An interesting infographic on the Super Wealthy.
An interesting infographic on the Super Wealthy.
Perth, Australia-based mining company Iluka Resources (ASX: ILU) announced a proposed mineral sands mining development in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.
The company will initially be investing $67 million on machinery and equipment for the mining and concentration facilities.
To-date, the company has already invested $20 million on the project, and subsequent development costs are likely to push the total project cost up to $120 million.
Iluka’s project will create 86 new jobs with a total payroll impact of $34 million over the next 11 years. It will also create 490 construction jobs.
Iluka already has two mining operations in Virginia, located in Brink and Concord. The mined material is currently moved to a separation plant in Stony Creek which produces minerals such as zircon.
The proposed plant in Dinwiddie County includes mining and concentration facilities to produce zircon and titanium. Virginia zircon is apparently highly sought by high-end sanitary-ware and ceramic tile manufacturers.
Governor McDonnell said that Iluka had been a valuable employer for the last 16 years, and their new decision to add a new sands mine and invest in new equipment was a testament to the abundance of natural resources and infrastructure available.
Iluka also had mines in Florida and Georgia, but ceased those operations in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The company has since been evaluating new mineral sands deposits in Aurelian Springs, North Carolina and Dinwiddie County, Virginia for development.
Company officials indicated they were able to move ahead with the Dinwiddie County site first because of Virginia’s business-friendly environment.Matthew Blackwell, president and general manager, U.S. Operations, Iluka Resources, said that they appreciated the fast and thorough responses provided by officials and regulatory agencies while the company was considering the project.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with local officials in Dinwiddie County to secure the project. The company has been offered a $300,000 grant under the Virginia Investment Partnership program, along with another $525,000 from the Virginia Tobacco Commission.
The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will additionally provide Iluka with funding and support for recruitment and workforce training.
It is common knowledge that in an economic downturn, alcohol and cigarettes are perceived to be virtually recession proof. And as wine making in America has significantly increased from 440 local wineries and vineyards in 1970 to a current 7,000 across the nation, one would expect that the business of wine making and selling is indeed resistant to the outcomes of a recession or drop in the United States economy. However, while the business of a vineyard may seem impervious and ever-growing, let’s take a hard look at what a recession would mean for the American wine industry.
The American wine industry is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world and 34% of US citizen alcohol expenditures are defined as wine sales. Every state in the nation has at least one winery producing quality American wines but the Southern California Wine Country with regions of Napa and Temecula share over 90% of the U.S wine producing markets. With California’s widely known financial situation, housing over 90% of the vineyard market would imply that local wineries are indeed recession proof, but while these positive facts may be inspiring for local winery owners but they do not mean that the industry as a whole is unfazed by America’s most recent economic struggles.
When we have economic struggles, we often see a change in purchasing habits. Retail stores see fewer customers during conventionally busy seasons and American residents cut back on the items they feel they don’t need to survive.
California resident and wine expert, Dr. James Lapsley of the University of California said it best in an interview where he discussed the changes in purchasing habits of wine drinkers, “What happened during 2008 to 2011 was that people who were fairly rich and who had seen their portfolios decline suddenly tightened their belts and said, ‘I’m no longer buying $60 Cabernets, I’m buying $30 Cabernets.’ And people who were buying $15 wines said, ‘I’m now buying $7 wines. If you were a winery producing inexpensive wine – which meant you were a very large winery because this is where you really need to have economies of scale both in production and distribution – you did really well.”
The wineries in Temecula, CA are considered larger wineries not unlike those mentioned by Lapsley in his interview. However, the recession and a possible downturn today would not bode well for small wineries who may have been counting on selling their bottles at $60 to stay in business. This can mean distressed sales in locally produced wine but with a simple adjustment to pricing, our small local vineyards can last through a downturn to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the economy begins to move back into the black.
While the business of a vineyard may seem impervious and ever-growing, it is obvious that just like millions of other small businesses across the nation; small local vineyards may have difficulty remaining in business. However with an adjustment to pricing and production, we can expect to see the business of a local winery make it though a down economy or recession.
Stacey Waldron is the Internet Marketing Director for Bel Vino Winery located in Temecula California. She enjoys gardening and playing with her two dogs, Banjo and Karly on hot summer days and always makes time for a good bottle of red wine shared amongst friends.
