EDITORIAL: Can Greensboro run supersonic?

Let’s not delve into the fact that the Raleigh News & Observer won the Greensboro News & Record in its own backyard in a great coup of economic development in a sexy high-dollar industry with breakthrough technology.

Nobody cares about shovels anyway.

Instead, check out the news: Boom Supersonic, Colorado-based aircraft manufacturer is considering Greensboro for a facility to manufacture its supersonic passenger aircraft – an upgrade of the old Concorde model called Overture – that can be twice as fast as traditional commercial aircraft. Negotiations are so advanced that the General Assembly passed bill granting US $ 175 million and 1,000 acres at Piedmont Triad International Airport. The company is expected to invest $ 500 million when the deal goes through and create about 1,750 good jobs. We’ll know before spring.

Add this on top of the new deal with the megasite Greensboro-Randolph County, a 1,800 acre property near the freeway and railroad lines that has been prepared, tiered, and ready for a major production tenant for nearly a decade. This is a billion dollar deal with a Toyota auto battery factory, and the paperwork has already been signed.

There is another manufacturing facility in Greensboro on South Elm-Eugene Street, adjacent to the Triad City Beat offices: The Steelhouse, a 75,000 square foot manufacturing facility that spans 5 acres. It is part of a Piedmont Triad Regional Council plan that includes seven interconnected projects in our counties. The PTR plan has already been named a finalist in the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, an initiative by the US Economic Development Association that could be worth $ 100 million.

Capital investment is the starting point of all growth, and our small part of the state has been waiting for such dollars since furniture and textiles went away more than 20 years ago.

One difference between then and now, however, is that these companies have paid income taxes that will go to zero by the time these projects go live. Nowadays we pay companies to come here.

As mentioned earlier, the state will raise $ 175 million to get supersonic, which may not even include county and city incentives. In the state budget, 300 million US dollars are earmarked for the megasite. So we’d be nearly half a billion in the red before the tide starts to rise.

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