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That's The Randle Report for December 17, 2014
Join us again tomorrow morning for all of the American South's business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window above to find your favorite stories from yesterday, last week, last month or last year. Click on the headline to access Southern Business & Development magazine.
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Mercedes-Benz USA mulls move south, reports say
Mercedes-Benz, after more than 40 years in New Jersey, is considering moving its U.S. headquarters south to Georgia or North Carolina, according to media reports. The Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported the possibility of the move Tuesday. A relocation would mark the end of the company's 42-year-old ties with Montvale, N.J., where Mercedes-Benz employs about 800 people. Mercedes-Benz is also studying several cities in North Carolina, two people briefed on the matter told The Wall Street Journal. Mercedes-Benz declined to comment. Automotive News. For more information on the automotive industry in the South, go to SouthernAutoCorridor.com.
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Downtown Oklahoma City is booming
Downtown is booming, and Oklahoma City’s skyline is set to grow at a pace not seen since … the Great Depression. Let that thought sink in for a moment. If all plans proceed as expected, by 2016 work will be underway on five new high-rise towers. Chicago-based Clayco wants to start construction this spring on a 25-story corporate headquarters for OGE Energy Corp. and an adjoining 26-story residential tower. The company also is set to build a matching multitenant office tower and a second apartment tower. Houston-based Hines, meanwhile, is set to start construction of a 27-story tower. In terms of filling out the skyline, these newest buildings are not the tallest nor the shortest to be added, but will instead hover in size between the Oklahoma Tower and SandRidge Tower. Daily Oklahoman
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Interactive report on Kansas City's downtown development boom
Want to keep track of Kansas City’s downtown renaissance? Today, The Kansas City Star unveils an interactive report on KansasCity.com that displays about 70 downtown projects totaling more than $1.7 billion that either have been announced, are in progress, or have been completed since the start of 2012, with the exception of some major civic projects. Readers can access the project on their desktop computer and any mobile device, and it will be updated as projects progress. You might be surprised by the scope of the development that dots all areas of greater downtown — an area that includes Crown Center, the Crossroads Arts District, the Downtown Loop and River Market. It also happens to be the geography linked by the new 2.2-mile streetcar line expected to be completed next year. KansasCity.com
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Giarratana sees 60-story Paramount transforming Nashville's skyline
Developer Tony Giarratana's planned 60-story residential high-rise at the southwest corner of Fifth and Church will be called Paramount, a $225 million project he expects to redefine downtown's skyline and Nashville's regional identity much like the L&C Tower did more than five decades ago. At 750 feet tall, the 884,533 square foot Paramount will out-rank the 333 Commerce St. Building, nicknamed the "Batman Building," as the state's tallest skyscraper. The overall project is expected include 630 units — a mix of apartments, condos, penthouses and townhomes that should help to fill demand for more residential dwellings downtown, though some analysts are generally concerned about a glut depending on when they come online. The Tennessean
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Vinik unveils billion-dollar vision for downtown Tampa
Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik's billion-dollar development plan is one that could transform a desolate corner of downtown Tampa into a thriving urban neighborhood anchored by a major corporate campus. Vinik on Wednesday unveiled plans to build nearly 3 million square feet of commercial space on the 25 acres between Amalie Arena and the Selmon Expressway that he has assembled over the last several years. The development plans, which total $1.07 billion, are backed by Microsoft Founder Bill Gates' Cascade Investment LLC. Vinik's team estimates the project will generate $35 million in annual tax revenue for Hillsborough County. Tampa Bay Business Journal
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Korean Consul cites rumors that Hyundai will build second assembly plant in the U.S.
After only 40 days representing his country in the Southeast, Seong-jin Kim, Korea's consul general based in Atlanta, knows how to capture his audience here. During the 2014 Annual Dinner of the Korea Southeast U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mr Kim let it be known that he had heard the Hyundai Motor Co. was considering building a second plant in the U.S. “I've heard Hyundai is considering another big facility around here,” he told the Dec. 11 gathering at the law offices of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Atlantic Station. “I don't know where,” he admitted, but said that he suspects one of the six states that his consulate represents would be a leading candidate. Those states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee. He assured everyone that he would let them know of any developments. Global Atlanta
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Atlanta ranked best for foreign investment strategy
When it comes to putting their heads together to attract foreign investors, Atlanta’s economic development community does it better than any other U.S. city, according to a new report by fDi Intelligence. The “Global Cities of the Future 2014/15” report ranked Atlanta No. 13 globally in the "FDI Strategy" category, but all the other cities eclipsing it were outside the U.S. Miami, notably, was down at No. 24, and no other cities from the region cracked the top 25. Dubai came out as the world leader in FDI recruitment. Global Atlanta
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Watchdog: 1-year delay possible at Ga. nuke plant
Finishing a nuclear power plant in Georgia may take almost a year longer than expected, a government monitor said Tuesday in testimony that raises the possibility of a delay costing hundreds of millions of dollars. An analyst for the Public Service Commission, Steven Roetger, said the timeline for finishing two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH'-gohl) is trending almost a year longer than currently scheduled. The first new reactor was supposed to be running by late 2017, followed by the second in late 2018. AJC.com
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Raiders now view San Antonio as a viable NFL market, Cisneros says
Henry Cisneros insists that talks involving San Antonio and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis have reached a far more serious stage compared to past dealings with major league sports franchises when this city has been used as a pawn by pro sports teams seeking better stadium deals back home. The former mayor said the Alamo City, armed with recent market survey data, has convinced Raiders officials that the franchise can succeed in San Antonio. Now, Cisneros and others can only wait as the NFL franchise contemplates its future home. San Antonio Business Journal
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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

The America South is home to almost as many residents as the Northeast and the Midwest combined, but even that statistical record is about to be broken. According to a new Census Bureau study that came out in April, 51 percent of the nation's population jump occurred in the South from 2010 to 2013.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.


 


 

 

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