Chicago, Illinois Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a $1.1 billion tourism and tradeshow infrastructure redevelopment plan called Elevate Chicago.
It combines previously announced investments worth $470 million with another $640 million for the redevelopment of Navy Pier and creation of an entertainment district at McCormick Place, which is Chicago’s convention center.
The project will create 3,700 permanent jobs and another 10,000 construction jobs, and is expected to fuel economic growth to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
The plan calls for a new 10,000 seat events center, along with two hotels, shops and entertainment venues that are expected to fuel revitalization of Motor Row and other neighborhoods in the vicinity.
One of these hotels is the previously announced 1,200-room Headquarters Hotel and the other one will be a 500-room boutique hotel.
The City and local government agencies would be able to use the venue free of rent for events such as public school contests, graduations, etc.
The improvements and additional facilities will attract more tradeshows and conventions to Chicago, with a skybridge connecting McCormick Place West to the events center, which can be used as a general sessions hall for conventions.
The Navy Pier, already one of Chicago’s popular attractions, will be getting a comprehensive redesign of its public and commercial spaces just in time for its centennial. The $278 million redevelopment plan calls for urban landscaping, pocket parks, social areas and dramatic use of water features.
Marilynn Gardner, president and CEO of Navy Pier Inc, said they were taking what is good and making it great.
The events center arena and surrounding entertainment district is a public-private partnership, with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) and DePaul University sharing the $140 million cost of constructing the events center.
This will be matched with $400 in private investments to build the two hotels, restaurants and other venues included in the plan for the entertainment district.
Jim Reilly, CEO of McCormick Place, said they needed the events center and assembly hall in order to attract conventions and shows to Chicago and Illinois that were currently going to competing cities that already had such events centers.
Upon completion of the project, the increase in the number of conventions and events, and the resultant increase in hotel demand, is expected to generate an additional $108 million annually for the City of Chicago.
Mayor Emanuel said that the Elevate Chicago plan was a vital step towards realizing the full potential of the City. He said these projects would serve as a major economic engine and would have a lasting impact on the city for generations.
ExactTarget (NYSE: ET) will be expanding its operations in Atlanta, Georgia to add 225 jobs and relocate their regional headquarters with an investment of $1.25 million.
The announcement was made by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal after months of speculation about the true identity of the project that was previously only known as “Project Orange.”
ExactTarget is a digital marketing firm offering SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions to customers that help them plan, automate and optimize data-driven marketing and improve the ROI on marketing campaigns.
This expansion has been in the works ever since the Indianapolis, Indiana-based ExactTarget acquired Atlanta-based B2B marketing automation company Pardot last year. They immediately started negotiating with state and local economic development agencies about a proposed expansion of their offices in Atlanta.
InvestAtlanta and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) teamed up to secure the project. The City of Atlanta has offered ExactTarget $200,000 in incentives through its Economic Opportunity Fund, and the company is eligible for tax credits from the state worth $2.9 million based on its job creation commitments.
ExactTarget will be moving its expanded operations and regional headquarters into the same Buckhead building as Pardot.
All this doesn’t mean it was a done deal right from the start. The company reportedly considered other sites in Indianapolis, Charlotte, Chicago and other locations.
Brian P. McGowan, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta, said that Atlanta’s success in recruiting these high-paying jobs despite competition from other cities is a testament to Atlanta’s position as a tech hub that continues attracting high-tech jobs.
GDEcD Commissioner Chris Cummiskey said they had a great team working on the project, and Georgia was the right place for companies that thrive on innovation for growth.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed likewise said that the city was a great place for technology growth, and offered a culture of innovation and a diverse talent pool that ExactTarget will need while expanding its operations.
Gov. Deal said that Georgia’s talented workforce and low costs, together with its mature IT infrastructure, provided companies like ExactTarget a competitive edge in the marketplace.
ExactTarget has around 1,800 employees across the world, and posted a loss of almost $21 million last year, taking into account the fact that they spent $95.5 million on acquiring Pardot and another $21 million for iGoDigital.
Medidata Solutions (NASDAQ: MDSO) announced a consolidation and expansion of their operations in New York. The company provides a cloud-based platform for clinical development solutions in the life sciences sector.
Medidata will be spending $20 million to consolidate all their NYC operations into a single facility in West Soho, Manhattan that will also house their global headquarters.
