Lack of Available Space in the Charlotte Metro Area
Who you missed: Ronnie L. Bryant, CEcD, FM, HLM is President & CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership. Mr. Bryant leads the team that promotes the 16-county Charlotte USA region throughout the world as a premier location for businesses considering expansion or relocation. Mr. Bryant has more than 20 years of technical, managerial and economic development expertise, and a proven track record of establishing and implementing successful economic development programs. He specializes in existing industry expansion and retention, with a strong emphasis on regionalism and marketing
What you missed: Evolution of Economic Development in Charlotte: Mr. Bryant discussed three key elements that need to be on everyone’s radar screen as we consider economic development:
Structure: When considering the delivery of economic development services in our region, what has changed and what should we be doing differently to continually challenge ourselves to raise the bar and break down barriers?
Focus: We have to be laser focused, because our competition is. We need to understand how to meet the needs of existing businesses; the resources that are necessary to recruit new businesses; and how we can encourage entrepreneurs to choose the Charlotte region to implement their new ideas.
- Space: Everything in economic development has a real estate component. In today’s competitive market, timelines for providing space with proper square footage, zoning, infrastructure, etc. is very tight. We need to have options for real estate that already meet the needs of potential businesses in order to be competitive with other regions.
If we can continue to understand these three principals and get them right, the Charlotte region will continue to attract the economic development we need to sustain our community and remain competitive for the long haul.
Why: Executing economic development as a single jurisdictional unit by itself is a setup for failure. By combining the resources of the various jurisdictions within the 12 North Carolina and 4 South Carolina counties that comprise the Charlotte region, we can gain an advantage in competing against other regions. The next evolution of economic development for Charlotte will be the creation of a Piedmont – Atlantic mega region, combining the resources of the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and parts of Alabama. This will allow the southeast to compete with the northeast and northwest where mega regions have already been formed to pool resources in attracting new business to larger regional footprints. We can no longer see Atlanta as our competition.
Critical to the evolution of economic development is understanding the role that the evolution of the real estate landscape plays in supporting business development and retention. Mr. Bryant believes that the Charlotte region’s best years are ahead if we do not become complacent, but instead work together to ensure that the resources, including space in the form of appropriate real estate opportunities, are available as recruitment tools for attracting new investment in our region.