The impact of luring companies to a community can have a significant economic impact on a region via job creation, increased tax revenue, infrastructure upgrades, supplier clustering and many other positive effects. As a result, the economic development business has become extremely competitive as communities seek to attract companies. To identify where the most impactful projects landed in 2015, Site Selection Group reviewed more than 4,400 projects announced in the United States to identify the top 20 announced projects that may have the greatest potential impact on the local and regional economies where the project located. This filtering took into consideration the size of the community, capital investment, job creation and other economic impact factors.
Site selection factors evaluated by companies
Companies implement a rigorous site selection process to determine the optimal location for a variety of operation types such as their headquarters, manufacturing plants, distribution centers, call centers, data centers and shared service centers. The following location factors are primary variables evaluated by companies when making the decision on where to locate:
Real estate conditions
Utilities and infrastructure
The weighting of importance of these criteria will vary depending on the type of project. As a result, it is critical to understand that what is most important to a data center may be completely different than what is crucial to a distribution center.
The difficulty of measuring economic impact
These projects can impact a community in different ways. There are the immediate benefits such as the creation of construction jobs as well as long term impacts such as an increased tax base and the attraction of suppliers. To help understand the potential impact, Site Selection Group has identified some of the ways that a community may be impacted as follows:
Job creation – creation of new jobs by the company, construction firms and vendors
Property tax revenue – creation of taxable real and personal property
Sales tax revenue – creation of tax revenue for new equipment and construction material purchases
Wage base – increase in overall wage base in the region
Infrastructure improvements – addition or upgrades of highways, roads, utilities, fiber, etc.
Attraction of other companies – expansion of suppliers and vendors
Consumer expenditure – increase of consumer expenditures around the site
Commercial real estate development – construction of retail, office and industrial development around the site
Residential development – construction of single-family and multifamily housing
Increased property values – residential and commercial property values may increase
Positive economic development perception – winning communities are able to leverage their success to attract more companies
Who were the winners in 2015?
The following projects ranked by number of jobs created were identified by Site Selection Group as some of the most impactful announcements of 2015.
Company Project Type Location New Jobs Capital Investment ($M)
Faraday Future Manufacturing Las Vegas, NV 4,500 $1,000.0
Liberty Mutual Ins. Operations Center Plano, TX 4,000 $325.0
SolarCity Headquarters Salt Lake City, UT 4,000 $94.0
Sierra Nevada Corp.Manufacturing Colorado Springs, CO 2,100$88.0
Polaris IndustriesManufacturingHuntsville, AL2,000$172.0
Volvo CarsManufacturingRidgeville, SC2,000$500.0
Giti Tire HoldingsManufacturingRichburg, SC1,700$560.0
BarclaysCall CenterCincinnati, OH1,500$9.3
American Specialty AlloysManufacturingPineville, LA1,450$1,200.0
Mercedes-Benz VansManufacturingNorth Charleston, SC1,300$500.0
Formosa PetrochemicalManufacturingSt James Parish, LA1,200$9,400.0
Seaboard FoodsManufacturingSioux City, IA1,100$264.0
Sanderson FarmsManufacturingSt Pauls, NC1,100$139.0
Northern TrustBusiness ServicesTempe, AZ1,000$95.0
AmazonDistribution CenterSan Marcos, TX1,000N/A
Procter & GambleManufacturingMartinsburg, WV700$500.0
SMP Automotive SystemsManufacturingTuscaloosa, AL650$150.0
GoogleData CenterStevenson, AL100$600.0
GoogleData CenterClarksville, TN70$600.0