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Top Deals & Hot Markets 2012

The 2012 SB&D 100: A satisfying year for state and market performances!

By Lee Burlett

In calendar year 2011, Southern state performances in landing game-changing projects -- those of 200 jobs and/or $30 million or more in investment -- ended up more than acceptable for most. Competing against performances of 2010 (the second-best year in the total number of big deals in the South in the last 19 years) would seem to be a daunting task for most states. But when all numbers were crunched, there were four states that improved their performance dramatically in 2011, eight states that saw little change from 2010's big year, and only three states that experienced a significant loss in large job and investment generating deals.

Those that had much better gains in 2011 compared to 2010 were West Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia. Those that held steady in 2011 compared to their 2010 achievements were Louisiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Missouri. There were only three Southern states that didn't perform nearly as well as they did in 2010 and those were Georgia, Arkansas and Florida.

In the all-important points-per-million-residents category (PPM), Louisiana ranked No. 1 again for the fourth consecutive year. Ranking Southern states by their ability to turn big job and investment generating projects can't be done fairly unless you divide the points that states earn by their population. It is the only way to level the playing field and when the playing field is leveled, Louisiana has beaten all comers in the South every year since the 2009 SB&D 100.

West Virginia, the South's least populated state, made a huge jump in PPM from 14th last year to second this year. Alabama also performed well in PPM, placing third, followed by North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi, which snuck into the middle range of the PPM ranking.

Southern States Ranked by Points per Million Residents 2012

RANK STATE DEALS POINTS *PPM
         
1. Louisiana 70 480 106.7
2. West Virginia 22 170 94.4
3. Alabama 48 315 65.6
4. North Carolina 89 595 62.6
5. South Carolina 28 200 43.5
6. Virginia 50 330 41.3
7. Kentucky 29 175 40.7
8. Mississippi 13 115 39.7
9. Tennessee 34 240 38.1
10. Texas 86 640 25.6
11. Oklahoma 8 65 17.6
12. Georgia 21 165 17.0
13. Missouri 11 100 16.7
14. Arkansas 3 20 6.9
15. Florida 15 110 5.8

*Points per million ranking is determined by dividing points earned by states for projects announced of 200 jobs and/or $30 million, by the state's population. Source: SB&D

For the 18th time in 19 years, Texas topped all states in the South in total points earned from the recruitment of large projects. But it wasn't so easy this year. North Carolina put up 595 points on the big deal board, a mere 45 marks behind the Lone Star State, the South's largest economy by a wide margin. The challenge from the Tar Heel State is one of the strongest ever, or since Florida beat Texas straight up in the 2002 SB&D 100. That was the only year Texas didn't win the points battle against any Southern state in the history of the SB&D 100.

In addition to winning the PPM contest, Louisiana ranked third in total points. For three consecutive years, SB&D awarded the Bayou State "State of the Year," winning it solely last year and sharing the title in 2009 and 2010 with Tennessee. Louisiana also won it in 2007, giving it four top state honors in five years. The Louisiana run was similar to Alabama's from 2003 to 2008, when it shared or won five out of six "State of the Year" honors.

Yet, Louisiana's top state run ends with this, the 2012 SB&D 100. That's not because Louisiana didn't have a great year. It did. But one historically strong Southern state was making another of its post-recession leaps up the big deal board. That state is North Carolina.

Total Points Earned by Southern States in 2012 SB&D 100

STATE POINTS
   
1. Texas   640
2. North Carolina  595
3. Louisiana  480
4. Virginia 330
5. Alabama 315
6. Tennessee 240
7. South Carolina 200
8. Kentucky 175
9. West Virginia 170
10. Georgia 165
11. Mississippi 115
12. Florida 110
13. Missouri 100
14. Oklahoma 65
15. Arkansas  20

*Five or 10 points are earned for each project announced of 200 jobs and/or $30 million or more in investment based on the size of the project. Source: SB&D

Emerging from the recession of 2001-2002, North Carolina had a tough time. In 2003, the state posted a paltry 160 points, at the time a low point for North Carolina. But in 2005, the Tar Heel State's points ballooned to 460, one of the largest one-year point increases in SB&D 100 history. That was good enough to share "State of the Year" with Alabama in 2005.

In 2009, at the height of the Great Recession, North Carolina responded in the same fashion it did during and after the 2001-2002 recession. It earned just 150 points from its list of large projects that year, an all-time low for the state. But in 2010, the first full recovery year, North Carolina ran its point total back up to 460 and set another one-year point rise record.

Uncanny? You have to know how the Tar Heel State works. When it comes to economic development, history repeats itself with this state. It is clear to us now that North Carolina struggles like few states in the South in a recession, but post-recession, it shows gains no other state can match. That was true again this year. North Carolina weighed in with 595 points, its highest score ever, earning the state SB&D's "2012 State of the Year."

Other than North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and West Virginia, states to show well in big deals turned in 2011 included South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.

SB&D State of the Year Winners 1994-2012

2012 North Carolina
2011 Louisiana
2010 Louisiana and Tennessee
2009 Louisiana and Tennessee
2008 Alabama
2007 Louisiana
2006 Alabama and North Carolina
2005 Alabama and North Carolina
2004 Alabama
2003 Alabama
2002 Florida
2001 Virginia
2000 Tennessee
1999 Virginia
1998 North Carolina
1997 Texas
1996 Virginia
1995 Florida
1994 Texas

*State of the Year honors were chosen based on performances the previous calendar year. Source: SB&D

 


 

Top Deals and Hot Markets

STATE DIVISION

State of the Year: North Carolina, 595 points
No. 4 in points per million residents

North Carolina earned its fourth Usually one state sets it itself apart each year in the annual SB&D 100 and this year it is North Carolina. The Tar Heel State gave us a clue that it was making tremendous strides in 2010 when it registered 460 points after earning just 150 points in 2009. With 595 points this year, North Carolina simply left every other Southern state in the dust.

And it wasn't just the point total of 595, a sum that actually threatened Texas straight up, that led us to pick North Carolina as "State of the Year" for 2012. And, it wasn't the size of the deals, like those seen in South Carolina, which turned a handful of game changers of the monster kind in 2011. More than anything, it was the width and depth of the North Carolina projects.

In 2011, North Carolina landed every industry sector under the sun and they had a ton of them. In fact, with 89 projects that met or exceeded our thresholds, North Carolina actually beat Texas and all other Southern states in the total number of projects. Texas, with 86, came in second in the sum of deals 200 jobs and/or $30 million in investment or more in calendar year 2011. Only twice in the 19 years the SB&D 100 ranking has been published has another Southern state beat Texas in the total number of deals. 

As for neighboring South Carolina, which got a lot of ink -- a bunch from this media company -- for its incredible performance in 2011, the score was 89 deals for North Carolina and 28 deals for South Carolina. Yep, South Carolina picked off the biggest buffalo in 2011, but North Carolina got the rest of the herd.

Here are just a few of the numerous sectors that chose North Carolina in 2011: Furniture, data centers, headquarters, financial services, health care, food and beverage, lithium batteries, pharmaceuticals, solar modules, pork processing, automotive parts, heavy truck assembly, biotechnology, aircraft assembly, distribution, ferrite magnets, biomass wood pellets, appliances, fabrics, medical diagnostics, call centers. . .well, everything. Texas is usually the only state landing that kind of deal variety in any given year. In 2011, it was North Carolina and, of course, Texas, again.

Notable North Carolina deals in 2011

 

Red Hat
QVC
Honda Aircraft
Chiquita Brands
Celgard
Sempris
Horsehead
Smithfield Foods
United Therapeutics
Bosch Siemens

Jobs

540
500
419
417
250
256
250
330
140
119

 

Investment

$109 million
$71 million
$79 million
$14 million
$105 million
$90 million
$360 million
$85 million
$70 million
$52 million

Honorable Mention: Louisiana, 480 points
No. 1 in points per million

Southwest Louisiana is thriving, earning mid-market of the year last year and an honorable mention this year. Never have we seen a single market attract two $5 billion-plus (that's with a

This was another outstanding big deal year for Louisiana, featuring two projects of $5 billion or more. One of the reasons Louisiana didn't win its fourth straight "State of the Year" is it needed some larger job generating announcements. Like Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas' oil and gas jobs, the construction jobs for those $5 billion-plus Louisiana deals -- even though they are in the thousands -- don't count in our book since they are temporary. Regardless, Louisiana is a capital investment rock star.

 Notable Louisiana deals in 2011

 

Sasol Limited
Cheniere Energy
Faustina Hydrogen
Entergy Louisiana
Sundrop Fuels
CenturyLink
Schumacher Group
Electronic Arts

Jobs

672
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
660 
350
200

 

Investment

$6.3 billion
$5 billion
$1.6 billion
$720 million
$450 million
N/A
N/A
N/A

Honorable Mention: West Virginia, 170 points
No. 2 in points per million

West Virginia is playing big-boy ball with Southern economic development stalwarts in the South. A No. 2 PPM was earned by the South's smallest and most northern state in this year's SB&D 100. Pictured are professionals that work at the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

Natural resources are driving this state's economy. No. 2 in points per million residents is very impressive.

Notable West Virginia deals in 2011

 

Dominion Transmission
MarkWest Liberty
Biometric Center
Greenbrier Medical
Caiman Energy
Amazon.com
Quad/Graphics
Toyota

Jobs

N/A
N/A
N/A
400
N/A
200
400
N/A

 

Investment

$500 million
$400 million
$328 million
$250 million
$200 million
N/A
N/A
$64 million

Honorable Mention: Alabama, 315 points
No. 3 in points per million

What an inspiring comeback for Alabama after a 200-point 2010 and a year of political strife. Third place in PPM and fifth overall in points is a very good year, indeed.

Notable Alabama deals in 2011

 

Navistar International
Carpenter Technologies
Mercedes-Benz
Honda
Hyundai
Pharmavite
Topre America
SSAB
Honda 

Jobs

1800
203
1000
210
214
280
250
110
100

 

Investment

$87 million
$500 million
$289 million
$275 million
$173 million
$74 million
$109 million
$270 million
$84 million

Honorable Mention: Texas, 640 points
No. 10 in points per million

Ho-hum year for Texas, but No. 1 in points again for 18th year out of 19. Nothing ho-hum about that. Like Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, Texas gets cheated somewhat because its oil and gas sectors rarely announce publicly large job-generating projects.

Notable Texas deals in 2011

 

Halliburton
GE Transportation
M&G Group
AT&T Labs
Don Hugo Produce
eBay-Paypal
Electronic Arts
TD Ameritrade
Bell Helicopter

Jobs

1500
905
250
200
200
1050
300
490
N/A

 

Investment

$50 million
$191 million
$900 million
$500 million
$100 million
$5 million
$1 million
$11 million
$235 million

Honorable Mention: Virginia, 330 points
No. 4 in points per million

Nice year for Virginia with a wide variety of industry sectors contributing throughout all parts of the Commonwealth. However, with the defense industry downsizing, the rest of Virginia (ROVA), not NOVA, or Northern Virginia, is going to have to step up from here on out to fill the gap that might be lost (see special section in this issue, page 33).

Notable Virginia deals in 2011

 

Amazon.com
Green Mountain Coffee
Bechtel Corp
ICF International
Defense Health HQ
International Paper
MeadWestvaco

Jobs

1450
800
625
539
533
213
N/A

 

Investment

$135 million
$180 million
$18 million
$15 million
$225 million
$83 million
$285 million

Honorable Mention: South Carolina, 200 points
No. 7 in points per million

Notable South Carolina deals in 2011

The year of 2011 will be known as big buffalo hunting at its best in the Palmetto State.

 

Bridgestone Americas
Continental Tire
AQT Solar
Nephron Pharmaceuticals
Showa Dendo Carbon
Michelin
ZF Group
BMW

Jobs

850
1620
1017
707
100
270
300
N/A

 

Investment

$1.2 billion
$500 million
$460 million
$313 million
$236 million
$200 million
$80 million
$100 million

Honorable Mention: Kentucky, 175 points
No. 8 in points per million

Notable Kentucky deals in 2011

Over the last few years, Ford Motor Co. has invested in the long-term future of its facilities in Louisville. GM, too, at its facilities in Bowling Green. The Ford deal is one of the South's ten best for 2011 and 2010.

 

Ford Motor
UFLEX
General Motors
Hitachi Automotive
Zappos
Sequa Automotive
Lockheed Martin

Jobs

1300
250
250
130
1300
280
224

 

Investment

$600 million
$180 million
$131 million
$74 million
N/A
$7 million
$26 million

MEGA-MARKET DIVISION

Mega-Market of the Year: Dallas-Fort Worth, 175 points

D-FW and Northern Virginia-D.C. battle it out each year for the mega-market of the year title with little if any competition these days. Last year it was Northern Virginia. This year D-FW takes it.

Notable Dallas-Fort Worth deals in 2011

 

Alcon Laboratories 
Frac Tech
GE Transportation
Bell Helicopter
GM
VCE

Jobs

750
330
905
N/A
100
434

 

Investment

$11 million
$75 million
$191 million
$235 million
$331 million
$35 million

Honorable Mention: Northern Virginia-D.C., 125 points

Notable Northern Virginia-D.C. deals in 2011

 

TASC 
Defense Health HQ
Bechtel Corp
Chenega Federal

Jobs

825
533
625
530

 

Investment

$24 million
$225 million
$18 million
$1 million

Honorable Mention: Houston, 90 points

Notable Houston deals in 2011

 

S&B Engineers
Kinder Morgan
Neutex Advanced Energy
Enerflow Industries

Jobs

500
75
250
400

 

Investment

$5 million
$400 million
$1 million
N/A

Honorable Mention: Atlanta, 65 points

Notable Atlanta deals in 2011

 

Porsche Cars
SANY Heavy
Home Depot
FedEx

Jobs

100
300
700
240

 

Investment

$100 million
$25 million
$24 million
$55 million

MAJOR MARKET DIVISION

Major Market of the Year: Charlotte, 155 points

Charlotte topped all major markets in 2011 in game changers. Pictured, second from left is Ronnie Bryant, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership along with other leaders from the Partnership.

Charlotte, along with New Orleans and San Antonio, has jockeyed for major market of the year honors the last four years. Charlotte squeaks by this year with 155 points. The Queen City had a banner year with headquarter deals.

Notable Charlotte deals in 2011

 

Time Warner Cable
Bissell Companies
Chaquita Brands
Connextions
Celgard
Hitachi Metals

Jobs

225
N/A
417
800
104
65

 

Investment

$101 million
$100 million
$14 million
$3 million
$70 million
$61 million

Honorable Mention: New Orleans, 150 points

Notable New Orleans deals in 2011

 

Entergy Louisiana 
Associated Grocers
Faustina Hydrogen
NuStar Energy
Diamond Green Diesel
Praxair

Jobs

N/A
294
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

 

Investment

$720 million
$68 million
$1.6 billion
$364 million
$241 million
$238 million

Honorable Mention: Raleigh-Durham, 125 points

Notable Raleigh-Durham deals in 2011

 

Red Hat
Merck
United Therapeutics
SAS Institute
ACS
Lenovo Group
IBM
WakeMed Health

Jobs

540
75
140
401
400
300
4
0

 

Investment

$109 million
$91 million
$70 million
N/A
N/A
N/A
$135 million
$100 million

Honorable Mention: Baton Rouge, 125 points

Notable Baton Rouge deals in 2011

 

Ormet Primary Aluminum
Electronic Arts
Williams Olefins
Exxon Mobil

Jobs

580
200
N/A
N/A

 

Investment

N/A
N/A
$400 million
$226 million

MID-MARKET DIVISION

Mid-Market of the Year: Greensboro-High Point, N.C., 65 points

Greensboro-High Point, N.C., earned SB&D's

This is the first mid-market of the year for Greensboro-High Point, a market of nearly 750,000. Since that is the minimum threshold for major market status, this could be Greensboro-High Point's last chance in the mid-market category. If it is, this North Carolina MSA hit a homerun in its last at bat in the mid-market category. 

Notable Greensboro-High Point deals in 2011

 

Honda Aircraft
Polo Ralph Lauren
Solstas Lab
LF USA
International Market
Moses H. Cone Hospital

Jobs

419
400
263
200
0
0

 

Investment

$79 million
$21 million
$1 million
$1 million
$500 million
$200 million

Honorable Mention: Lake Charles, La., 55 points

Notable Lake Charles deals in 2011

 

Sasol Limited
Cheniere Energy
PPG Industries

Jobs

672
N/A
N/A

 

Investment

$6.3 billion
$5 billion
$164 million

Honorable Mention: Columbia, S.C., 50 points

Notable Columbia deals in 2011

 

Nephron Pharmaceuticals
AQT Solar
Michelin

Jobs

707
1017
220

 

Investment

$313 million
$460 million
$130 million

Honorable Mention: Shreveport-Bossier, La., 40 points

Notable Shreveport-Bossier deals in 2011

 

Baker Hughes Oilfield
Tiburon Associates
Enterprise Products

Jobs

277
250
N/A

 

Investment

$65 million
N/A
$194 million

Honorable Mention: Lafayette, La., 30 points

Notable Lafayette deals in 2011

 

Schumacher Group
Halliburton

Jobs

350
500

 

Investment

N/A
$65 million

SMALL MARKET DIVISION

Small Market of the Year: Columbia-Spring Hill, Tenn., 35 points

Maury County is the only Tennessee market to be recognized in the 2012 SB&D 100. It was a good year for this county, which is located south of Nashville. GM reopened automotive assembly at its Spring Hill plant, one of just four GM facilities left in the Southern Automotive Corridor now that Shreveport is closing this summer. (www.SouthernAutoCorridor.com).  

Notable Columbia-Spring Hill deals in 2011

 

GM Spring Hill
Martinrea
GM Spring Hill

Jobs

2350
175
63

 

Investment

$235 million
$38 million
$32 million

Honorable Mention: Marshall County, W.Va., 30 points

Notable Marshall County deals in 2011

 

Dominion Transmission
Caiman Energy 
MarkWest Liberty

Jobs

N/A
N/A
N/A

 

Investment

$500 million
$200 million
$200 million

Honorable Mention: Iredell County, N.C., 30 points

Notable Iredell County deals in 2011

 

JC Penney Distribution
Providence USA 
Niagara Water
NGK Ceramics 
Lowes Companies 

Jobs

225
28
66
60
300

 

Investment

N/A
$60 million
$45 million
$43 million
$0 million

Honorable Mention: Shoals, Ala., 25 points

Notable Shoals deals in 2011

 

Navistar International 
North American Lighting 

Jobs

1800
250

 

Investment

$87 million
$35 million

Honorable Mention: Rutherford County, N.C., 25 points

Notable Rutherford County deals in 2011

 

Horsehead Corp.
Facebook

Jobs

250
10

 

Investment

$360 million
$450 million

Special Recognition: Fort Worth, Texas: 12 deals, 90 points

Each year we recognize a city, county or parish in the South that would go unnoticed because it is located in a metro region. Fort Worth accounted for 90 of 2012 mega-market of the year Dallas-Fort Worth's 175 points. D-FW is the South's largest metro area and the fourth largest in the U.S. The big deal was GE Transportation's new plant that will build locomotives, but overall, Fort Worth had a magical 2011.

Notable Fort Worth deals in 2011

 

Alcon Laboratories
Frac Tech
GE Transportation
Bell Helicopter
GM
TD Ameritrade

Jobs

750
330
905
N/A
100 490

 

Investment

$11 million
$75 million
$191 million
$235 million
$331 million
$11 million

Top 10 Deals for 2011

 

1. Sasol Limited
2. Ford
3. GM Spring Hill
4. Cheniere Energy
5. Continental Tire
6. Bridgestone Americas
7. GM
8. Ford Motor
9. Stion
10. Mercedes-Benz

Location

Calcasieu Parish, La.
Claycomo, Mo.
Spring Hill, Tenn.
Cameron Parish, La.
Sumter, S.C.
Aiken, S.C.
Wentzville, Mo.
Louisville, Ky.
Hattiesburg, Miss.
Vance, Ala.

Jobs

672
1600
2350
N/A
1620
850
1660
1300
1000
1000

 

Investment

$6.3 billion
$1.1 billion
$235 million
$5 billion
$500 million
$1.2 billion
$380 million
$600 million
$500 million
$289 million

Product/Service

Gas to fuel
Auto assembly
Auto assembly
LNG export
Tires
Tires
Auto assembly
Auto assembly
Thin-film solar panels
Auto assembly

Top Deals by Industry Sector

Deal of the year: Sasol Limited, Calcasieu Parish, La.           
Automotive assembly: Ford, Claycomo, Mo.
Truck assembly: TIE: Daimler Trucks, Gaston Co., N.C.
Navistar International, Colbert Co., Ala         
Automotive supplier: TIE: Continental Tire, Sumter, S.C.
Bridgestone Americas, Aiken, S.C.                                            
Clean Tech: TIE: Stion, Hattiesburg, Miss.
SiliCorr, Columbus, Miss.
Fossil fuel: Cheniere Energy, Cameron Parish, La.     
Logistics: Amazon.com, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia
Headquarters: Red Hat, Raleigh, N.C.
Aerospace: Boeing, Brevard Co., Fla.
Aviation: Boeing, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Defense: Defense Health Headquarters, Fairfax, Va.  
Food & beverage: Green Mountain Coffee, Isle of Wight, Va.  
Medical devices: Merit Medical, Pearland, Texas
Financial services:  Nationwide, San Antonio, Texas
Call Center: Kohl's, San Antonio, Texas
Pharmaceuticals: Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Columbia, S.C.
Healthcare: Greenbrier Medical, Greenbrier Co., W.Va.
Advanced manufacturing: Honda Aircraft, Guilford Co., N.C.
Less advanced manufacturing: Albany Industries, Galax, Va.
Agribusiness: Smithfield Foods, Lenoir Co., N.C.
Data center: Facebook, Rutherford Co., N.C.
IT: Century Link, Monroe, La.
Biofuels: Sundrop Fuels, Jefferson Parish, La. 
Heavy manufacturing: TIE: GE Transportation, Fort Worth, Texas
Kiewet Offshore, Ingleside, Texas


  
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