Thursday, October 29, 2009

S.C. lands Boeing


The landing was delayed, but Boeing has arrived in South Carolina and is bringing along 3,800 jobs to build its new, state-of-the-art jet.

Jilting its longtime Washington state manufacturing base, the Chicago-based airplane maker said Wednesday it will build its second 787 Dreamliner assembly line in North Charleston.

State and local officials, who unsuccessfully sought Boeing's first 787 assembly line in 2003, expect Boeing to break ground on the plant within a month, as the company moves to get the line up and running by 2011 to complete backordered planes.

Members of the South Carolina Senate applaud successfully passing legislation allowing incentives paving the way for the aircraft manufacturing plant to expand in the lowcountry. Members of the committee who worked to lure Boeing to the state include, from left, Sen. Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington, Sen. Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, Sen. Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, and Sen. Paul Campbell, R-Berkeley,

- Tracy Glantz/
Tale of two cities

A tale in two cities. Click to enlarge.

* Story: Boeing: 'Hiring in the thousands'
* Story: Boeing's take: The jet maker's announcement
* Story: S.C. officials worked years to win the 787 plant prize
Boeing links from around the web

Editorials | A wake-up call
The Seattle Times | October 29, 2009
Quote: Boeing's decision to build a second 787 line in South Carolina is not an obituary. Bad news for Puget Sound, yes. A game-changer, yes. A wake-up call, we hope.

Machinists disappointed, call union "a handy scapegoat"
The Seattle Times | October 29, 2009
Quote: "The company used the negotiations to scare South Carolina into a sweeter offer. We make a handy scapegoat."

Boeing lands in North Charleston
The Charleston Post and Courier | October 29, 2009
Quote: North Charleston won the fiercely fought battle for a Boeing 787 aircraft assembly plant Wednesday, thrusting South Carolina onto the world stage of aircraft manufacturing.

S.C. lands Boeing
The State | October 29, 2009
Quote: The landing was delayed, but Boeing has arrived in South Carolina and is bringing along 3,800 jobs to build its new, state-of-the-art jet.

S.C. officials worked years to win the 787 plant prize
The Charleston Post and Courier | October 29, 2009
Quote: While Boeing Co. did not publicly disclose plans for a second 787 assembly line until this year, the effort to lure the investment and jobs to South Carolina can be traced back to June 2003.

Ripple effect to magnify benefits of Boeing's S.C. Deal
The State | October 29, 2009
Quote: Boeing's commitment to North Charleston could kickstart economic recovery in South Carolina, a leading economist said Wednesday.

Boeing: Lawmakers Create the Illusion of Economic Growth
SC Policy Council | October 28, 2009
Quote: "Boeing's decision to expand in South Carolina is good news. Unfortunately, South Carolina taxpayers will have to pay them to do it," said South Carolina Policy Council President Ashley Landess.

Jon Talton | Who's to blame for losing the second 787 line?
The Seattle Times
Quote: The crime has gone down. South Carolina, not Washington, will get the second 787 line and perhaps much more.

Gregoire: 'I'm angry'...Boeing 'made the wrong decision'
Seattle P-I | October 28, 2009
Quote: Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire: "I'm angry, I hurt for the workers, I think the company made the wrong decision."

2009-2010 Bill 313 | October 28, 2009
Quote: South Carolina General Assembly General Bill sponsored by Rep. Harvin

More links

Boeing Plant Comes to North Charleston
The (Charleston) Post and Courier | October 29, 2009
Quote: Boeing announcement that it has chosen its North Charleston facility as the location for a second final assembly site for the 787 Dreamliner program.

Boeing: South Carolina reaction
The Seattle Times | October 29, 2009
Quote: South Carolina state senators react to Boeing's decision to build a 787 final assembly plant in Charleston.
Boeing Revolutionizes Flight: 787 Dreamliner - Episode 2

YouTube | October 12, 2007
Quote: Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner is the next step in commercial aviation. The plane is loaded with breakthrough technological and passenger-comfort features.
Northwest Airlines - Boeing 787 Dreamliner Introduction

YouTube | December 28, 2007
Quote: This is the introduction of the 787 Dreamliner at the 2007 Managers conference. Copyright NWA Inc. 2007

Boeing said it chose the North Charleston site because of its existing facilities at the site, some already working on 787 segments.

"Establishing a second 787 assembly line in Charleston will expand our production capability to meet the market demand for the airplane," Jim Albaugh, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a news release. "This decision allows us to continue building on the synergies we have established in South Carolina."

