Explore Our Capabilities

Site Selection

Overview

Through extensive experience working with corporations across the country and around the world, we have developed a unique set of core competencies to assist our clients in making both informed and successful site selection decisions. We offer a customized service approach to help increase control and confidence in management decisions by assisting corporations with finding the most cost effective business locations for expansion. By combining efforts with our law firm affiliate, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, we offer the marketplace a unique team approach, providing our clients with turnkey site selection services.

Extensive National and Global Experience

With a depth of experience in assisting both foreign and domestic corporations with their site selection needs, we enable our clients to achieve key outcomes for management, make informed decisions and realize a dramatic reduction of time between project inception and project operation.

Site Selection Process

Phase I - Alignment

  • Identify site selection team/partners
  • Define the project scope and determine the methodology, checklists, budget, schedule, project parameters and key decision criteria
  • Identify and evaluate the overall target search region
  • Refine potential areas of interest

Phase II - Investigation

  • Prepare a formal request for information (“RFI”) based upon project parameters and prioritized key decision criteria
  • Contact preferred communities and distribute RFI; coordinate communications with communities
  • Evaluate and compare candidate communities based on initial RFI responses and risks
  • Conduct field visits to candidate locations to further assess physical, operating and community conditions
  • Identify a short list of candidate locations and submit a client report detailing site recommendations

Phase III - Negotiation

  • Narrow candidate site locations as a result of initial client recommendations
  • Conduct client team field visits to preferred short-listed candidate sites
  • Complete community and property evaluations; further identify risks and knock-out criteria
  • Request and evaluate initial incentive proposals for short-listed candidate sites
  • Determine cost of ownership and location tax considerations for short-listed sites
  • Negotiate property acquisition terms
  • Refine state and local incentive proposals to address preferred candidate site deficiencies and other site costs
  • Receive, review and finalize negotiations on incentive proposals
  • Present final site recommendations to client team
  • Identify and select the preferred candidate site

Phase IV - Implementation

  • Formulate legal structure
  • Negotiate and prepare site acquisition agreement
  • Prepare and submit applications for incentives (state & local agencies)
  • Negotiate and prepare incentive agreements with other stakeholders (utilities, landowners, etc.)
  • Conduct further site due diligence activities (environmental assessment, site survey, title examination, appraisal, zoning, covenants/restrictions, permitting, etc.)
  • Prepare for closing on project financing
  • Close on incentives, real estate and financing transactions
  • Coordinate company public announcement of the selected location
  • Provide post-announcement incentive compliance and support

Featured Experience

We provide a multitude of services to private sector corporations with a focus on site selection, project incentive negotiation and compliance. The following projects showcase how our 35+ combined years of experience in site identification, selection and evaluation translates into measurable, added-value results for our clients. Listed below is an aggregated summary of our work with select clients.

Consumer Products Company

This company is a global leader in the design and manufacture of power tools, outdoor power equipment, floor care and appliances for consumers and professionals in the repair and construction industries. Exponential growth of their products and lack of excess warehouse capacity resulted in their need for a new 1.3 million square foot distribution center. This client tasked us with evaluating candidate sites within a three-state search area with a specific focus on each location’s workforce attributes, quality of life amenities and potential incentives. Additionally, we were tasked with leading incentives negotiation on the preferred sites with state and local stakeholders.

Our results included:

  • Comparative analysis of each candidate location’s potential business tax liabilities (i.e. property tax, corporate income tax, sales tax, etc.)
  • Analytical assessments of each candidate location’s workforce attributes and quality of life amenities
  • Fee-in-Lieu of Property Taxes (FILOT) agreement
  • State, county, and utility grants in support of the project
  • State job tax and withholding tax credits
  • Port-related withholding tax credits and cargo volume-based incentives
  • Overseeing legal documentation of all incentives and real estate acquisition matters
  • Counsel on overall site due diligence and all required incentive application documentation
  • Monitoring progress with respect to the various incentive performance requirements (i.e. reporting and compliance) and ensure proper administration of the various state and local discretionary incentives

The company’s new 1.3 million square-foot distribution center will result in 216 new jobs and $85 million in capital investment over five years.