The new lease covers three floors and offers 98,500 square feet of space. As part of the expansion, the company is adding 250 new jobs.
The expansion project secured by New York also saved 271 existing jobs that would otherwise have been relocated out of the state. Medidata has additional North American locations in Edison, New Jersey and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
In order to make sure the company stayed put in New York, Empire State Development (ESD) offered Medidata $2.75 million in performance-based tax credits.
ESD President and CEO Kenneth Adams said that life sciences and high-tech industries were critical for being competitive in a global economy, and Medidata’s choice to grow in New York further cemented the state’s reputation as a location where innovative companies are able to grow and thrive.
Medidata Solutions CEO Tarek Sherif said that the company had drawn on New York’s deep talent pool and resources to grow into an industry leader in clinical technology solutions for the life sciences sector. He added that they were committed to keeping New York as their global headquarters as the company continues growing.
Medidata’s cloud-based platform optimizes the entire process of clinical trials from conceptualization to conclusion, and helps reduce the overall cost of clinical development.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that they had focused on promoting innovative industry clusters that create high-paying jobs, and he said he was happy Medidata was taking advantage of that and expanding their operations.
Medidata Solutions was founded in 1999, and has since grown to include 20 of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies among their customer base, in addition to government facilities, academic institutions, research organizations and others.
The company went public in June 2009, and generated revenues worth $218.3 million last year. They already have more than 900 employees located in facilities across the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom.
After more than a decade of planning, the Cherokee Nation announced that the Tribal Council had approved a plan to develop the largest wind farm on tribal land in the U.S. in partnership with PNE Wind USA Inc.
Development of the 6,000-acre and 90-turbine wind farm will begin immediately on 3,000 acres of Cherokee Nation tribal land in Chilocco, Kay County, Oklahoma.
Out of the total of 90 turbines, half will be based on these 3,000 acres while the other 45 turbines will be located on another 3,000 acres of tribal land belonging to four other tribes (Otoe-Missouria, Pawnee Nation, Ponca Nation and Kaw Nation).
The project is estimated to generate $16 million over the next twenty years, and will add 153 megawatts of wind power to the southwest grid.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said they were already playing a significant role in the creation of green jobs, and expected to play a similar key role in Oklahoma’s wind energy sector.
Ellen Wesley, director of PNE Wind USA Inc, added that this project was significant because Cherokee Nation projects were usually privately owned, but had taken on PNE Wind USA as a partner for this project.
Chilocco was chosen for the wind farm not just because of favorable wind conditions, but also because environmental studies showed the wind farm would not impact migratory bird populations. The 1.7MW GE turbines will be more than 400 feet tall.
The Tribal Council’s Deputy Speaker Chuck Hoskin Jr. said that this was an opportunity for the Cherokee Nation to be a renewable energy leader among Indian nations. He said people talk a lot of saving the environment and conserving resources, and this project was a prime opportunity for putting words into action.
The four other tribes and PNE Wind USA broke ground on their 45-turbine project last month on Earth Day, and the construction phase is expected to be completed this summer, with the turbines operational by the first quarter of 2014.
The construction phase of the 45 turbines to be installed in the other four tribes’ 3,000 acre property will create almost 200 construction jobs. About a dozen or so permanent employees will be needed to operate the wind farm.
During the ground breaking, André De Rosa, managing director of PNE Wind USA, said that apart from generating clean energy, the wind farm would bring economic development to the area and would provide additional revenues for the tribes.
Chicago, Illinois-based PNE Wind USA is a part of Cuxhaven, Germany-based PNE Wind AG.
Monheim, Germany-based Bayer CropScience announced that it plans to build a glufosinate-ammonium herbicide production facility near Mobile, Alabama.
The project is expected to require an investment of $396 million by Bayer CropScience, and will create 180 new and high-paying jobs with average annual wages of $75,000.
The company markets this glufosinate-ammonium as Liberty herbicide used for weed control.
They already produce Liberty herbicide at facilities in Muskegon, Michigan and Frankfurt, Germany. But demand for the product is expected to outpace their current combined production capacity.
Bayer CropScience CEO Liam Condon said they were setting up this facility in response to urgent calls by agronomists and farmers seeking weed control technology that can overcome the growing problem of weed resistance to common herbicides.
