Keynote speaker Mark Sweeney, a corporate site selection consultant, served a dose of hard reality and a wake-up call with his audience’s morning coffee at “Rethinking Westchester: A Blueprint for Smart Growth,” the recent conference on economic development.
With fewer companies undertaking relocation projects since the
recession, it’s more competitive than ever, according to Sweeney, senior
principal at McCallum Sweeney Consulting in Greenville, S.C. “There are
fewer projects and there are more sophisticated locations competing for
them,” he told about 200 attendees at the daylong conference in
Tarrytown sponsored by the Westchester County Association and its
Blueprint for Westchester economic development arm.
Sweeney represents companies in diverse industries in their selection
of manufacturing, distribution and office headquarters locations. His
firm advised Tronox Ltd., a global chemical company, in the 2012
relocation of its corporate headquarters to Stamford, Conn. – Tronox
chose Connecticut and its loan forgiveness and job creation incentives
over Manhattan and London. His clients typically do not inquire about
the office parks and downtown office towers of Westchester.
“Westchester County does not have much of a presence, quite frankly,
in the site location business,” he said. “Unfortunately, Westchester
right now is not in the mix of where people want to go.” More here.