Sunday, July 14, 2013

County not in sights of site selectors

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.

Mark SweeneyWith 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.

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