I didn't agree with all the hand-wringing back in 2011 when Chiquita was talking about moving its global headquarters from Cincinnati to Charlotte. Charlotte ended up giving Chiquita over $22 million in state and city incentives to relocate. As part of the deal Chiquita was supposed to create an additional 417 jobs averaging $107K each. Chiquita at the time scoffed at Cincinnati's offer of $6 million with the CEO of Chiquita Fernando Aquirra saying "With all due respect, the city did very, very, very little,"
Turns out Chiquita actually did Cincinnati a favor by moving.
Fast forward three years and Chiquita has announced that they are moving their world headquarters to Ireland.
Charlotte and North Carolina have to decide whether they’ll request their incentive money back. The process is complicated by local government policies and by the fruit company’s merger with a foreign company.
It got me thinking, instead of offering companies money to relocate to, or stay in Cincinnati the city should offer infrastructure improvements as incentives. Something a business couldn't take with them when they leave. And if that isn't good enough, maybe Cincinnati doesn't need their business as much as they need Cincinnati?
What started this was our trip to Portland. In the early 2000's the Oregon Health & Science University had become land locked on top of a hill with residential neighborhoods to the west and a steep hill and a neighborhood and expressways to the east. OHSU began purchasing property outside the city of Portland in Hillsboro, OR and was preparing to relocate. Portland got creative and instead of offering OHSU monetary incentives to stay city leaders proposed building a tram to extend the OHSU campus down to the waterfront. OHSU agreed and is now connected to what was at one time a shipyard but is quickly becoming one of Portland's hottest neighborhoods to live.
I wish Cincinnati could be this creative.
Heads would explode in Cincinnati if anyone suggested something like this.
There is one street going into it as its landlocked by a river and expressway.