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Nov. 30, 2011

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  Economic Review  
Jeff Edwards President's Message
Utah #1 (Again) for Business, and Other Good News

What an exciting week we have just experienced. In the midst of the Thanksgiving holiday Forbes announced that Utah is, again, the Best State for Business. It is thrilling to see the natural recognition of the significant work by Utah's business, government, education and civic leaders, whose vision and leadership have made the state a business-friendly, economic powerhouse. Please see our Newslinks section in the right column of this newsletter for media coverage of the Forbes ranking.

Also of note, we just celebrated the opening of a world class museum on the foothills of Salt Lake City. The Utah Natural History Museum of Utah is a work of art -- in terms of both its architecture and its exhibits. Consequently, it is receiving some fantastic press coverage. I strongly encourage you to visit the museum as soon as possible. See our Newslinks section for media coverage.

A Hexcel worker on the new carbon fibre line. Lastly, I want to share with you an event I had the pleasure to be a part of several weeks ago. Hexcel held a dedication ceremony at its manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City to commission two new carbon fiber production lines. The production lines are part of an on-going expansion at Hexcel's Utah site, where the company also manufactures carbon fiber/epoxy composite materials known as prepreg. The new carbon fiber lines are part of an on-going multi-million dollar capacity expansion that will initially add up to 50 new jobs and by 2015 could add several hundred more new positions. In addition, the on-going construction will continue to provide employment to numerous contractors and many local firms.

Hexcel's carbon fiber and prepregs are used predominantly by the aerospace industry to manufacture commercial and military airframe and engine structures, helicopters, and satellites. The capacity expansion at Hexcel is necessary to keep up with the increasing demand for carbon fiber composites on new and growing aircraft platforms such as the Airbus A350 XWB, A380, and A320 as well as the Boeing 747-8, 777, 737, and 787. Hexcel is a significant player in Utah's robust advanced composites industry and we are thrilled to see the company expand its operations here.

Today's Economic Review also includes links to many of the ED-related news stories from the past week. As always, if you have comments, suggestions or topics you'd like to see in the Economic Review, please contact us by clicking the "Comments" link on the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards
President and CEO

Feature Story
EDCUtah's SURE Sites Program Receives a Facelift; Now a More Powerful Site Analysis Tool

Did you know Utah has 36 Office/Tech/R&D parks of 100 acres or more within 10 miles of the Salt Lake International Airport, or that there are 10 heavy industrial sites of 100,000 square feet or more that are located within 10 miles of the interstate highway? Such information is just a smattering of the data now only a few mouse clicks away via EDCUtah's new, improved Utah SURE Sites online database.

The Utah SURE (Select Utah Real Estate) Sites program -- a powerful site analysis tool featuring industrial and office buildings and land sites designed to meet the needs of relocating and expanding businesses -- just received a facelift. It's now more user-friendly, more intuitive, and returns search data faster, says Sherrie Martell, EDCUtah program manager.

"We wanted the program to provide instant information," she explains. "The program was too big and bulky before, so we took out all of the extraneous items and made it easier for real estate brokers and economic developers to add their sites and update them. We also made it easier and quicker for site selectors to see what properties are available without being inundated with information."

Increased Speed
Speed and functionality were the major motivations behind the SURE Sites facelift. Martell says the site was completely recoded and the Google API was removed. Now the program caches the property location information on the server, so search results come back much faster -- "as quickly as you would expect to get results."

Users can search the database by the following property types:

  • Land
    • Data Center
    • Heavy Industrial
    • Light Industrial
    • Mixed Use
    • Office/Tech/R&D Park
    • Renewable Energy
    • Retail
  • Existing Industrial Building
    • Light Manufacturing
    • Heavy Manufacturing
    • Warehouse/Distribution
    • Medical/Pharmaceutical
    • Food
    • Clean Room
  • Existing Office Building
    • Office
    • Call Center
    • Data Center
  • Retail/Commercial
    • Commercial Free Standing
    • Commercial Shopping Center

Filters allow for more granular searches according to min/max square feet or acres, and by min/max proximity to the airport, the interstate, or rail access. Furthermore, Martell says users can simply pull up a map of Utah, draw a box in a specific area of the state, and the database will plot all of the available properties within that specific area. Next, users can click on one of the properties and the database will pull up the MLS sheet with pictures and real estate data for that property. Approximately 80 properties in the SURE Sites database are rural. The remaining 186 properties are located along the Wasatch Front.

The SURE Sites facelift also incorporated functionality to align it with Governor Gary R. Herbert's economic cluster initiative, so users can have a more granular look at properties within those specific industry clusters. Martell says a retail/commercial component was also added to the database, to assist some of the rural or smaller areas of the state that may want to attract retail development. No password is required, so site selectors, corporate real estate executives and other interested parties have free access to the information.

