Business Expansion without Apple or Amazon

Are you suggesting the FREE STATE OF WAKE? We could legalize and then change the name to the FREE STATE OF WAKE AND BAKE.

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Yes. The article somewhat showed both sides but seemed to be an attempt to cover their behind since they all but said the Apple deal was done.

I have some issues with the GOP in our state; however, to put all the blame on them when projects don;t come (while making the final cut), yet give no praise when they do, isn’t really being fair.



Here’s the difference SilentSammy. I’ve lived in NC my entire life aside from a short stint in NYC. I was born here. I have NEVER seen a situation (until now) where our legislature and their politics were EVER cited as a reason for losing business expansion. That’s the key difference. This is the only time in my 40+ years where our states political ‘so called leaders’ are directly cited by multiple outlets, including the companies themselves, as THE reason companies are not coming here.

If anyone doesn’t believe me, I challenge you to name a single other instance where companies publicly stated that a law, bill. ideology was the very reason their company was not coming to NC. In one stupid-ass piece of legislation North Carolina lost PayPal, DeutcheBank, Credit Suisse, and the ACC tournament, not to mention many unknown other corporate expansions in one swoop. This has NEVER…NEVER occurred before in the history of North Carolina…so YES, it is very different.


I completely agree with you. Obviously the current climate for businesses in NC is greater than I can ever remember. Sure we probably lost some businesses but that one sided singular evaluation of the economic success of NC is completely unwarranted. It only gives credence to one thing only and totally disregards all other things many of which are positive for businesses. At least many of us can look at the whole picture and come out with a more reasoned conclusion about what is really happening in our great state.


A post was split to a new topic: IBM acquiring Red Hat

A post was split to a new topic: 301 Hillsborough

Thought people might be interested in this story. Google adds 12,000 jobs in NYC without fanfare.


Today’s TBJ is reporting that Raleigh is going after Two Mystery Projects !


Probably rumors of a future Amazon! :sweat_smile:

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An agenda item for Raleigh City Council’s Nov. 20 meeting recommends holding a public hearing on incentives for the projects at “the first City Council meeting in January 2019.”
Raleigh won’t make the firms public until two weeks before the hearing. “Because we are required to have the public hearing by state law, we have to lay out the essentials for public review prior to the public hearing,” [city spokesperson John Boyette] wrote.
Local participation in both recruitment and incentives is required [to deploy investment grants], according to state statute.

Putting those together, IF one of those companies is Apple, this could mean that we won’t get the formal results of if/where they’re moving to until early January?


I heard one of them is a Chuck E. Cheese’s.

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This is lending more to the rumor that Apple i going to S. Saunders

I didn’t realize this is even a rumor. I thought they were supposed to be targeting something on the Wake side of RTP?

With Amazon out of the picture, Spring Hill could be on the table for Apple now as well.


new nonstop Southwest flight to San Jose. Thats a big deal


The Nerd Bird flies again…
(Edit: Even if it is only one day a week, on Sundays…)


Found a good postmortem on how the Triangle lost HQ2… or rather, how the four counties in the NoVa bid won (read: what we should be doing).


  • It wasn’t just incentives that won Amazon over. Heck, it might not have even mattered.
  • Virginia Tech wanted to expand to NoVa. This basically gave Amazon a custom-tailored workforce pipeline in its literal backyard.
  • Incentives included worker training, as well as improvements to infrastructure and education. (Let’s be honest, would North Carolina really do that?)

Highlights from the article (bold emphases mine):

[HQ2] became an effort to convince the Seattle-based company to see the area not just by the square foot but as a network of communities and neighborhoods. That was the idea, [Victor Hoskins, the economic development arm of Arlington County,] said behind a February meeting with Amazon officials at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria.
Beyond talking real estate and incentives, Hoskins said, the group hoped to convey the message of a unified region made up of unique neighborhoods and communities. “What we tried to do at that event was to give them a cross section across all of Virginia,” Hoskins said. “The conversations really were about schools, lifestyle, why people moved here.”

“The greatest caution that my colleagues and I have had probably came at the beginning, when we started to hear some speculation from other states about giving away the store. And we felt a lot of concern about whether Arlington could be competitive with a package that didn’t offer Amazon very much in the way of cash or taxes,” [Arlington Board Chair Katie Cristol] said.
“We knew that we would not put forward that kind of package — it wasn’t responsible.”

