Friday, November 2, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2018
STATEMENT FROM “REDLIGHT THE GULCH COALITION”
ON NORFOLK SOUTHERN ULTIMATUM
Norfolk Southern’s CEO says that unless his company can make a big profit on its land in the Gulch, it will not consolidate staff from Norfolk, VA to Atlanta.
There is no justification for throwing a Gulch public subsidy — variously put at $1.9 billion and $1.44 billion — at an 850-job move.
The typical incentive from the City for that number of jobs is $850,000 to $2.5 million. That’s Million with an M, not Billion with a B. Some companies do not choose to extract any incentives when moving to the city.
The public cost of the Gulch scheme is on the order of one thousand times the incentive justified for the Norfolk Southern jobs.
By contrast, Blackrock announced last week that they are creating 1,000 new jobs in the city. They did not require billions in subsidy. Like Atlanta residents, they were also unfazed by the Gulch. Like all the other companies moving to and expanding in Atlanta over this decade, Blackrock is coming for our talent, our universities, our airport and our standard of living.
We also remind residents that Norfolk Southern did Atlanta no favors when they sold their stretch of the future Beltline to a developer for $25m, which forced the city to $65m — vastly more than if Norfolk had waited and sold it to the city directly.
We call upon Council Members to resist absurd last-minute arguments and bullying. The Gulch scheme would squander future revenues desperately needed to run our city and schools, and to support housing affordability.
Redlight the Gulch on November 5!