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Winston-Salem's Tallest Buildings and Skyscrapers
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 Post subject: State of the City
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 12:55 pm 
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Enjoyed reading this, thought I would pass it along.


http://www.winstonsalem.com/files/ChamberReport2013.pdf


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 11:25 am 
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Interesting report and for the most part very positive. I do, however, find the Labor Force trends on page 11 (and pasted in below) to be a point of concern. Even though Forsyth has about 40,000 or so more people compared to 2002, the labor force has declined by 12.7%. I realize that this is a national trend and not just localized to Forsyth, however it is an indicator that we still have not recovered from the Great Recession. The smaller labor force also disguises the real unemployment rate -- even though the government tells us we have a lower unemployment rate in Forsyth, the reality is that many of those unemployed just gave up and dropped out of the labor force. We still have a great need to focus on job creation in Forsyth in order to get both the unemployment rate and the size of the labor force trending in a positive direction.


Labor Force Category 2010 2002 Percent Change
Total Labor Force Working in Forsyth 176,248 177,760 -0.9%
Total Labor Force Living in Forsyth 140,058 157,915 -12.7%
Living and Working in Forsyth County 84,098 103,933 -23.6%
Working in Forsyth but Living Outside 92,150 73,827 19.9%
Living in Forsyth but Working Outside 55,960 53,982 3.5%


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Deacon Dawg, you are spot on with your comments on the labor force/job growth numbers. Hopefully, this year & '14 will show some improvement with the VA Outpatient center coming on line in K-Vegas along with the continued hiring at Deere Hitachi, (still ticked off at the VA that facility is not in DTWS :x ). Additionally, Pepsi Bottling should be adding those jobs that were promised with the expansion out in Union Cross along with Inmar additional headcount. There are a couple of other companies that I don't recall that are adding as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:12 pm 
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Here's the updated Community Profile, compiled by the three Triad Economic Development Agencies....

http://www.highpointnc.gov/edc/docs/Com ... 3_2014.pdf


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:56 pm 
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Very interesting - should not the title be Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point rather than Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem; oh well, it is a High Point website, ain't it. Interestingly, the Winston-Salem skyline is first (and a nice one), but hang on, the quote in the adjacent orange box is about Greensboro, and conversely while the later skyline is Greensboro, the adjacent orange box quote is about Winston-Salem. Is this poor editing, sloppy work, or yet another attempt at mis-information. If this sort of thing occurred infrequently or occasionally even, it could be dismissed, but it is consistently so. When will W-S take an active interest; when will they do there own thing because they certainly don't get any forefront otherwise.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:20 pm 
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I agree with your questioning of the order of listing. The second largest city should get second position. I assume that HPT comes in with a chip on their shoulders, so an accommodation is made for them... I read through the report and they did tend to use each city in the lead on the various sections better than previously issue. Regarding the company testimonials juxtaposed against opposite cities, I believe its an attempt at blending the three cities together... This report is available through all three econ. devlpmnt agencies, I just happened to pull a link thru HPT.

Winston does have it own marketing materials for distribution through both the Chamber and WSBI. I'm not too bothered by this joint effort because I can see where it could be useful in certain circumstances.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:35 pm 
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Agreed mostly, but hey the W-S skyline "photographs" better, and those not from the area, and therefore not familiar with the skylines will think W-S is Greensboro and vice versa. This can only be said to be very unprofessional at best. Courteously, I suggest as most would view it, it is mis-information, intentional or not for whatever reason.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:04 am 
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yadkinv wrote:
Agreed mostly, but hey the W-S skyline "photographs" better, and those not from the area, and therefore not familiar with the skylines will think W-S is Greensboro and vice versa. This can only be said to be very unprofessional at best. Courteously, I suggest as most would view it, it is mis-information, intentional or not for whatever reason.


Hmmm, now you have me thinking at this on a deeper level :thinking:


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:13 am 
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Still the cheapest major US city for construction.

http://www.thecommercialrealestatespeci ... /cpsf.html


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:33 am 
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Here's the Chamber's 2014 Economic Report summary

http://gallery.mailchimp.com/75d9848ae3 ... Rpt_14.pdf


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 10:34 am 
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Hey Zinzendorf, maybe we should change the header to State of the City so as to update the thread from year to year.


