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Old 04-12-2016, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Macon, GA
1,892 posts, read 3,873,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintmarks View Post
Yes, it is about 30 miles further to the heart of Chattanooga from downtown Atlanta than Atlanta to Macon. But that is not the only factor. One cannot forget that Atlanta has grown exponentially further north and Chattanooga is a much larger metro area than Macon with established suburbs extending well into NW Georgia. Cities with a good growth and manufacturing connect the burbs of the two, Dalton, Calhoun and Cartersville. Atlanta metro is seemless growth now between downtown and Cartersville.

Compare that with a drive south on 75. Suburban growth and density is only into Henry County and not anywhere on the scale it is going north thru Cobb and into Bartow. There is nothing in between Henry and Macon to compare to Dalton, Cartersville and Calhoun. Griffin and Jackson are off the interstate a good bit and aren't growing like their northern counterparts. Forsyth is the only town of size in between and while it is growing from some spillover from Macon, it is not experiencing anywhere the type of growth that northern suburbs of Atlanta are seeing.

Now if Warner Robins and Perry were north of Macon instead of south, it would be a different story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingImport View Post
^^^ This. There is quite a big gap between developed areas. The furthest south developed exit in the Atlanta area is Locust Grove exit 212 and Macon's northern suburb of Forsyth is developed up to exit 188. Between those exits, you've got a bunch of nothing (including a state park; High Falls)

I have to agree with these posts. The exact spot WanderingImport mentioned is a constant reminder for me of how close we AREN'T to Atlanta. Returning home to Macon from Downtown Atlanta or the Northside, I'll usually make a gas station or fast food run around the Mount Zion exit in Clayton just south of the Morrow/Southlake Mall exit with a mindset like, it's still a bit of a drive left, but not too much. I'll get back on I-75 south, drive a little, and then I'm passing through McDonough. Next, as you pass through Locust Grove, there's a sign that makes me cringe every time. Just as you get to Tanger Outlet, there's a sign that says you still have 54 or so miles left to Macon. It gets me each time, and it suddenly hits me , "Oh boy, still a ways to go" and it doesn't help that it's pretty much nothing from the time you see that sign until you get to Forsyth.

As Saintmarks said, the other towns between Atlanta and Macon like Jackson, Griffin, Barnesville, maybe toss in Monticello and Thomaston are a bit off 75. They also arent growing at the rate of Atlanta's northern burbs. It is a very interesting area to me though. These towns offer a "small town feel" while still being just close enough to be short drives away from both Macon and Atlanta. Is there any chance that the demand for a "small town vibe but still close to Atlanta" causes people to flock to these towns, in turn causing them to become totally different beast than what initially made them desirable?

I have a buddy originally from rural Alabama and another originally from Augusta, both in DeKalb, who are looking for that. The buddy from Alabama said he's been looking into Covington. I wonder if more people feel this way and maybe potentially start looking into Jackson, Barnesvillle, etc. or is that too far out?
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Old 04-12-2016, 02:13 AM
 
5,459 posts, read 4,947,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Soul Bro View Post
I have to agree with these posts. The exact spot WanderingImport mentioned is a constant reminder for me of how close we AREN'T to Atlanta. Returning home to Macon from Downtown Atlanta or the Northside, I'll usually make a gas station or fast food run around the Mount Zion exit in Clayton just south of the Morrow/Southlake Mall exit with a mindset like, it's still a bit of a drive left, but not too much. I'll get back on I-75 south, drive a little, and then I'm passing through McDonough. Next, as you pass through Locust Grove, there's a sign that makes me cringe every time. Just as you get to Tanger Outlet, there's a sign that says you still have 54 or so miles left to Macon. It gets me each time, and it suddenly hits me , "Oh boy, still a ways to go" and it doesn't help that it's pretty much nothing from the time you see that sign until you get to Forsyth.