Bigger Than Ever
The SURE Sites database is bigger than it has ever been -- with 266 of the best site location opportunities in Utah, along with critical information necessary to make sound real estate decisions -- and continues to be an integral part of EDCUtah's economic development effort. In fact, SURE Sites is used often to vet sites for projects that require real estate. Martell says some of the SURE Sites involved in project wins within the past 18 months have included the Business Depot in Ogden, the Industrial Depot in Tooele, the Prologis Building in Clearfield, Fort Pierce Industrial Park in St. George, the Windfalls Business Center in Hurricane, and Port 15 in Cedar City.

The original SURE Sites program was launched in 2006 with the help of the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) and PacifiCorp.

"Our SURE Sites program is another example of the significant collaboration between the public and private sectors, which help make economic development so productive in Utah," says EDCUtah President & CEO Jeff Edwards, "and puts Utah a step ahead of the competition in terms of information availability and site screening."

Calendar

Dec. 14
Save the Date! EDCUtah Annual Holiday Open House (EDCUtah Office)

Feb. 15, 2012
Utah Energy Development Summit (Salt Palace)

Feb. 21-24, 2012
Technology Venture Development Executive Education Seminar (University of Utah)

Oct. 16-19, 2012
Technology Venture Development Executive Education Seminar (University of Utah)

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The EDCUtah Economic Review is a weekly publication of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. It is distributed to EDCUtah partners and selected other government and civic organizations interested in Utah's economic development.

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Please join us for EDCUtah's Holiday Open House
We cordially invite you to join us for EDCUtah's Holiday Open House

Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 4-6 p.m., 201 S. Main, Suite 2150, Salt Lake City

Please RSVP to eburt@edcutah.org by December 9, 2011


In the News

Utah ranked No. 1 for business again
For the second year in a row, Utah is Forbes' No. 1 state for business and careers. The business magazine chose Utah in part because of its economic consistency.
(KSL) (Forbes) (Salt Lake Tribune) (Deseret News) (Fox 13) (Daily Herald) (Standard-Examiner)

Utah: Garnering Attention for Pro-Business Reputation
Utah has been basking in the glow of accolades from several studies spotlighting its business-friendly environment.
(Area Development Online)

Utah's new museum of natural history engages the senses: Rotting flesh and bird songs
Museum-goers are taking in the sounds, smell and feel of ancient life and landscapes at a new $100 million building in Salt Lake City.
(Washington Post) (San Francisco Chronicle) (Deseret News) (Salt Lake Tribune)

State budget projections up by about $400M
After years of austerity and budget slashing, Utah lawmakers will have several hundred million dollars to spend this year.
(Salt Lake Tribune) (Deseret News) (Daily Herald)

High-speed rail from Salt Lake to Vegas: long shot or good bet?
Heard of bullet bikes setting speed records on the salt flats? How about racing to Sin City -- on the rails -- aboard a Crazy-Fast Train?
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Salt Lake City Council considers moving forward with $15M design of Utah Performing Arts Center
Mayor Ralph Becker wants to spend $15 million now to begin designing the Utah Performing Arts Center, saying historically low interest rates and a favorable construction climate will save the city money in the long run.
(Deseret News)

Syringa Networks Signs Dark Fiber Deal
Syringa Networks, a regional provider of high-speed fiber optic services, has signed a dark fiber deal with C7 Data Centers in Utah. C7 is a privately held Utah company with independent colocation data centers in Salt Lake City, Bluffdale, and Lindon.
(Utah Business Magazine)

Clearfield-based Lifetime Products branches out
A local company that started out making portable basketball standards in a garage 25 years ago has become the largest manufacturer of blow-molded polyethylene products used in everything from folding picnic tables to kayaks and trailers.
(Standard-Examiner)

Choral group books 2015 conference in Salt Lake City
The American Choral Directors Association has announced its 2015 biennial conference will be coming to Salt Lake City. The conference is expected to attract 10,000 visitors...
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Daggett commissions eye economic development in Dutch John
The local guides here will tell you that the fishing is some of the best in the world. The same can't be said for the economic opportunities. The financial future for this town with 175 year-round residents is relatively bleak as well.
(Deseret News)

Overstock Celebrates Six Consecutive Years in the Top Ten for Customer Service
Overstock.com Inc. today announced that The National Retail Federation and American Express have named Overstock as one of the top ten retailers in the country for the sixth year in a row.
(Utah Pulse)

Utah among highest home-ownership rates in the country
Utah has one of the highest home-ownership rates in the country, but more people carry mortgages on those homes than the national average.
(Deseret News)