One of the most important parts of the proposal was the education piece. Virginia Tech, which had wanted to establish a campus in Northern Virginia for years […] was part of the play from the very initial bid. As part of the incentive package, the university agreed to open a $1 billion innovation campus that will provide training and research to help build a talent pipeline. It is scheduled to break ground in 2020 and open in 2022.

(Note: sure, NC State is already a thing. …but it’s harder to repurpose an existing pipeline that’s optimized for different industries/environments than it is to create and tailor a new one)

The revised package included workforce cash grants totaling up to $550 million for the 25,000 new jobs, or $22,000 per new job that’s created with a wage of at least $150,000.
State officials also pledged up to $295 million in infrastructure and education investments. That figure did not change when HQ2 was halved. “With the jobs being created by them, and the income tax and the sales tax, [Amazon] creates a funding source that we wouldn’t have had,” [Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian] Ball said.

I think there’s a lot we can learn from this, and what we (the Triangle as a whole) need to do better.


I think the point here is: DC and NY are vastly bigger, denser, more developed metropolitan areas. All the “substance” in here boils down to just that. It’s not very feasible that Virginia Tech building an entirely new infrastructure and frameworkˆ is more effective than an existing tech-based school shifting focus.

What it boils down to is that they always required a big, developed urban center with the desire to fork over oodles of tax dollars.

The idea of handing over millions (or billions) of public dollars to a profitable private company is gross and bad. Investment in education and public infrastructure? Sure. But most of this incentive tomfoolery is just a naked cash grab, and the public should start clamoring for the head of anyone that is willing to engage in it. Please don’t say that Raleigh should learn from this, it is bad and dumb.


It’s true that DC/NY are more developed and would probably look more attractive for that reason, but it doesn’t make sense that Amazon is purely motivated by trying to juice out extra tax breaks/money from already-rich metro areas… how else do you explain the fact they didn’t bite the bait for other cities that offered more in incentives?

Especially Montgomery County, MD., whose Bethesda site is also a metro away from the National Mall? Or Newark, NJ, which is also a train away from Newark Airport and Manhattan just like Queens?

On top of being just as connected to transit as National Landing/Long Island City and just as close to property owned by Jeff Bezos, Newark and Bethesda offered more money as incentives. If incentives were the top motivators, even if you bias your decisions towards the DC and NY metro areas, what Amazon announced does not make sense. This doesn’t mean that incentives are meaningless, but it means they were not the dominant deciding factor.

(Yes, incentives were one of the criteria for choosing the 20 finalists, but my personal conspiracy theory is that it wasn’t a make-or-break variable in the final decision)

Does that sound nitpicky? Yes it does, but I think it matters because overstating the impact of incentives also shifts the border between “vilifying the right cause” and “scapegoating a real but overhyped fact”.

If you feel like corporate incentives are socially irresponsible and misguided investments, then yeah, I am totally with you personally. But if you ask me, it’s not the fault of DC or New York or any other municipality; I think the blame for this sort of bidding war falls on Amazon for instigating this, the SEC for letting it happen, and all of us, the American people, for creating a culture that lets this happen (or doesn’t care for it) in the first place. It’s not a fault for Raleigh to address on its own, so using that as a reason should be irrelevant for this forum and website.

That’a why I said Raleigh should learn from it: because, from a purely North Carolinian and localist perspective, I don’t see this as a lesson on how to become an immoral moneymaker. I think HQ2 was a helpful lesson on a lot of things, like:

  • how do you brand and market a city to bring home historic outcomes?
  • what to you provide a company to enable and expand its reach to something unprecedented in human history?
  • what did we have to learn about ourselves and our town/region the hard way?
  • how are we honestly perceived? what does the rest of the country/world want of us that we’re not delivering (but apparently, people think we’re able to do so)?

…things that, if you remember the original purpose of this thread, Raleigh sorely needs to address to be better.


Each of Long Island City and Crystal City are more or less already part of the urban core and that is always what Amazon was looking for. Newark is in, well, Newark. So yes, the free cash giveaway was not the sole deciding factor, but the whole charade (it was all a charade) was always going to pick real estate in or immediately around a major urban center.

My point here is that there is not really a lot to learn from this whole experience. Sure, it was nice to be put on a list with Austin and Philly. But in the end Raleigh a contestant in a rigged beauty contest.

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