As Saintmarks said, the other towns between Atlanta and Macon like Jackson, Griffin, Barnesville, maybe toss in Monticello and Thomaston are a bit off 75. They also arent growing at the rate of Atlanta's northern burbs. It is a very interesting area to me though. These towns offer a "small town feel" while still being just close enough to be short drives away from both Macon and Atlanta. Is there any chance that the demand for a "small town vibe but still close to Atlanta" causes people to flock to these towns, in turn causing them to become totally different beast than what initially made them desirable?

I have a buddy originally from rural Alabama and another originally from Augusta, both in DeKalb, who are looking for that. The buddy from Alabama said he's been looking into Covington. I wonder if more people feel this way and maybe potentially start looking into Jackson, Barnesvillle, etc. or is that too far out?
Those are some good questions about the whether towns south of Atlanta between Atlanta and Macon could ever have the potential to experience the type of growth that rural areas north of Atlanta have experienced.

If high-quality regional commuter rail service were to ever be implemented along the Norfolk Southern rail right-of-ways on both sides of I-75 south of Atlanta through the towns that you named, I think that there could be some potential for some increased growth in the towns in that corridor between Atlanta and Macon.

I don't think that the growth in that Atlanta-Macon corridor would ever match the growth of Atlanta's northern suburbs and exurbs, but I do think that there is some potential for growth in that corridor between Atlanta and Macon IF the proper multimodal transportation upgrades are implemented in that corridor....Multimodal transportation upgrades like high-quality regional commuter rail service on the two existing rail right-of-ways between Atlanta and Macon and maybe some upgrades to the I-75 roadway between Henry County and Macon.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek area
9,596 posts, read 8,687,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fubarbundy View Post
Megaflopolis.
Teraflopolis
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:02 PM
 
Location: ATLANTA
1,892 posts, read 1,192,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
Those are some good questions about the whether towns south of Atlanta between Atlanta and Macon could ever have the potential to experience the type of growth that rural areas north of Atlanta have experienced.

If high-quality regional commuter rail service were to ever be implemented along the Norfolk Southern rail right-of-ways on both sides of I-75 south of Atlanta through the towns that you named, I think that there could be some potential for some increased growth in the towns in that corridor between Atlanta and Macon.

I don't think that the growth in that Atlanta-Macon corridor would ever match the growth of Atlanta's northern suburbs and exurbs, but I do think that there is some potential for growth in that corridor between Atlanta and Macon IF the proper multimodal transportation upgrades are implemented in that corridor....Multimodal transportation upgrades like high-quality regional commuter rail service on the two existing rail right-of-ways between Atlanta and Macon and maybe some upgrades to the I-75 roadway between Henry County and Macon.
Its funny because you can actually start to see some of those upgrades now with the South Metro Toll Lanes under Construction, set to open the first of next year and the New I-75 Truck lanes between Macon and Atlanta that are planned to help the Freight Traffic coming out of Savannah. South Metro is seeing Growth and so is North Macon. Still going to take some additional Growth to connect the two.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,299,634 times
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The flaw with this thread is the lack of understanding of the drivers of economic development.

There are reasons Atlanta's growth north outpaced the south so much. ChiATL actually had it right and his post and infographics couldn't say it any better.

Economic development is actually trending northeast towards the the population and money heavy Bos-Wash corridor. The economy of North Carolina is very strong and there is a great deal of room for more economic trade to exist between Atlanta and Charlotte/Reaserch Triangle.

This is why Upstate South Carolina has grown so much... so fast. It is where the growth driver is (for areas outside metro Atlanta).

I agree that the northwest I-75 corridor has more on it than looking south. The flaw is there isn't much going on economically there in recent history. The manufacturing sectors those town depended on for so long has been sagging. Much of it is related to textiles and carpet. The demand for carpet has sagged quite a bit and this has impacted northwest Georgia.

To an extent I think Nashville is going to siphon off some of the growth the rural part of Northwest Georgia could get. The problem as I see is that corridor is better for businesses that need goods and supplies located in the midwest and some from the South. NW Georgia can't offer much in terms of cost advantages for freight, until you get close to Nashville. If the cost advantages towards the midwest aren't needed, then the businesses will likely look towards Atlanta or South of Atlanta to begin with.