Mobile successfully competed for this herbicide production facility against one other U.S. city that was also in contention for the project up until the final stages.
In order to secure the project, the Mobile IDA has approved $32 million worth of tax abatements over a ten year period for Bayer CropScience.
The project was made easier to approve because Bayer CropScience plans to co-locate the herbicide facility on land that will be leased from specialty chemicals manufacturer Evonik, which has its largest North American site in Mobile.
The company expects to complete construction and have the new facility operational sometime during the fourth quarter in 2015, so that the 2016 growing season can be their first year of production. Bayer CropScience expects this plant to be a key component in helping them reach a target of doubling production capacity for the Liberty herbicide.
Bayer CropScience has its regional North American headquarters located in the Research Triangle Park near Durham in North Carolina.
Apart from the Research Triangle headquarters, a nearby innovation center in Morrisville, and the Muskegon facility in Michigan, Bayer CropScience has additional facilities in the U.S. in Davis, California; Lubbock and Pasadena in Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and one more near Charleston, West Virginia.
Bayer CropScience employs 20,800 workers worldwide, and has a presence in 120 countries. The company is a subsidiary of Bayer AG.
New York today officially launched the 2013 round of competitive economic development funding for the state’s ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs).
This is the third round of funding for the REDCs under the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process.
The first two rounds over the last two years have committed $1.5 billion for more than 1,400 projects, which has helped create and retain around 75,000 jobs.
This time, the REDCs will be getting a total of $760 million in funding and tax incentives. Out of this, $220 million will be competitive funding, including $150 million in grants and $70 million in the form of tax incentives.
Five of the REDCs billed as “top performers” will get $25 million each out the $150 million, while the other five REDCs will be competing for the balance of $25 million. Each REDC will also be eligible to get a maximum of $10 million in tax credits.
The remaining $540 million out of the total of $760 million will be allocated through the CFA process to projects submitted by each of the Regional Councils.
NY Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, who is also the REDC Chair, said that the past two rounds of the competitive funding process have shown what a difference can be made to local economies by listening to regional community and business leaders.
Along with this announcement, New York also unveiled another competition for the REDCs. This competition, called Innovations Hot Spots, requires each Regional Council to come up with a plan for a business incubator to support startups and promote commercialization of academic research.
The incubator must be connected to a higher educational institution with a proven ability to transition projects from labs to the marketplace. Applicants must maintain and run the incubator for three years, and be capable of generating a 2:1 funding match based on the amount of state grants they get.
Five incubators will be approved this year, and another five in 2014. The ultimate aim of setting up these incubators is to attract more venture capital and research spending by private industries in New York.
The Board of Commissioners of Buncombe County, North Carolina yesterday approved an $18.38 million package of incentives for an economic development project codenamed “Project X” without revealing the identity of the company involved.
As per the agreement, Project X would invest $126 million for setting up a new manufacturing facility, including purchase of new equipment and machinery.
The company will create 52 new full-time jobs with average annual wages of $40,000, and will retain hundreds of existing full-time jobs. This is higher than the median wage in the County, and the new investment will additionally create more indirect jobs.
The existing full-time jobs in the area currently pay average annual wages of $57,000. The total annual labor income impact of the company’s existing and new jobs is pegged at $34 million.
In order to secure the expansion and retain the company’s existing jobs, Buncombe County is offering them a $2.68 million cash grant, to be paid out over a decade from 2015 through 2024. The company will in turn commit to creating 52 new jobs, and they would have to retain existing jobs for ten years.
Project X has also been offered a land swap deal that will cost the county $15.7 million, including constructing a 20,000-square-foot-building on one property and then swapping it for another one to be used for constructing a 125,000-square-foot facility.
The site preparation and construction costs for this second building would be $10.6 million, and it would then be leased for 15 years to Project X for locating a facility for manufacturing components.
Buncombe County expects additional tax revenues worth around $5.616 million over the next ten years, generated by increased property taxes over the site improvements and sales tax from equipment and material purchase.
Buncombe County’s largest manufacturers that have between 500-1000 employees are Eaton Corporation, Borgwarner Turbo Systems and Kendro Laboratory Products LP.
Borgwarner makes turbochargers for vehicle engines, while Kendro makes lab equipment. Eaton Corporation (NYSE: ETN) is a global power management company that produces electrical components and systems, and has facilities located in Arden, North Carolina.