Winston-Salem Ranks 4th in Nation for Cost-Effective Operation of Data Centers

A recent survey that ranks Winston-Salem fourth out of 45 metropolitan areas nationwide for cost-effective operation of data centers puts the city in prime position to capitalize on a booming industry.

With the world of secured data becoming progressively more digital, and with more corporations seeking cost-effective initiatives to build data security centers, Winston-Salem has a history of attracting such centers.  Corporations such as Lowe’s Cos., Data Chambers LLC, Wells Fargo, and other financial service institutions have located to Winston-Salem with building costs in excess of $150 million and employing more than one thousand.  The addition of these technology-sector jobs is tremendous for the city of Winston-Salem from a job-creation and business development standpoint.

John Boyd, Jr. of the Boyd Co. of Princeton, NJ who conducted the survey, spoke optimistically in an article in the Winston-Salem Journal about Winston-Salem continuing to increase its presence in this sector, saying, “You (Winston-Salem) also have available land, quality available work force, and an attractive higher-education system.”

Winston-Salem and Forsyth County are in a great position to grow this important sector in the near term.

New Downtown Development Solidifies Winston-Salem’s Biotech Profile

In the next two weeks work will begin on an $87 million investment to renovate two old manufacturing buildings into 242,000 square feet of lab, research and office space in the Piedmont Triad Research Park. The joint venture between the PTRP and Wexford, Inc. will bring over 500 jobs to downtown Winston- Salem, 130 of which will be newly created positions over the next 5 years. The project is a tremendous example of the commitment of city, county and state governments and major private employers to invest in the economic development of our region. The buildings were donated by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and the project will require $6.2 million in infrastructure upgrades that Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have agreed to split. In addition, Federal Historic and State Mill Rehabilitation tax credits will combine to cover approximately $26 million of the total investment. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has already pledged to occupy 85% of the new space. The balance of the space should be occupant-ready by early 2012. In keeping with the sustainability commitments of PTRP, Wexford has committed to attaining LEED certification for the new facility.

This project represents one of the largest economic development investments in recent history in Winston-Salem and only adds to the momentum we are seeing in the bioscience sector.

Governor Announces New Economic Development Approach

Governor Announces New Economic Development Approach

Governor McCrory Launches “Partnership for Prosperity”: A New Economic Development Approach

Governor Pat McCrory announced plans yesterday (April 8) to pursue a “Partnership for Prosperity,” an effort to change the way we foster economic growth in North Carolina.

New legislation will create a separate nonprofit corporation to center economic development functions for the state. A board of directors, chaired by the governor, will oversee the Partnership and have governance of all recruitment and retention activities. The functions include small business development, entrepreneurship, international investment and import/export, along with travel & tourism.

“We are going to unleash North Carolina’s economic potential with a bold new approach to recruit and retain business,” said Governor McCrory. “The Partnership will allow us to grow more jobs, and better-paying jobs for North Carolina.”

The new partnership will leverage existing state funds to get the private sector more involved in economic development. In the long run, fewer state dollars will be needed to run the programs currently operated by the N.C. Department of Commerce and several non-profit organizations receiving state funding.

“We have to be able to move faster, primarily in terms of job recruiting,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. “Our economic development efforts must also recognize that one size does not fit all, and the economies of all communities are important to us.”

Beverage-Air move to bring HQ, 40 jobs to Winston-Salem – The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area

An Italian food service equipment conglomerate will further consolidate its U.S. operations in the Triad when it moves the headquarters of its Beverage-Air commercial refrigeration company and about 40 jobs to Winston-Salem.

CEO Filippo Berti said his firm’s new 21,600-square-foot building near Smith Reynolds Airport should be ready in May. Frank L. Blum Construction is handling the building project, which has a permit value of $980,000.

Beverage-Air, currently based in Spartanburg, S.C., is owned by The Ali Group, an Italian firm controlled by Berti’s family. It has more than 7,000 employees in 24 countries. The new Beverage-Air building will be located on Patterson Street next to the existing headquarters of Champion Industries, another Ali company that makes commercial dishwashing equipment.

Read more about it on the The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area website here.

5 Reasons Why Winston-Salem is Ideal for Business

There is a long list of reasons why Winston-Salem, Forsyth County is such an ideal setting for business. But if I had to focus on the ones that were the most compelling and relevant to businesses today, the following five would rank pretty high on the list:

1. Location – Situated in the center of the East Coast, we are very fortunate to be within a short flight or a day or two drive of close to 2/3 of the U.S. population. This gives businesses here efficient access to markets. And we all know that efficient is good.

2. Transportation/Logistics – Not surprisingly, with such a great location, we’ve managed to pull together a wealth of transportation and logistics providers to complement our access to an excellent highway network, ports and international air service.

3. Low Cost of Business – What can be a surprise to businesses and consultants outside of this area is how competitive we are related to tax structure, utilities pricing, wages and other costs, especially when they see how well maintained and sophisticated our infrastructure is. It’s about getting more bang for your buck.

4. Workforce – More than hard working and highly trained. Industries here continue to be impressed by how trainable our workforce is. (One tech company talked openly about how impressed they were with how quickly the workers were able to get up to speed, beating their already aggressive timeline by several weeks.) Along with the relatively modest wage levels in the area, this could be the best reason of all.

5. Quality of Life – Of course, most places boast about quality of life. We just happen to be able to prove it. A vibrant art community, outstanding climate with 4 distinct seasons, mild winters, outstanding neighborhoods, recreation and community organizations — it’s all here. Plus, hop in the car and you’re in the mountains in 1 hour, or at the beach in 3 ½ hours.

At WSBI, we work with businesses and consultants every day to put together the most relevant data about Winston-Salem. These five areas usually come up in our conversations and often end up being a huge factor in making Winston-Salem their choice for business relocation and expansion.

You might have different reasons in mind. I invite you to comment or contact us to learn more.