Here's WSJ/Camel City Dispatch excerpts from the State of the Community event held Tuesday at the Hanesbrands Theatre in front of a packed house. I was in attendance. Guess the takeaway was somewhat neutral, with a recounting of the great projects going on tempered by the continuing struggle to generate more robust jobs growth & putting a dent into the area poverty rate. :|

Joines stated in the past five years we have seen our population grow from 229,617 in 2010 to an estimated 239,629 in 2015- a 4.2% increase. He described our growth as “moderate” and “manageable”. The City’s workforce has grown from 306,400 to 320,500- a 4.6% increase. This is something we have done better when compared against other North Carolina cities. For comparison the state average was 3.4%, Greensboro was 4.5%, and Raleigh was 3.6%. Joines pointed out that while sometimes the number of new people in the workforce can actually make the unemployment number rise, overall our unemployment number has been falling. In February 2014 the unemployment rate was at 6.6%. By February of 2015 is had fallen to 5.5%, and then saw a much slower decline until March of 2016 when we posted at 5.2%.

I for one believe that the goal set by the Alliance/Chamber/City of having Winston-Salem be one of the top 50 metro areas in the country by the end of the decade was way to aggressive considering that we were positioned at 145 when the goal was set. Perhaps a goal of reaching the top 100 would have been more achievable. To get in the top 50 Winston-Salem will have to create just over 27,000 net new jobs over that time period, or about 5,400 jobs per year. It was presented that between 2010 & 2015 we generated a net gain of 7,500 jobs. That is well below the 5400 jobs annually that need to be produced in order to achieve the 2020 goal! The county added 2,715 jobs from September 2014 to September 2015, a 1.5 percent growth rate that would add only 13,575 jobs by 2020. Contrast that year to year jobs growth with Guilford County adding 6,310 jobs, and even Buncombe and New Hanover — counties smaller than Forsyth — added 4,834 and 3,452 jobs, respectively. Although thinking with Buncombe and New Hanover especially, how much of those jobs were created in the low wage hospitality sector. One could also question Guilford's numbers since there have been a number of new hotels coming on line in that eastern county.


Joines stated that this future economic development would be created by focusing on three of our major assets: the Wake Forest innovation Quarter, Whitaker Park, and fostering our entrepreneurial culture. Regarding fostering the local entrepreneurial culture, Five key efforts to foster and encourage entrepreneurship were named by the Mayor. The Dioko Health Ventures Accelerator which has a goal of securing $25 million to use as seed money had an early stage funder in order to foster expansion and innovation in our “local health care entrepreneurial ecosystem.” The fund’s managers will work closely with Inmar Inc., the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, local universities, regional academic medical centers. The Flywheel Ventures Fund has $350,000. The Mayor indicated that planning was underway for a minority business accelerator, that a study of our strengths and weaknesses had been completed, and that a best practices study of St. Louis, Missouri was complete.

An update of activities in the Innovation Quarter. He stated that the Bailey Power Plant Building project was underway. Construction of the new WFU medical building has begun. The building of the Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering is underway. The financing needed there for a parking deck has been secured at both the city and the county level.Looks like that will get started in the next few months, before Fall maybe? And the Mayor said that the Northern District of the Quarter, or Phase 2, is in the initial recruitment phase. Currently there are 3,200 jobs in the IQ. By the end of 2017, 400 new jobs are expected to be created. Currently there are 5,800 students in the IQ, by the end of 2017 they expect as many as 7,000. Sixty-one companies are operating in the IQ right now with a projected 66 to be in place by the end of 2017. Currently there is $563 million dollars invested in the Innovation Quarter. By the end of 2017 there will be an estimated $800 million. It was also commented on that the sites in the IQ along Research Pkwy by B-40/US 52 are identified as ideal locations for recruited HQ type businesses.

During WSBI's Bob Leak's presentation, he indicated that one of the city’s major needs continues to be sites for industry. If Caterpillar, a major local manufacturer, were looking today at a site in Winston-Salem, Leak said, “we would have nothing to show them.” He announced that with the recent agreements with the City & County contributing funds, that a new street called Enterprise Drive in Union Cross Business Park is getting underway, opening up some additional acreage for the placement of a speculative building in the park that should be ready by 2017. Also, with the monies paid back by Dell, that options had been secured for, I believe, around 100 acres or more to place additional industrial buildings on. They seemed to have set up an agreement with a unnamed developer who would step in and purchase & build a building should we land another big Caterpillar/Herbalife prospect. But Leak pointed out that the Whitaker Park plant complex, being donated to the city by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., brings the promise of 1.7 million square feet of industrial space that the city can shop to business clients after renovations starting in 2017 transform the space.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 2:13 pm 
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I remember a few years back, some Winston-Salem biotech companies declined VC money, because it required them to move to that fund's city. I noticed The Dioko Health Ventures Accelerator invested in a Charlotte company. Why aren't we placing those same restrictions on this money? Move to Winston-Salem and receive funding? It appears as if a fund at Flywheel is giving space as part of their fund, so that may bring new jobs here?

