economic development

Tanger Outlets v. 140 West Franklin

This is a spin off from the current thread on economic development.  However, since I am addressing two specific items I thought new blog entry was warranted.

The useful life of a significant investment, be it an outlet mall or a residential/retail complex, has to range to at least 20-50 years for there to be an acceptable rate of return, particularly if governmental subsidies or tax incentives are included.  Therefore, a large investment like Tanger Outlets (just over the county line) or 140 West Franklin represents a bet on the future.  In the case of these two projects the bets on the future could not be more different.

The Tanger Outlet bet is that the future will be very much like the recent past in that low transporation costs will persist, allowing large volumes of goods to be transported long distances to a place where people get in their large personal vehicles and travel 10-100 miles to buy these goods.  In aligning themselves with this bet on the future Alamance County is arranging its infrastructure, tax base, and utility services to allow for car travel to shopping destinations along the highway.

Orange County Economic Development Director Resigns

WCHL is reporting that Orange County Economic Development director Brad Broadwell has resigned. This is on the heels of the Town of Carrboro Economic Development Director James Harris announcing his retirement. Is this a opportunity or a disaster for local economic development? Is this a coincidence or a shake up by local government to prepare for change?

A Vision for Sustainable Businesses in Orange County

Its been a really intersting six months or so for economic development in Orange County. Change is definatly afoot. But what will rise from the ashes? I don't think anyone really knows for sure. But that isn't going to stop me from guessing.

Seriously Creative Thinking for County Fund-raising Needed

After last night's defeat of the 1/4 cent sales tax we're really under the gun. A number of important community services could be cut. We could witness the closing of libraries, crippled EMS, county employee layoffs, cuts to school budgets, and more. So what are the Commissioners going to do to fill the budget gaps and invest in the future?

Now is the time for some seriously creative thinking. I know the County Manager, Staff, and Commissioners have been thinking about this hard. But what would you do? How would you raise one time or recurring funds to keep the lights on?

Carrboro Economic Development Director to Retire

James Harris, the Town of Carrboro Community and Economic Development Director, will retire February 1, 2011 according to a email from the Carrboro Business Association email list sent today.

Mr. Harris has under his belt over twenty nine years of service to the Town. Of great interest to our community is his management of one of the States most successful revolving loan fund programs. The very shape of Carrboro's downtown is due to this program. Successfull businesses such as Weaver Street, the Cat's Cradle, Orange County Social Club, and Neil's Deli were all participants in the CRLF program. Please share in the comments the memories you may have of Mr. Harris and his service to the town.



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