EDO Corp. Estee Lauder Beverage Company Giant Invests in Long Island AriZona Beverage Company, one of the largest beverage companies in the United States, announced in late 2007 that it will invest $35 million to build a new facility for its corporate headquarters in Woodbury (Nassau County), NY. The company will retain 235 jobs at its two existing facilities in Nassau and Kings counties, and intends to add 50 new jobs over the next five years. After negotiations with Empire State Development (New York State’s primary economic development agency) and Nassau County, AriZona Beverage decided to build a new state-of-the-art facility in Woodbury. Empire State Development and AriZona Beverage have agreed to a series of project milestones that will enable the company to apply for a $250,000 capital grant to offset construction costs. Under the agreement, AriZona Beverage will receive the full amount upon reaching project targets set by Empire State Development. The company has also reached an agreement with the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency for up to $3.79 million in state and local tax abatements. “The state and county were extremely collaborative and proactive in working with us to address all of our site location needs throughout the course of this two-year project,” says John Posillico, chief technical officer for AriZona Beverage Company. “They were our partners from start to finish and were instrumental in helping our new home become a reality.” Long Island Workforce Data Labor force: 1,485,800 Households: 916,686 Total Personal Income: $115.6 billion Per capita income: $41,558 Long Island has the 17th largest metropolitan area economy in the nation. More than 120,000 businesses in both Nassau and Suffolk counties generate $134 […]
Companies Continued to Choose Overland Park in ‘07 Overland Park is gaining approximately 40 new information technology-related jobs thanks to Software Engineering Services (SES), which announced in August 2007 that it will open a regional office in Building 51 of the Corporate Woods business park. SES, a 15-year old technology solutions company based in Omaha, NE, specializes in public-sector clients including the Department of Defense, state agencies, and local governments across the country. The Overland Park office will focus on private-sector clients, which include numerous Fortune 200 companies. In September 2007, Allied National, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected administrators of small employer benefit plans, announced plans to put its headquarters in Overland Park. The company is bringing a $4.9 million payroll to the city with 98 employees earning an average salary of $50,000. By 2010, Allied National plans to add 10 employees with an average salary of $56,666, bringing its payroll to almost $5.5 million. BRAINPOWER Without Breaking the Bank Overland Park, KS—part of the Kansas City, KS/MO metropolitan area—is a suburb of superlatives. The city has invented itself as a magnet for telecommunications, pharmaceutical/biotechnology, and financial services companies. Given that these industries are driven by employee brainpower, it’s hardly surprising that Overland Park also has the highest percentage of high school graduates in the United States (97% among those 25 and older) and three of the highest ranked school districts in the country. Despite having such a desirable workforce composition, Overland Park is not expensive for companies. The average home price in the area is only $238,172, for example, and Overland Park’s property tax mill levy is 18% lower than any major community in the region. Business Parks in the City Much of Overland Park’s 22.4 million square feet of office space is located throughout its many business parks. Strategically located around the city, each business park is uniquely designed to cater to businesses of all sizes. Major existing office parks in Overland Park include Corporate Woods (2.3 million square feet); Southcreek (1.2 million square feet); Executive Hills (1.7 million square feet); Lighton Development (893,555 square feet); Foxhill Office Park (629,580 square feet); and Bryan Office Park (854,337 square feet). Overland Park has the potential to offer more than 24 million square feet of commercial office space.