The General Assembly also approved a massive tax incentive package, part of a host of promises made to Boeing since the company first discussed the possibility of locating in South Carolina in August. The package would eliminate income and other taxes for the company for a decade and provide low-interest construction bonds.

Gov. Mark Sanford, who previously opposed similar packages, said Wednesday he would sign the incentives bill.

To qualify for the incentives, Boeing pledged to invest at least $750 million and create 3,800 jobs in the state within seven years. State officials expect those number to grow.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence and one of the chief negotiators, said Boeing's move could have an initial economic impact of up to $450 million a year, even after incentives are taken into account.

That does not include other economic pluses that will spring from the plant. "The effects on our economy will be mind-boggling," said Leatherman.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, said the need for legislators to return in special session this week - to restore federal jobless benefits that unemployed South Carolinians lost because of an error not corrected earlier this year - gave lawmakers the chance to OK the incentives.

Harrell said he does not think the deal hinged on incentives, though leaders had planned to call lawmakers back into session, if needed, to approve them.

"The timing was incredible," Harrell said. "We were fortunate their board was meeting at the same week."

The Seattle Times reported the company could move facilities to South Carolina, but Boeing's Albaugh said his company remains committed to Washington.

"The Puget Sound region is the headquarters of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Everett will continue to design and produce airplanes, including the 787, and there is tremendous opportunity for our current and future products here," Albaugh said in his news release.

S.C. officials expect a network of companies will spring up across the state to support Boeing's operations, just as businesses sprang up around BMW's Upstate plant, opened in the 1990s. Commerce Secretary Joe Taylor said his agency already is courting some of those firms and will advise existing S.C. businesses on opportunities.

Most credited a team of lawmakers, led by Leatherman, and Taylor for sealing the deal.

But it did not come easily.

Lawmakers said Boeing needed assurances S.C. workers were up to the work, and the state could provide training.

Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, Harrell, Leatherman and aides were in and out of closed-door meetings Wednesday with staffers, attorneys and Boeing representatives. Outside, lawmakers and lobbyists milled about, likening it to waiting on the Vatican's cardinals to send up a puff of smoke to signal a decision on a pope.

Other lawmakers acknowledged concerns South Carolina could be a pawn in high-stakes negotiations between Boeing and Washington state, the other finalist for the new plant.

"Any two parties in a negotiation could play one party against another party that made an offer," state Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Charleston said while waiting on the announcement. "It's always a risk you run. ... (But) I think they are legitimately interested in us."

Later, Campsen said the state's lower taxes and good quality of life were crucial factors in attracting Boeing.

When the Senate approved the incentives earlier Wednesday, "We had no idea Boeing was going to come here," Leatherman said. "As late as 4:30 (p.m. Wednesday), there was no decision."

A call from Boeing came about 5 p.m., unleashing cheers in the Senate while House lawmakers donned palmetto tree pins with wings. In the lobby, Sanford waited to personally thank Leatherman and McConnell - both of whom he frequently has criticized in the past.

"In terms of jobs, it's an incredible shot in the arm," Sanford said, in a nod to the state's 11.6 percent jobless rate. "Timing is of the essence."

Why S.C.?

Some of the reasons Boeing chose S.C. over Washington

Boeing's workers in North Charleston are nonunion and lower paid than their Washington state counterparts. In September, the Charleston workers voted to oust the Machinists union.

The S.C. General Assembly offered large financial incentives - including $170 million for infrastructure and other tax breaks - to lower Boeing's costs.

State-funded training at tech colleges diminishes the disadvantage of local workers' inexperience. Charleston's Trident Technical College has classes geared specifically to Boeing's needs.

Charleston has one of the deepest ports on the East Coast and an airport with runways long enough to handle the largest airplanes built.

Boeing also reportedly was unhappy with the business climate in Washington state - unionized workers there who went on costly strikes, and that state's shortage of college-educated engineers.

Boeing's big expansion could mean local jobs

By T&D Staff Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boeing’s announcement that it will open a second jetliner production line in North Charleston could mean more jobs for Orangeburg County workers, local officials say.

“This will give us a great opportunity with the Global Logistics Triangle,” Orangeburg County Development Commission Chairman Jeannine Kees said. “We will get more looks and a lot more attention.

“We will take the spin-offs and that is fine.”