Tire Manufacturing Company

A Singapore-based tire manufacturer, the world’s 10th largest, operates eight manufacturing facilities and employs 32,000 workers throughout the world. The company requested our services to assist them with their plans to establish their first U.S.-based manufacturing facility. Our work with this client specifically included the following:

  • Advice and counsel on review, comparison and analysis of initial business incentive offerings from two candidate location states
  • Identified opportunities to maximize incentive benefits to the company and led further negotiations between the company and state, local and utility officials that resulted in a superior overall incentive offering
  • Negotiated and counseled on all elements of property tax abatements, job tax credits and withholding tax credits, port-related incentives, state grants, utility grants, and successively drafted terms and conditions for the various performance agreements
  • Led efforts to assemble, negotiate and acquire ±1,152 acre preferred site
  • Participated in overseeing legal documentation of state, local and utility-related incentives and real estate acquisition

Our two-state analysis led to an announcement of an investment of $560 million and the creation of 1,700 jobs at their newly acquired site in Chester County, South Carolina.

Tier 1 Automotive Supplier

This company is a steel processing and technology group which operates worldwide manufacturing and processing facilities that develop high-quality steel products. With its cutting-edge flat steel products, the group is one of the leading partners in the automotive, white goods and energy industries in Europe, as well as the oil and gas industries worldwide. The company engaged our services to assist them with their four-state site location search for a new $62 million automotive body stamping production facility. Our work with this client included:

  • A four-state site selection and incentive negotiation engagement for the company’s first U.S.- based automotive stamping production facility to support the company’s current and future production needs for their North American customers
  • Assistance with narrowing community/site candidates from more than 40 to a short list of two finalist sites
  • Serving as the lead negotiator for the company to develop and implement final state and local incentive packages for each of the finalist communities/sites. These packages detailed both statutory and discretionary incentives along with additional incentive offerings from other associated stakeholders
  • Continuing to serve in an ongoing advisory role to the company with respect to the implementation of the incentive package and their Georgia operations

The company’s new U.S. automotive stamping production facility located in Cartersville, Georgia, represents a total capital investment of more than $62 million and the creation of 220 jobs.

Tier 1 Automotive Supplier

This tier 1 automotive supplier produces lightweight design vessels for the transport and storage of hydrogen and CNG in passenger and commercial vehicles. The German-based company tasked us with conducting a three-state (OH, MI and IN) site selection and incentives negotiation project in order to provide them with the ability to better serve their North American customers. Our accomplishments in support of this effort included:

  • Identification of suitable real estate opportunities in a three-state region
  • Assessment of available workforce attributes and associated costs and the negotiation of preferential state and local incentive packages
  • Negotiation and counsel on the terms associated with a build-to-suit/leaseback facility on behalf of the company
  • Overseeing of incentive and performance agreement documentation and related to real estate contracts

The company’s first U.S.-based, 50,000 square-foot facility in Heath, Ohio, will include 59 new jobs and $6.3 million in capital investment.

Tier 1 Automotive Supplier

This company is a leading global manufacturer of precision components and subassemblies for the automotive industry. The family-run German company requested our assistance with their search for a new North American facility. We performed site selection and incentive negotiation consultative services across a three-state target area (GA, NC and SC) and successfully sited their new 196,000 square-foot facility, as well as a separate training center. Our work with this client included:

  • Advice and counsel on finalist location’s incentives and cost of doing business
  • Analytical comparison and net present value estimation of realizable incentives
  • Overseeing of incentive and performance agreement documentation and related real estate contracts

The company recently announced the location of their new U.S.-based production facility in Hart County, Georgia, which represents an anticipated investment of $54 million and the creation of 400 new jobs.

