Magazine | Business Facilities - Economic Development, Site Selection & Workforce Solutions

From the Desk of the Editor in Chief


From the Desk of the Editor in Chief

http://businessfacilities.com/2011/02/ice-breakers/

Ice Breakers

Magazine Articles



60 Seconds with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.

60 Seconds with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.

CHARGING INTO AN ELECTRIC FUTURE A new era has dawned on U.S. streets. With the arrival of two all-electric vehicles, Chevy’s Volt and Nissan’s Leaf, the long-awaited conversion from fossil-fueled cars has begun in earnest.      Industry analysts predict as many as two million electric cars on the road in the U.S. by 2013. But the Volt comes with a hefty $40,000 sticker and only a handful of locations in the country have installed charging stations.      News from the oil capital of the universe should be enough to quiet skeptics: Starting this month, 150 charging stations for electric cars are now available to motorists in Houston, TX. The units were installed by NRG Energy. The public stations have been located at stores including Walgreens, Best Buy and HEB. NRG is offering three monthly plans, topping off at $89 to cover the electricity costs for charging both at home and at the public stations. Other companies are offering home charging units for a flat price of $2,000; it will cost about $1.50 to fully charge a vehicle, or roughly half the cost of a gallon of gas.      OPEC was not available for comment.   Memphis, TN and Shelby County are merging several agencies into an Economic Development and Growth Engine (EDGE). We asked Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. to explain the consolidation. BF: How will EDGE help the region attract new businesses and industrial projects? ACW: Our present system of economic development is chopped up among half a dozen or more agencies. In other words, it’s no system at all. Each of these entities is pursuing job growth and capital investment, but they’re not executing any kind of cohesive plan. Prospective employers or job-creators who want to come into our region have to navigate a complex web of bureaucracies. Bringing all these disconnected pieces together and making sure everybody is pursuing the same plan of attack just makes everything simpler—and therefore, more attractive to businesses. BF: Does the regional approach offered by EDGE maximize the opportunity to leverage the assets of the city and the county? ACW: Absolutely. The first item of business for the EDGE is to create a strategic plan that will summarize all of Memphis’ and Shelby County’s assets, and then start setting targets for companies that we want to bring to town. We’ve got an incredibly deep, talented workforce. We’ve got great infrastructure in rail and roadways. Our airport has some of the strongest cargo capacity on the planet. There is no reason that we shouldn’t be regarded […]





Oklahoma Corporate Moves

Construction Begins on ADA Tech Park in Ardmore A public-private partnership between the Ardmore Development Authority (ADA) and ATP Investments, LLC began construction this month on a 47-acre technology park in Ardmore, OK. The park will be located on the west side of Ardmore, approximately 1 mile from Interstate 35. The first phase of construction will consist of putting in the initial stages of infrastructure to the park, aesthetic improvements to the site and the construction of a 5000 square foot building that will be used as a business incubator. The incubator will house a 500 ft. clean room. There will be eight lots ranging is size from approximately 2.5 acres to 4.5 acres. “This will give Ardmore a tangible product we can show to prospects we are recruiting,” states Brien Thorstenberg, ADA vice president. “This is attractive to high tech companies particularly if they need to reserve funds for operations rather than incurring a capital expense. Sites will be available for those companies in position to construct and own their facility,” Thorstenberg adds. “This park also gives Ardmore the ability to leverage the R&D base that already exists in Ardmore with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Amethyst Research, Inc. and Southwest Silicon Technologies.” Flanders Now Operating at Full Speed The Flanders Corporation is operating at full production in their manufacturing and distribution facility at the New Horizons Industrial Park (a half mile east of Interstate 35 just south of Highway 70). Flanders announced their decision to locate in Ardmore, January of this year, and began production in April. They anticipated hiring 100 employees in their first year of operation, but have hired approximately 220 at this point. They plan to have 400 employees at full production. “We are very pleased with our new location in Ardmore,” states Ron Abel, Flanders director of East Coast operations. “We have an excellent work force, and the location of Ardmore has allowed our company to consolidate some of our operations to increase our competitive advantage. We have been pleased with the assistance we have received from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center, the Ardmore Development Authority, and other state and local organizations.” The Flanders Corporation based in Washington, NC designs, manufactures and markets the highest quality filter, clean room, and containment filtration systems. The Ardmore facility manufactures and distributes air filtration products for both residential and commercial applications. Brien Thorstenberg, Ardmore Development Authority vice president, adds that Ardmore is fortunate have Flanders in our community. “During a year when […]