2014 Story of the Year: The Getting of GE Oil & Gas

2014 brought a bunch of big local Jacksonville news: Long-awaited retailers, …

Georgia (Jan 6, 2015) — 2014 brought a bunch of big local Jacksonville newsLong-awaited retailersbuzzy candyshop happeningsintriguing Downtown developmentsbig changes to EverBank Field.


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But the most impactful story of the year was an announcement by a company that wasn't yet in Jacksonville. 2014's story of the year was the announcement that GE Oil & Gas would be setting up a factory in Jacksonville.

At one point in the year, it looked like the deal might not happen at all. The keys to getting it done: the creation of an innovative incentive policy, the cooperation of the AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center master developer and the workforce that exists in the area.

Getting the subsidiary of the ninth largest company in the world to set up shop on the First Coast will have immediate impacts. The company said it will bring 500 jobs and invest $89 million in real estate construction and manufacturing equipment.

The move could be a game changer for the city and even the region, spawning additional investment and luring more of the nation's resurging manufacturing sector to the First Cost.

The company's new home will be a 510,000-square-foot warehouse in the AllianceFlorida development, one of the largest industrial parks in Florida and a place Jacksonville has long hoped to turn into a major commercial center.

With the GE announcement, local economic developers are hoping that more will follow.

"If you have got one company moving in an area, it may be indicative you have the so-called ingredients to attract other companies," said Don Sabbarese, past director of econometrics at Kennesaw State University. "The Southeast states are very attractive and very competitive with each other to attract these types of manufacturers."

Experts say the potential is there for Jacksonville to build on the GE announcement. "Companies look at a lot of things before they move in," Sabbarese said. "Jacksonville may have the factors and variables people look at."


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu