Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gwinnett Lands in Shanghai

On June 19th, after a 15-hour direct flight on Delta, we landed in Shanghai. We were greeted with an instant health scan and each passenger was screened for feverish symptoms with a small, handheld detection device that looked like a cash register scanner. We quickly found that this was a preventive measure to protect against the spread of Swine Flu. The small computer detected fever in one unfortunate passenger and he is currently in quarantine through the end of the week. We later learned that 11 cases of swine flu were reported in the Shanghai Daily not long after our arrival.
Liu Zhong, Chairman of Kunshan Shuizhougxian Investment Holding Co., Ltd., hosted dinner our first evening in Shanghai. We dined on the 56th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center. Following dinner, our delegation took a tram under the Huangpu River through the world's longest underwater tunnel to the Bund from the base of the
Oriental Pearl Tower. A TV tower in Shanghai, the Oriental Pearl Tower is located at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong district, by the side of Huangpu River, opposite The Bund of Shanghai. The Bund usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road, as well as some adjacent areas. The Bund is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai. Building heights are restricted in this area. To learn more check out this Wikipedia link. There was plenty of construction around the Bund in preparation for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
We, then, toured Shanghai's stylish Xin Tian Di. A neighborhood of old Shikumen (a type of tenement found only in Shanghai), Xin Tian Di was saved through restoration that transformed the old stone buildings into boutiques, clubs and restaurants. Xin Tian Di is one of China's finest historical
redevelopment districts and there are several best practice opportunities to bring back and apply in our own redevelopment corridors. I immediately thought of our cities and the transformation that many have already taken to incorporate the history of the town with the vision of its future.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NCR Relocates Global HQ to Gwinnett

NCR’s Gwinnett expansion will create 1,250 new jobs and becomes the second Fortune 500 headquarters recruited to Gwinnett in less than a year

Gwinnett County, GA – Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development is pleased to announce that NCR, a Fortune 500 technology company, will relocate its global headquarters to Gwinnett County, Metro Atlanta, Georgia, expanding the company’s existing Southeastern presence and creating 1,250 new jobs for the Gwinnett community. The expansion represents yet another project win for the nationally-recognized, award-winning, community and economic development initiative, Partnership Gwinnett. NCR’s relocation also marks the second successful recruitment of a Fortune 500 corporate headquarters to Gwinnett in less than a year, joining Asbury Automotive’s relocation last summer.


Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister commented, “High-tech, high-wage jobs – like those being created by NCR – are essential to the positive growth and development of Gwinnett’s business community. NCR’s decision to relocate its corporate headquarters and expand in Duluth demonstrates Gwinnett County’s position as a leading southeast hub for corporate business and lifestyle.”


The Gwinnett Economic Development Team began working with the State on this second-phase project in late 2007. In October of 2008, the first phase of NCR’s Duluth-based relocation created more than 300 jobs, of which, the first 100 averaged six-figure salaries.


“In total, NCR will have announced the relocation of more than 1,500 new jobs to Gwinnett within the last year,” said Nick Masino, Gwinnett Chamber VP of Economic Development & Partnership Gwinnett. “NCR’s announcement today exemplifies exactly why we do what we do in economic development in partnership with our pro-business county government and our many Partnership Gwinnett investors. Cultivating relationships with existing industry, learning their needs, and being able to provide them with the support they need to grow is the most rewarding aspect of our jobs. We are thrilled to see them grow in Gwinnett!”


Lauren Salas, Corporate Office Business Development Manager for the Gwinnett Chamber, worked with the State to finalize details for NCR’s relocation to Gwinnett.


“NCR has had a strong presence in Gwinnett for several years,” commented Salas. “We worked with them to maximize the value of their choice to stay and expand here and are glad to see them do so.”


NCR joins a host of technology businesses with global and national headquarters or major footprints in Gwinnett County, GA. Major technology companies in Gwinnett include Cisco Systems (formerly Scientific Atlanta), EMS Technologies, Quality Technical Services, Sage Software and CCP North America to name a few. Gwinnett also boasts more than half a dozen data center companies in the area and offers competitive fiber and power options.


Since the launch of the Partnership Gwinnett strategy in 2007, more than 60 companies have expanded or relocated in Gwinnett resulting in more than 5,000 new high-wage jobs. Since 2000, Gwinnett County has also led the state of Georgia in job creation and is a leading job center in the Southeast.


For more information on this announcement and other Gwinnett economic development news, visit www.gwinnetteconomicdevelopment.com.