North Carolina wins 350-job manufacturing plant linked to EV industry

A Japanese company that makes pouches for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles has selected Davidson County to invest $233 million in its first U.S. advanced manufacturing facility, a project slated to create 352 jobs.

Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd expects to set up shop in the city of Linwood. The state estimates the investment will include $3 million in real property acquisition, $65.4 million in real property construction and/or improvements and $164.6 million in tangible personal property. Triangle Business News

North Carolina goes all in on EV batteries. Will it pay off or flop?

Recruiters called it Project Puma: a Japanese company considering North Carolina to locate a 350-job subsidiary to produce lithium-ion battery pouches for use in electric vehicles.

The project – revealed this week as Dai Nippon Printing’s proposed factory in Davidson County – is one in a growing number of battery plants the state has won in recent months on the heels of Toyota (NYSE: TM) in late 2021 announcing plans for a huge plant that will make EV batteries outside Greensboro. Triangle Business Journal

Dominion Energy’s $400M natural gas facility wins approval in Person County despite protests

The Person County Board of Commissioners has cleared the way for a $400 million natural gas project to move forward. But the vote came after a tense two-hour discussion where opponents of the plan had to be escorted out of the venue.

Dominion Energy North Carolina, a subsidiary of Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE: D), had asked Person County to rezone more than 485 acres off 6401 Helena Moriah Road from rural to general industrial use to allow for the Moriah Energy Center, a liquified natural gas (LNG) storage facility. Triangle Business Journal

Faster rail service between Raleigh, Richmond gets $1B infusion

A new passenger rail route between Raleigh and Richmond has secured a $1 billion grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The grant, announced Tuesday by the office of U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, will fund a route expected to better connect North Carolina with Virginia, Washington D.C., and the Northeast Corridor.

The route is planned to along the CSX Transportation “S-Line” and is part of an effort to make passenger rail more resilient in the Southeast. Joe Milazzo, CEO of the Regional Transportation Alliance, a business coalition out of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, called the planned railway “transformational” and something the Triangle business community has consistently supported. Triangle Business Journal

Boeing receives $2.3B Air Force contract for tanker aircraft

Arlington County-based Boeing has received a $2.3 billion contract to build 15 more KC-46A Pegasus tankers for the Air Force.

The Pentagon announced the award for production lot 10 of the tankers Tuesday. Boeing has 153 of the aerial refuelers under contract globally and has delivered 76 to the Air Force and two to Japan, Boeing said in a news release. Virginia Business

Timmons tops off $50M HQ in Chesterfield County

Engineering and design firm Timmons Group topped off the last steel beam of its new, $50 million headquarters Friday at Chesterfield County’s Springline at District 60 mixed-use development.

The five-story, 150,000-square-foot building is part of the $210 million, 42-acre first phase of the county’s Springline at District 60 development, located on Midlothian Turnpike off Chippenham Parkway. Chesterfield County cleared the way for development in March by starting demolition on the former Best Products building in what was the Spring Rock Green shopping center. Virginia Business

Waterfall of projects, major investment slated for Hutto, Texas Megasite

For years, information regarding efforts to build out Hutto’s Megasite — a 1,400-acre assemblage of land along what many economic development experts consider the most-desirable stretch of highway in the country — has trickled through. But over the coming weeks and months, it’s poised to be more of a waterfall.

The land along U.S. Route 79, some of it owned by the city, has historically caught the attention of huge companies, from Tesla Inc. nearly a decade ago to Applied Materials Inc. more recently. While Tesla picked Nevada instead of Central Texas for the project it was scoping out at the time — it later put a factory and its headquarters in the Austin area — and the Applied Materials project has yet to materialize, other companies are preparing to start pouring billions of dollars into the area.

City officials last week approved a pair of purchase-and-sale agreements for more than 150 acres in the megasite for “Project Flex” and “Project Sequel,” after approving another agreement earlier this year. And another agreement could get Hutto’s blessing later this month. Austin Business Journal

Humanity’s Future or an Unwelcome Interloper: SpaceX’s Starbase Transforms a Corner of Texas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas—Elon Musk’s space company is blasting off the world’s most powerful rockets in this corner of Texas—and remaking it along the way.

Supporters say SpaceX’s Starbase represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the course of Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley, which has long struggled with poverty.

Others say Starbase is damaging the environment and hindering their usual ways of life, including easy visits to Boca Chica Beach.

Pretty much everyone agrees on one thing: Starbase is disruptive.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, has said the company employed more than 1,800 people at Starbase, jobs that supported thousands of others, and that it was proud to be an active part of the community. It didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“There are certain things that happen in a community that are considered generational or transformational. This is definitely one of them,” said Eddie Treviño Jr., the top elected official for Cameron County, which hosts Starbase.

Starbase exists so SpaceX can manufacture and launch Starships, vehicles that underpin the company’s future and Musk’s plan to send people to Mars. The Wall Street Journal

The Great Migration brought thousands to Texas — here’s where they came from

The pandemic sparked a Great Migration that put millions of Americans — and considerable wealth — on the move, and Texas had the second-highest amount of new citizens calling the Lone Star state home.

New data from the American Community Survey shows Texas added just over 668,000 new residents with a net migration over 174,000.

Texas added the most new residents from California (102,442), while it lost the most residents (42,279) to the Golden State. Texans also moved to Florida in droves, with over 38,000 residents moving to the southwest.

Austin has long been a popular destination for Bay Area companies and their employees. But the city became especially hot during the pandemic, scoring some big wins at the Bay Area’s expense. Both Tesla Inc. and Oracle Corp. moved their headquarters to the Texas capital in recent years, following a stampede of California tech workers to the region, making Austin the nation’s 10th largest city today.

And while California is the state that funnels more people here than any other, the vast majority of new Central Texans come from other parts of Texas. Austin Business Journal