The major advantage NW Georgia has, is what is already there. Very heavily it will rise and fall with textiles.

Chattanooga is a nice city, but it is hardly rapidly growing and has a very small economy. Although, it is a great place to visit and I hope that stays true. You really have to go all the way up to Nashville to find the growth. The issue is their growth is triggered from being a trucking hub between the midwest and the south. To an extent there is more competition with us, than economically reciprocal relationships to be made.

But northeast of us there is a great deal of growth and opportunity in terms of finance, research, technology.


oobanks, you said something in a rebuttal to someone early in this thread (long, long ago) , There is no law that says the growth must go north. You were trying to make the point there is no reason the growth must go north, but you failed to miss the point. The flaw in your rebuttal is no one ever made it a law to begin with. Economic demand and trade relationships drive it. Those have trended north/northeast for a very long time.

This is why the infographic from chiatl's post shows so much land susceptible to urbanization between Atlanta and Charlotte, but not quite as much in other directions. New businesses are positioning themselves, so they can take clients from both the Atlanta region and from Charlotte and the research triangle. That will drive growth in between.

The problem with Macon and Columbus, as great as they are, are far smaller economically than the business opportunities that already exist to the northeast in North Carolina. They don't offer as much for business relationships to build in between here and Atlanta in comparison.

Mix that with the fact that most of Atlanta's white collar growth and technology growth has gone north it is a double-whammy.

The problem for us as a state.... For the short-term, this really benefits South Carolina, much more so than rural Georgia. We're lacking existing sizable cities and infrastructure along I-85.

We have Gainesville and Athens, but are really at a disadvantage how far from I-85 they are.
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,417 posts, read 2,761,965 times
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So, what we need to be doing is finding a way to introduce new industry into Macon and the Southern m\Metro? At least, if we are to attempt to even out the economic opportunities in the state.

That begs the question: what advantages do Macon and the Southern Metro have?

Off the top of my head, a few things jump to mind:
  • Proximity to the Ports of Savannah, Brunswick, and Jacksonville via rail and road before needing to move through Atlanta's bottle-neck
  • Proximity to the airport
  • Generally cheap, and available land

So, obviously logistics are up there, especially with the deepening of Savannah. Investment in our rail corridors could prove to increase the amount of freight moving through the region, though getting it to stop here so we can make money off it in any way is a challenge. Perhaps inland ports, transfer yards, etc. could help with that?

Perhaps more general manufacturing could also come in, though access to port =/= access to materials. A hard push at trade schools and technological education for the general population could attract business here, though there's no guarantee they will settle away from the northern suburbs.

A major push in agriculture, either through new crops, or agricultural science could help with the area around Macon, especially if general production is increased, and Macon is the inland port handling it.

If the Camden Spaceport is opened, then we could certainly see a swell of aerospace companies in the metro, and in Macon, and even in Savannah to support launches and operations.

By extension, we could take on more aircraft operations with the airport expansion, especially if they add room for freight terminals and manufacturing along the taxiways. That would likely create quite a bit of spin-off in the aerospace industry.

What else?
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,299,634 times
Reputation: 4206
Fourthwarden,

I don't have exact answers for you... and I'm not trying to disparage the situation intentionally.

The problems with economics and geographic location and business placement has a great deal to do with cost of transporting materials and when it is best to transport them (post production, pre-production, etc...)

Say you make Steel beams and your iron ore comes from Location A, you need large amounts of energy from location B (lets just say its coal to make this easy), and you export towards a region that favors location C.

To make this easy, lets say its an equilateral triangle between A, B, and C.

In this situation the cost of transporting coal and Iron ore are very high. The cost of transporting Steel beam is also high, but it is less than transporting the extra energy and excess components of the Iron Ore that don't make it into the final product.