The Boeing Co. announced Wednesday it will put its second line for the 787 jetliner in North Charleston and not Everett, Wash. Officials say that in addition to the North Charleston jobs, there is also the possibility that Orangeburg County can land businesses that serve Boeing.

Kees said the project could bring attention to the Jafza Magna Park-Santee project, the John Matthews Industrial Park and the county’s speculative building at the Orangeburg County/City Industrial Park.

“We will get more lookers,” she said.

State Rep. Gilda-Cobb Hunter, D-Orangeburg, said, “I think it will have a tremendous impact on Orangeburg County, particularly eastern Orangeburg County because of its proximity to North Charleston. That is not a bad commute.”

Also, “There is an excellent opportunity for spin-offs in Orangeburg County. I think it puts Orangeburg County in a good situation,” she said.

State Sen. John Matthews, D-Bowman, echoed the sentiment, saying the benefits of economic development are not confined to one county.

Anything that helps one county in the region can help them all, he said. “There will be a tremendous benefit for all of us.”

Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson noted the county already supplies the aviation sector. For instance, Zeus Industries produces advanced polymers for the aviation industry.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good News!


Charleston Industrial Market Gets Boost with 1.1MSF BTS Deal
Oct 13, 2009
By: Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Given that the U.S. recession has left the retail market in shambles and the global financial meltdown has hindered trade activity, demand for distribution and warehouse facilities has taken a major hit, so the big news out of Charleston's industrial market is something that is heard of quite infrequently these days. Rockefeller Group Development Corp. and MeadWestvaco Corp., developers of the 400-acre Rockefeller Group Foreign Trade Zone/Charleston industrial park in Berkeley County, S.C., have just landed a 1.1 million square-foot build-to-suit deal with automotive replacement tires marketer TBC Corp.

Located at the I-26/Jedburg Road interchange near the Port of Charleston--one of the top 10 ports in the country--FTZ/Charleston will ultimately feature multiple buildings totaling 2.7 million square feet. TBC's commitment is the property's first, and the company will utilize the behemoth facility to bring part of its distribution network under one big state-of-the-art umbrella. Real estate services firm Colliers Keenan represented the Rockefeller/MWV development team in the build-to-suit agreement, while Jones Lang LaSalle stood in for TBC.

Local and state officials competed with other states to bring the Rockefeller/MWV project to the port area, where demand for space is expected to grow, partially due to the fact that plans have recently been put in place to increase the Port of Charleston's capacity by 50 percent. The hope is that the TBC facility and the port expansion will attract other businesses to this distribution cluster.

Charleston, however, does not have to wait for the late 2010 completion of the new TBC distribution center to spur recovery of the industrial market; recovery is actually already getting underway. The average vacancy rate in the Charleston area decreased 1.4 percent in the second quarter, while the average vacancy rate for the U.S. increased 1.2 percent," according to reports by real estate services firm Grubb & Ellis. The 120 basis points jump in the national industrial market marked the largest single-quarter increase in the 22-year history of the Grubb & Ellis report.

"Fundamentally, the Charleston market is not unhealthy," Peter Fennelly, vice president with Colliers Keenan, told CPE. "It's not large, roughly 30 million square feet. It has been affected by the changing economy over the last 24 months but we didn't overbuild so there isn't a lot of vacancy in the market; there are very few blocks of large space available." The recent hiring of a new CEO for the South Carolina Ports Authority, he added, is also providing confidence in the market. Other positive signs pointing to the commencement of a turnaround include increased absorption due to dropping lease rates, and the rebounding of the local housing market.

Construction of TBC's new distribution center is on track to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jafza reviews North American project

by Robeel Haq on Oct 7, 2009

Jafza International has announced a revised plan for its ambitious development in North America, with the groundbreaking of phase one being scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

During its initial stage, the project is expected to focus on warehousing and distribution, light manufacturing and office space, covering a reported 200 acres from the 1324 acres that Jafza International purchased in Orangeburg, South Carolina, two years ago.

“We’ve had a market-driven concept for this project, and of course, given the economic downturn we’ve all experienced, we thought it prudent to start small and grow as the economy strengthens,” explained Chuck Health, managing director of Jafza International.

A marketing campaign for the complex, which commenced at the recent Third Party Logistics Summit in Atlanta, will also extend to Dubai, with an initial focus on companies that operate in Jebel Ali Free Zone.

“We are actively soliciting clients and have seven or eight prospects in the Americas and Europe, so things are getting interesting,” said Heath. “We have also prepared for a new campaign in Dubai this month.”