Moderate and manageable growth sounds like someone running for office who wants to make slow growth sound good?

In any other city, there would be a lot of pressure to replace Leak. I know he is trying. I will add if there aren't any good industrial sites along the edges of the city for another Caterpillar, why not try to fill some of the office space in the city? There is a lot of space to bring "office jobs" we would like to see into the city. If he doesn't have industrial space, fill the large blocks of open space he does have to use in recruiting new jobs here! I posted this earlier, but think it's worth posting again. I would like to see the city create a new economic development group focused on jobs in healthcare, biotech, technology, and white collar office jobs to fill the blocks of office space in the city and fill space in WFIQ. Hire young and aggressive leadership from a thriving tech city, where that person will have experience, knowledge, and connections to actually make this a tech city and make projects like WFIQ work. And offer bonuses for filling long vacant blocks of office space or meeting goals involving job creation, average income of new jobs, etc.,. If it's not a new economic development group, maybe hire this person as a co-leader of WSBI (an equal to Leak), with a specialization in tech and office jobs. Then Leak can focus on industrial and warehouse jobs. I would prefer having this new organization separate from WSBI, so the city can have two groups working to bring jobs here and maybe more specialization? We need a strong effort to fill office space and attract the tenants that will fill those buildings in the next phase of the Innovation Quarter.

I know this would likely never happen, but I've seen smaller metros ask to be part of another larger thriving metro area. Could Winston-Salem try to merge its metro area with metro Charlotte? Is it too far away? Here in Atlanta, there are places that are extremely far away that are in the consolidated metro. Would that bring growth, by saying Winston-Salem is part of the Charlotte metro area and maybe try to add Winston-Salem's name to the consolidated metro area's name (Charlotte Winston-Salem Gastonia NC/SC)? Winston-Salem would lose independence, but would hitch itself to a rising star that attracts jobs and growth. It could be great for the Innovation Quarter, which could claim to be the largest innovation district in Charlotte. That would attract attention! It may not be possible, but it could be a good short term solution to establish the city, if it is possible? Don't get angry at this suggestion. It's just a conversation starter for something that may not be possible or some parties on both sides may not agree with? I do think it could make economic development much easier. The same is true if that city to the east would merge with the Triangle.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 3:27 pm 
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There would have to be enough commuters between the W-S and Charlotte metro areas for them to be part of the same CSA. I can see a possibility of some people commuting from the southwest corners of W-S to the northern areas of Charlotte and vice-versa, but I kinda doubt it would be enough to put them in the same CSA. The draw of commuters to W-S/Forsyth from Davidson, Yadkin, and Davie counties is pretty strong and I can't imagine enough commuters from those areas going the other way. I do used the Charlotte airport rather than PTI because it's only about 45 minutes from me in non-rush hour, but I wouldn't brave that drive to work every day - it would be a nightmare.

I also doubt that W-S would ever be separated from GSO in the Triad's CSA...the connection there is too strong. If we are overlooked in a metro with GSO can you imagine how it would be in one with Charlotte?


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 3:46 pm 
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I've seen places that didn't have the commuter numbers, but they requested to be part of another metro area. If you don't have the numbers, I think you have to make that request every ten years, but I'm unsure about that? It's so rare to see it and I haven't seen since maybe 2003?

If this was done, and I'm not sure if it would ever happen and don't know if it's possible, the benefit would be job growth and population growth through being in one of the nation's fastest growing metro areas. I would rather be overlooked in one of the nation's fastest growing metro areas than be overlooked in one of the slowest. Winston-Salem would brand itself as Charlotte or metro Charlotte to use the Metro Charlotte brand. I know that isn't appealing to many people here. Just some random idea I thought I would throw out there for interesting discussion. Again, none of this may be possible? I'm basing this on something I seem to remember seeing around 13 years ago?


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 5:26 pm 
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Quote:
I know that isn't appealing to many people here.
Right!


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