Mercedes-Benz investing $1 billion in electric SUV expansion in Tuscaloosa

Mercedes-Benz is spending $1 billion at its Tuscaloosa manufacturing plant, making SUVs for the company’s EQ electric brand. The company is expected to hire another 600 people as part of a sweeping number of moves situated in west Alabama. The projects were announced at a news conference at the plant, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its opening today. The project will also entail building a new one million square foot battery plant near the vehicle factory, making it the company’s fifth battery plant globally. Construction on it is expected to start next year, with production to begin around 2020.

See richest, poorest U.S. cities and counties based on new Census data

California has 11 of the 20 most-affluent cities in the nation, while Florida and Ohio each have four cities on the list of the 20 poorest cities, based on an analysis of 2016 median household income. The data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, the results of which were released this month. The release included numbers for the 599 U.S. municipalities and 806 counties with at least 65,000 residents. This post features rankings of cities and counties in various categories. But first are online databases that allow readers to see the median income and poverty numbers for any city or county included in the data release.

Why Amazon Needs Some Cities More Than They Need Amazon

When Inc. announced this month it was searching for a home for a second headquarters, it made it clear the winning city should expect to dole out big incentives. Mayors should think twice before writing a big check because the playing field between cities and companies has changed. As the U.S. economy has shifted from manufacturing to knowledge-intensive products, that has also altered where companies decide to locate. The Wall Street Journal

Mayor Reed on Amazon’s HQ2 derby: ‘I understand the moment’ Inc.’s $5 billion “HQ2” is an economic development Moby-Dick. And Atlanta’s Ahab — Mayor Kasim Reed — is on the chase. “I understand this moment,” Reed said following a press conference Wednesday. “The city of Atlanta is going to do everything that we can.” And what a moment it is. On Sept. 7, Seattle-based Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) said it is seeking sites in North America for a second headquarters, dubbed “HQ2.” The 8-million-square-foot headquarters would create 50,000 jobs over the next two decades. Atlanta Business Chronicle

Amazon’s HQ2 sends U.S. cities into recruiting overdrive. Here’s what’s in the works in Bham and around the nation

It seems everyone has an opinion on where Amazon should build its second headquarters. Speculation and handicapping have run amok since the Seattle-based company announced it was seeking bids to accommodate what it says will be a $5 billion, 50,000-employee campus with the potential to generate billions in economic benefits. Birmingham Business Journal

Transport consultant praises TN business environment, talks Amazon HQ

The Amazon HQ guessing game continues. John Haber, founder and CEO of Spend Management Experts — a transportation spend management consulting company — said when it comes to the question of where Amazon might put headquarters No. 2, Tennessee has a lot to offer. “Nashville and Memphis, they meet the criteria that Amazon is looking for,” Haber said. “The criteria is metropolitan areas with more than a million people; stable and business friendly environment — certainly business friendly environment with Tennessee from a tax standpoint with no state income taxes, no payroll taxes. They are looking for urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract people with strong technical capabilities in communities that sort of think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options. I think that both Nashville and Memphis fit that criteria. I think they are in the running and certainly under consideration.” Memphis Business Journal

Charles Schwab to house 2,600 employees with initial phase of Westlake, Texas campus

The initial phase of a massive North Texas campus for financial giant Charles Schwab & Co. (NYSE: SCHW) started Tuesday with an official groundbreaking ceremony. It will house 2,600 employees when finished in 2019, with enough room to accommodate 5,000 employees. The Westlake campus will become a major employment hub for Charles Schwab. “Texas is an important part of the Schwab family, and we’re glad to put another stake in the ground here,” said Founder Charles Schwab, at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We’re very optimistic about where we’re headed as a company and our future here in Texas.” Dallas Business Journal

It’s done: NTT Data takes down big space at former J.C. Penney campus in Plano, Texas

In what could be the biggest lease of the year, global IT giant Plano-based NTT Data Services (OTC: NTDTY) has signed a lease for 232,000 square feet in The Campus at Legacy West — bringing its Plano Parkway team closer towards its North American headquarters in Legacy West. The deal will relocate up to 1,000 NTT Data employees from its Plano Parkway campus to The Campus at Legacy West, which is also occupied by J.C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE: JCP). The move is expected to occur in phases through April 2018. Dallas Business Journal

Accenture to add 800 jobs in Atlanta, a “key market” for the Fortune 500 firm (Video)

Professional services giant Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) will double its office footprint in Midtown’s Technology Square and create 800 technology jobs by the end of 2020. “Atlanta is a key market for Accenture in terms of talent, clients and growth,” a spokeswoman said late Tuesday. The Fortune 500 company, which employs about 2,800 across several offices in metro Atlanta, provides management consulting, technology services and outsourcing. Atlanta is Accenture’s Southeast headquarters. Atlanta Business Chronicle