The plant is probably going to end up on a line between location's A and B and it will be closer to one side or another based upon the cost difference between the Iron Ore and the Coal.


In another scenario a company needs to ship widgets out of Port at Location C. It needs to assemble a part in location A, because it is near raw materials more efficiently in that region) and another part at Location B (because it is more efficient near a different raw material there).

You can assemble them at Location C and ship them near the final destination separately.

Or you can assembly them at location A or B and make the final product before it goes to Location C. Alternatively, it can be assembled at a point between A and B, particularly to avoid going through an expensive bottleneck more than once. This lowers the costs for how much/ how often materials need to be moved.

What I'm trying to convey is proximity to a port alone, doesn't matter by itself.

Rather it is what materials and other markets does a location have an advantage in interacting with before something goes to the port.

We should divide South Atlanta and Macon up. They are in two different situations. South Atlanta actually has a huge industrial market. It is the 2nd largest in the Atlanta and it is only 2nd by a narrow margin.

The problem for Macon is that is the advantage South Atlanta already has is more appealing than Macon for industrial purposes. It is before the bottleneck in Atlanta you're referring to, but closest to it to take in materials and parts from different regions, before sending it to to/from the port. The labor market is also stronger and more diversified.

This is the problem fall line cities have across the south. They were once important for their access to free energy via the natural flow of water and it is was a critical shallow barge water access when rail access and roads weren't very good.

Now barge travel is extraordinarily more expensive, from the shallowness or the rivers that far north, and the mechanical energy from flowing water is no longer necessary or cost-efficient.


The Midwest is still the largest center of U.S. Industry and is where most the coal comes from. This is why the rail traffic northwest of Atlanta is so much heavier. The northeast provides another area for both customers and other producers, but there isn't much south of the fall line in Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, and Mississippi except for a fixed amount of agricultural goods.

But they don't have many natural advantages anymore, beyond being a regional retail market and a mid-level regional city to help warehouse and interchange goods to rural areas around them and offering civic, medical, and retail services for those rural hinterlands as well.

So you lobby for military bases, special government programs (Savanah River Site, NSA Complex, etc) and things that bring intellectual talent to an area (ie. Hunstville's rocket center, a major university nearby). While doing this, it is bonus points if any of these things become major consumers for a product, because then they become Location C for a small supply chain. You might attract a small outside industry, because its more efficient to manufacture of assemble near the customer.

Augusta has been able to feed off intellectual talent brought to the area from the Savannah River Site and having the State's medical research university. Admittedly, there is a smidgen of old money there thanks to being the states 2nd oldest city and maintaining old attractors like the Masters.

Columbus has excellent access to a nearby talent pool coming out of Auburn, while offering better intrastructure support from a more well-funded state. They have been able to attract one major company headquarters and several mid-size and smaller capitalized firms headquarters to do nothing more than provide white-collar professional support. (ie. Aflax, Carmike, TSYS)


The problem I run into, and likely the problem Macon has had in the past few decades, is what makes Macon a good industrial location?

It seems in most analysis south Atlanta or Savannah are likely to be better sites, unless the cost of doing business in those locations goes up from geographic location alone. (ie. it is cheaper to take a gidget from the northeast and a gadget from the midwest and put them together in Atlanta to form a widget and then ship it to Savannah. If you don't, then you have two trucks driving the extra distance from Atlanta to Macon to deliver two items before producing each widget.

So the other big option is to look for some unique opportunity to leverage a unique situation that pulls intellectual talent to the area. Once you have an existing talent pool, you can try to attract more smaller companies and contractors in the same industry (ie. medical/biotech in Augusta).

The problem South Atlanta has isn't on the industrial end, it is on the intellectual end. They can't tap into the well formed talent pool that is largely to the northside of town very well. They likely have a limited pool targeted at aerospace services thanks to Delta and the Airport that could be leveraged. They have cheap land and good places to live.
They could try to leverage the film industry more. They are still having to share that with north Atlanta, though.

They have the leverage of the airport to look for companies with highly specialized needs (ie. Porsche N.A. headquarters and their desire to have a test course many customers would have to fly into access).


I also feel like auto plants have sort of passed Macon and the I-75 south corridor over. I think they locate on I-75 North and I-85 south, because they are trying to maintain access to the midwest. But... they are also trying to maintain access between Mobile, Brunswick, and Savannah for more competitive access. Even pre-assembled automotive need specialized port access beyond simple containers. Savannah is mainly a container port, while Mobile will handle more oversized and bulk goods packaged differently.


Sorry for the long post.

I mean small and mid-size opportunities will come up, because there are people and infrastructure there and when it is cheap enough, it is appealing. I'm just trying to look for what geographic-value added Macon can position/leverage other places can't. (ie. that economic drive that pushes existing wages higher and makes the area grow faster than the normal birth rate - normal death rate). Upstate South Carolina has this thanks to us and North Carolina's success. I'm just struggling to find leveraging ideas for new industries for Macon.

Outside that the state inceitivizes large job investments in lower census tracts. Most of Macon is eligible for a $3500/job tax credit.
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:29 AM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,417 posts, read 2,761,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
Sorry for the long post.

I mean small and mid-size opportunities will come up, because there are people and infrastructure there and when it is cheap enough, it is appealing. I'm just trying to look for what geographic-value added Macon can position/leverage other places can't. (ie. that economic drive that pushes existing wages higher and makes the area grow faster than the normal birth rate - normal death rate). Upstate South Carolina has this thanks to us and North Carolina's success. I'm just struggling to find leveraging ideas for new industries for Macon.
This is pretty much what I was trying to get at, but you spelled out the details much better than I tried to or could have. Dammit cwkimbro, I'm an engineer, not a businessman!

To me, the cooperation between North Georgia (including basically all of metro Atlanta) and the rest of the Piedmont-Atlantic megaregion lies in the growing tech industries.

The Georgia Tech, Emory, the research triangle, and access to D.C. forms the backbone for some rather spectacular regional projects through the universities alone. Add on the booming tech markets, and we've got some spectacular groundwork for starting a truly, intentionally, regional approach to functioning.

That, plus the ports, airports, and manufacturing capabilities, and we're getting somewhere.

It's just as you said, though, Macon seems to be at the periphery of that at best. I will openly admit that I don't know enough to make even truly educated suggestions as to new industries for that city, but I want to. I want them to join in in the regional growth and prosperity, but I just don't know what their niche can be.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:23 PM
 
Location: ATLANTA
1,892 posts, read 1,192,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
This is pretty much what I was trying to get at, but you spelled out the details much better than I tried to or could have. Dammit cwkimbro, I'm an engineer, not a businessman!

To me, the cooperation between North Georgia (including basically all of metro Atlanta) and the rest of the Piedmont-Atlantic megaregion lies in the growing tech industries.

The Georgia Tech, Emory, the research triangle, and access to D.C. forms the backbone for some rather spectacular regional projects through the universities alone. Add on the booming tech markets, and we've got some spectacular groundwork for starting a truly, intentionally, regional approach to functioning.

That, plus the ports, airports, and manufacturing capabilities, and we're getting somewhere.

It's just as you said, though, Macon seems to be at the periphery of that at best. I will openly admit that I don't know enough to make even truly educated suggestions as to new industries for that city, but I want to. I want them to join in in the regional growth and prosperity, but I just don't know what their niche can be.


Logistics, Logistics, Logistics !!!! IMO, Seems to be the niche if you look at it. Macon's central location is a no brainer. Easy access to every part of the state, to the port of Savannah and Hartsfield-Jackson Airport as stated and 3 Interstate HWY's, not to mention Freight rail connections, Great Infrastructure. The good thing about Logistics though is it can create Ton's of White Collar jobs right along with Blue Collar. The Macon Airport opening up to more carriers is a ++ as well. I think if the City played it's cards right, it could become a Logistics Hub but it would need all the right players.
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