Cary is a top U.S. city to attract corporate headquarters, report says

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Disappearing are the days when a company is based out of one large corporate headquarters building downtown.  Instead, according to site selection expert John Boyd, Jr., principal of The Boyd Company, companies are now moving to a hub-and-spoke model with many of their corporate employees working remotely or working from home.

These factors, among others, are changing the world of economic development, and a new analysis by The Boyd Company that was shared with WRAL TechWire finds that there are two markets in North Carolina primed to become attractive locations for companies seeking to establish a new headquarters location: Cary and Kannapolis.

The study, which reflects post-pandemic, remote working corporate relocation trends, analyzed “all major geographically-variable cost factors critical to site selection.”

That includes a region’s labor market, real estate markets, construction industry, utilities, taxes, and travel availability.

The Boyd Company’s analysis identified the top 15 markets primed to attract companies to set up their corporate headquarters.


“We certainly see communities like Cary emerging as top candidates for corporate head office operations,” Boyd told WRAL TechWire.  That’s due to the industrial development that’s occurring in the corridor between the Triangle and the Triad, with investments from VinFastWolfspeedBoom Supersonic, and others, noted Boyd.

That could just mean that Cary will be seen as a top prospect for corporate headquarters, said Boyd.

Earlier this year, Michael Haley, the executive director of Wake County Economic Development, told an audience that the region’s next stage of growth will include investment from companies in not just opening up operations in the Triangle, but in moving or establishing a headquarters office.

One trend that’s emerged is that a company will construct a facility for manufacturing operations, only to follow it up with bringing its headquarters to the region, said Boyd.

“All of the major success in attracting advanced manufacturing,” said Boyd.  “We expect that to lead to more demand for office space.”

Austin, for example, saw Tesla select the region for a gigafactory, only to then also select the city for its corporate offices.  In Nashville, Nissan and Bridgestone Tire brought production facilities to the state, then later chose Nashville for headquarters locations.

“We see this transformation occurring in a Cary,” said Boyd.  “The corporate headquarters is the ‘holy grail’ of economic development given the prestige, branding value, philanthropy and salaries associated with these projects.”

And with Raleigh-Durham International Airport continuing to expand operations, including greater connectivity and direct flights to Europe, that’s another positive when it comes to attracting corporate headquarters, Boyd noted.


The analysis identified the top 15 cities where this “new normal” of site selection could occur.

According to the analysis, the top 15 locations “all have in common highly favorable tax structures, both at the corporate and personal level.”

That’s in part because companies are facing challenges on managing costs.

“Many companies are concluding that improving the bottom line on the cost side of the ledger will be far easier than on the revenue side coming out of the pandemic in 2022,” the report notes.

Boyd told WRAL TechWire that even a seemingly small increase – or decrease – in annual operating costs as the result of choosing one site ahead of others could impact companies in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Of the sites analyzed, Cary ranked seventh, and Kannapolis sixth, on this metric, according to the report.

“Both Cary and Kannapolis have exciting projects in the pipeline,” said Boyd.  “Both areas under enormous demand.”


The cities, listed alphabetically by state, that ranked among the top 15:

  • Lake Nona, Florida
  • Punta Gorda, Florida
  • St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Westlake, Florida
  • Minden, Nevada
  • Cary, North Carolina
  • Kannapolis, North Carolina
  • Blue Ash, Ohio
  • Dublin, Ohio
  • Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
  • Leander, Texas
  • Plano, Texas
  • Round Rock, Texas
  • Woodlands, Texas
  • Bellevue, Washington

According to Boyd, the top ranked city in the western United States was Minden, Nevada, a potential site that Twitter may consider if it were to move headquarters out of San Francisco, he noted.

The top ranked city in the central United States was Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, with the top ranked city in the eastern United States was Punta Gorda, Florida.  The Boyd Company did not order-rank the remaining cities of the top 15 locations that emerged in their analysis.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire