Internal emails show RVA beat Charlotte for CoStar Group’s 700 jobs because of discriminatory law
While there had been rumors that about 700 jobs were coming to RVA because of NC’s HB 2, new documents FOIA’d by the The Charlotte Observer show the city and the real estate company fought over the discriminatory law.
“It is my understanding that we lost the project. I have selected the following reason for this status change: Local issues,” wrote Garrett Wyckoff, senior manager of business recruitment for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, in an email obtained by CO. He cited “Spring 2016 Legislation” as the reason, for changing the project to “closed lost” in late October.
Charlotte, which has become a tech-hub over the last few years, was leading the the pack for the new office building’s bid, but Think Progress reported CoStar’s commercial real estate broker, David Dorsch, said the reason they bailed on that plan was because of HB2 shortly after the RVA win was announced:
CoStar Group was itself, a bit mum, simply confirming the jobs were going to Richmond — and no expansions were planned anywhere else. But Dorsch was adamant that the jobs were another casualty of the discriminatory law. “The best thing we can do as citizens in North Carolina is to show up on Nov. 8 and think about which party is costing us jobs and which one is not.”
A Washington Post story was a bit more vague on the decision saying Charlotte lost because of RVA’s “higher education system, lower cost of living and a package of state and local incentives” all offered a sweeter deal for the tech firm which plans to higher young grads from VCU to fill coding and development jobs.
But shortly after the bid was announced Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe took to WTOP in his weekly address and said HB2 was “crippling” to NC’s economy and believed it played a role in the tech firm’s decision.
He used the opportunity to remind folks that he vetoed a “religious freedoms” bill which made it to his desk and had he or another Democrat not been in place, we could be facing the same criticism.
“We have a big governor’s race next year,” he said. “Now, if you have a Republican governor, they will sign those bills and it will be crippling to the Virginia economy.”
The McAuliffe administration offered $4 million from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund, plus another $732,000 in workforce training dollars to entice Costar to RVA. The city of Richmond kicked in another $4 million in incentives and the company plans to rent out a 125,000-square-foot lease which will be the largest of the year for the city.
NC’s HB2, which forces transgender people to use the bathroom aligned with their birth certificate, not their gender identity, was hastily signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory earlier this year and has cost the state jobs from companies like PayPal and Deutsche Bank. Both the NCAA and the NBA have pulled games out of the state citing the law as the reason.
“Moderate” GOP Gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie thinks Virginia needs an HB2-style bathroom bill
The Amherst County GOP Dinner this past weekend played host to the state’s three GOP gubernatorial candidates and while scientifically inaccurate answers could be expected from the two trailing candidates, the leading “moderate,” Ed Gillespie, shared a similarly base-less scare tactic against the trans community. “This isn’t about bathrooms alone,” Gillespie (top image) said in [...]April 3, 2017
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