Consumer Products Company

We performed site selection, site acquisition and incentive negotiation services across two states (South Carolina and North Carolina) for a national retailer of women’s fashions. Our work included leading their acquisition of a 300+ acre tract in the Charlotte, North Carolina Metro area to be developed into a mixed-use, high-end business park inclusive of a new, fully-automated distribution center. Accomplishments in assisting this particular client include:

  • Successful acquisition of land at a cost well below market value and negotiation of a Fee-in-Lieu of Tax agreement, thereby significantly reducing their property tax liability
  • Identification and acquisition of additional industrial properties for a potential expansion within York County, South Carolina. We continue to assist with due diligence items pertaining to site suitability in this regard
  • Continuing to be retained to perform additional site-related work and associated counsel

This project represents an initial capital investment of $40+ million and the creation of 130 new jobs.

Renewable Energy Company

This renewable energy company is quickly becoming a national leader in creating small, efficient solar power plants that major utilities can economically leverage to help provide sustainable, secure energy to people across the nation. This company specializes in utility-scale, ground-mounted solar plants.

Renewable Energy Company launched its first solar power operation in South Carolina at two locations in Lexington County. The company’s first two projects will ultimately produce 20 megawatts of electricity at full capacity, enough to power 4,000 homes. Subsequent to our work with Anonymous Renewable Energy Company in Lexington County, we have helped them secure incentives for 15 projects throughout South Carolina. Our engagement with this client consists of negotiating and documenting incentives, including the following:

  • Negotiated property tax abatements for more than 20 utility-scale solar farm projects in ten counties
  • Negotiated state grants and performance agreements
  • Demonstrated value of projects and incentives to all client stakeholders and incentive-authorizing organizations
  • Coordinated timing and approval process for incentives
  • Through our legal affiliate, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, ensured correct application of agreed upon incentives through legal documentation of deal terms
  • Coordinated public announcement of project upon formal approval of incentives

Renewable Energy Company’s solar power projects will produce more than 200 megawatts of electricity at full capacity, enough to power more than 40,000 homes.

Tier 1 Automotive Supplier

Headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany, this tier 1 automotive supplier is a leading global supplier of driveline, chassis and safety technologies. The company currently employs more than 2,000 people at its Laurens County, South Carolina operation, which has an annual capacity of 1.2 million transmissions, including an eight-speed version and the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission. The company’s Gray Court facility recently bought a 150,000 square-foot building in Owings Industrial Park, a $22.5 million investment with plans to create 545 new jobs over the next five years.

ZF Transmissions needed to acquire control of its preferred site for this new North American manufacturing facility quickly while minimizing costs. Our fully integrated site selection approach helped ZF move from inception to operation at a record pace. Our results included:

  • Maximized state and local incentives to reduce both short and long-term development and operating costs
  • Secured ideal North American site in a community with superior infrastructure and workforce
  • Reduced initial investment costs through up-front cash grants and bond proceeds
  • Secured control of site and obtained infrastructure improvements on time and within budget
  • Significantly lowered projected tax burden over a 30-year period

“ZF approached Parker Poe at a critical point in our U.S. site selection process. They quickly helped us gain control of the site and negotiate state and local incentives, giving us the confidence we needed to move forward. The expansion was ultimately completed on time and within budget.”

—President and CEO

Services

Through our proven, value-added approach to site selection, we evaluate all qualitative and quantitative characteristics for each identified candidate location. We minimize risk, identify opportunities and work efficiently within our client’s timeframe to ensure informed decisions are made leading to successful site locations.

We routinely deliver the following types of value-add services through our site selection process.

Deliverables

Accessibility and Logistics Comparisons

One of the biggest determinants of a company’s ability to thrive in one location versus another is the location’s accessibility and logistics infrastructure. During Phase II of our site selection process, we investigate and analyze each candidate location’s logistical advantages and disadvantages. Our process includes the identification of:

  • Key suppliers, customers and competitors
  • Major intermodal hubs
  • 3PL providers
  • Proximity to rail and port facilities
  • GIS visualization of client specific transportation criteria

Cost of Doing Business Analysis

We do more than compile and provide tax rates. We estimate the impact of the various business costs imposed by the candidate locations and provide an apples-to-apples comparison of all candidate sites. Our cost of doing business research uncovers such items as:

  • Corporate income and/or gross receipts taxes
  • Property taxes
  • Sales, use and excise taxes
  • Occupational taxes
  • Building permitting fees and license fees
  • Environmental impact fees
  • Site/building acquisition cost
  • Labor costs
  • Utility costs and various impact fees

Incentives Negotiation

We have extensive experience negotiating state and local incentives and have a proven ability to secure meaningful discretionary and statutory incentives on behalf of our clients. We also provide support during the application process and offer post-location incentive compliance and monitoring services. We are frequently involved with the following types of incentives:

  • Property tax abatements
  • Various Payment-in-Lieu of tax agreements
  • Closing Fund grants
  • Job creation grants
  • Utility grants, rebates and discounts
  • Site improvement cost mitigation
  • Income tax credits
  • Sales tax exemptions
  • Workforce training programs
  • Lease / tenant contracts
  • Expedited permitting
  • Other incentives

Labor Availability Evaluations

We are experts at evaluating a candidate location’s labor market to determine if our client’s workforce needs can be met. We analyze an area’s workforce by:

  • Utilizing publicly and privately available data to characterize a location’s workforce availability, skill set, educational attainment, productivity, reliability, turnover, competition, laws and regulations, as well as pipeline of new workers.
  • Arranging existing industry interviews with companies having similar workforce needs during preferred candidate site visits with our client.
  • Meeting with governmental workforce agencies to fully understand a region’s workforce strengths, weaknesses and available training programs.

Quality of Life Analysis

Measuring quality of life is a highly subjective task and one which often results in biased results. We provide impartial, third-party, objective analyses of each candidate location’s quality of life attributes. Our quality of life research identifies the following attributes of a location:

  • Educational resources and assets
  • Crime statistics
  • Cost of living measures
  • Outdoor recreation and amenities
  • Artistic and cultural amenities
  • Climate patterns and extremities

Capabilities

In addition to our 35+ years of combined experience, we have access to private site selection tools and resources that we regularly implement during the site selection process. Our experience along with high-level, trusted relationships within the economic development community, allows us to better serve our clients and achieve meaningful and significant results.

In the last five years alone, Parker Poe Consulting, along with Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, has represented corporate site selection projects that have announced plans to invest nearly $2 billion in capital and create more than 6,500 new jobs.

Areas of Focus

Experienced Negotiators

Perhaps our most notable attribute is that we have spent the majority of our careers working with state, regional and local economic development organizations (EDOs). Our experience working for EDOs gives us a competitive advantage when negotiating site location incentives. We have essential knowledge of the current incentive programs that are available and we develop creative negotiation strategies that maximize incentive offerings. Throughout the incentive negotiation process, we assist our clients with:

  • Solicitation of incentives
  • Valuation of incentive offerings (cost vs. benefit, net present value, etc.)
  • Application process for incentives
  • Handling of post incentive compliance and auditing inquiries
  • Ensuring full utilization of all incentive programs

Global Imaging Systems (GIS)

We utilize Global Imaging Systems (GIS) to provide visual representation of candidate locations. We also use these same GIS resources as an analytical tool to assess locations based on a wide variety of criteria. With these resources, we are able to map:

  • Workforce
  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Competitors
  • Logistics infrastructure (i.e. airports, sea ports, interstates, rail, etc.)
  • Quality of life characteristics

Private Resources

At Parker Poe and Parker Poe Consulting, we have access to proprietary resources that enhance the quality of our deliverables. These private resources and associated data allow us to extensively research client-defined candidate areas and provide a much more robust assessment of current business conditions. Using these private resources, we are able to identify:

  • Workforce supply, pipeline, cost, availability and unionization
  • Demographic and socioeconomic composition
  • Economic conditions
  • Educational attainment
  • Existing industry composition
  • Existing corporate citizens

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