FIRST WORD: And the Winners Are

From the January/February 2014 issue

Jack Rogers
Editor in Chief
Business Facilities

It’s our annual awards season, and the nominees for BF’s 2013 Deal of the Year honors didn’t make our job any easier.

As usual, each contender gave us all the info we needed for our evaluations, including narratives highlighting the creativity it took to seal the deal. But then we had to choose the best from a field full of impressive game-changers.

Apple’s decision to pick Arizona for its new U.S. manufacturing facility commanded the attention of our judges and emerged as our consensus Gold Award winner. Like the name of the location that landed it—Greater Phoenix—this project in Mesa, AZ has revival and renewal written all over it: a dormant solar panel complex transformed into an advanced production plant for a tech leader boldly asserting that Made in U.S.A. still counts for something.

Revival also was a common thread for our Silver and Bronze winners, which were made possible by the still-roaring comeback of the U.S. automotive sector. South Korean tire giant Hankook’s decision to put its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Tennessee also helped make the Volunteer State our 2013 State of the Year. GM’s new Innovation Center in Georgia certifies that the Peach State is a rising automotive powerhouse.

Our blue-ribbon panel of Deal of the Year judges also selected five worthy projects for Honorable Mentions Awards. While they catch their breath and get ready for next year’s contest, we suggest you grab a front-row seat for our annual pageant and join us in tipping our hat to all of our award winners—and to those who made the choice so tough.