Amazon.com Inc. is abandoning its plans to build a new headquarters in New York City after the company faced stiff resistance from some local politicians who objected to giving one of the world’s most valuable companies billions of dollars in tax incentives. The company said in a blog post Thursday that its commitment to a new headquarters required supportive elected officials and collaboration. “While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,” the company said. The Wall Street Journal
Amazon is ditching its plans to build a new headquarters in New York after facing backlash from members of the community. “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” Jodi Seth, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in a statement. In the statement, Amazon noted that “a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.” CNN
North Texas is a hotbed for commercial airlines and military aerospace manufacturing. Two of the largest carriers in the country are headquartered locally, with Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) in Dallas and American Airlines Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) in Fort Worth. Also, the largest manufacturing facility in DFW is the Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) plant in Fort Worth where 16,400 people build the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. represents another aerospace and aviation sector in Dallas: Business jet manufacturing. The bulk of Gulfstream’s employees are in Savannah, Ga., where it employs 10,000 people. About 600 employees, however, perform service work and mid-cabin completions at the Dallas facility that sits next to Love Field Airport. Dallas Business Journal
Virgin Trains USA, currently operating as passenger rail service Brightline, is meeting with investors for its “road show” as it prepares to launch an initial public offering that could raise up to $619 million. The Miami-based company operates the Brightline train between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida. It later hopes to expand that service to Orlando, Tampa and the Treasure Coast (along Florida’s Atlantic coast) and then create similar regional passenger systems around the county. Some of the potential expansion targets are in Texas, including a Houston-to-Dallas route, where it would compete with Texas Central’s proposed Texas Bullet Train. Dallas Business Journal
A proposed $66-billion merger between BB&T and SunTrust Banks, which would put a new bank headquarters in Charlotte, turned heads last week as the largest U.S. bank merger since the financial crisis about a decade ago. The combination of Winston-Salem’s BB&T and Atlanta’s SunTrust would form the sixth-largest U.S. bank, holding approximately $442 billion in assets and $324 billion in deposits, both companies said in announcing their plans last Thursday. Industry experts largely expect regulators to approve the transaction this year. Charlotte Observer
Sasol said Wednesday that the first of the seven production facilities being developed near Lake Charles in an $11 billion project has achieved beneficial operations. The company said that means the linear low-density polyethylene unit sustained production of product at specifications for at least 72 hours. The unit is one of two polyethylene plants at the site. The second is scheduled to come online later this year. The remaining Lake Charles Chemicals Project manufacturing units are expected to reach beneficial operations throughout 2019 and early 2020, the company said. Baton Rouge Advocate
Ahead of its closing later this year, Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) put its Kansas City factory on the market for $26.5 million. The 507,729-square-foot plant is located at 11401 N. Congress Ave. in the Northland. It sits on 314 acres about five miles east of Kansas City International Airport. The list price includes a paint booth system that originally cost $30 million. Cushman & Wakefield’s Whitney Kerr Jr. is handling the sale for Harley and could not comment on the listing. The plant currently has a 600-person skilled workforce until May, and those people would like to keep working at the plant, according to a LinkedIn post. Kansas City Business Journal
LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. – Four Roses 130th Anniversary 2018 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon, released last September, has been named World’s Best Bourbon in the 2019 World Whiskies Awards. “The competition for the World Whiskies Awards is strong, so it’s a tremendous honor for our 130th Anniversary Limited Edition Small Batch to be recognized by the judging panel as the World’s Best Bourbon,” said Brent Elliott, Four Roses Master Distiller. “I wanted to create something special to celebrate 130 years of handcrafting premium Bourbon and I could not be happier with this bottling.” Lane Report
Back in my day, I put myself through college. If you rolled your eyes, you might be a millennial.
And there are a lot of millennials now. More than 74 million, according to the Pew Research Center. In fact, millennials, whose ages range from 23 to 38, now outnumber even the baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. Millennials do things a little differently from their parents and their spending patterns will have big implications for the American economy.
Valentine’s Day is a case in point, and love is the key to the holiday.
In 1965, the average American woman married at age 21. Today, that has risen to 29 and two-thirds of millennials aren’t yet married. The average age that a woman has her first child has risen to 28 from 25 in 1970. And the average age of a first-time home buyer in 2017 was 32, compared with the late 20s early this century.
U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December as receipts fell across the board, suggesting a sharp slowdown in economic activity at the end of 2018.
The shockingly weak report from the Commerce Department on Thursday led to growth estimates for the fourth-quarter being cut to below a 2.0 percent annualized rate.