August was a big month for North Carolina. From major investments by life sciences companies to the arrival of the first Chase bank branch in the state, all eyes are on North Carolina as the state continues to cement its status as one of the top markets in the country.
Pfizer Set to Invest $500 Million in Sanford
North Carolina has long been a leader in the life sciences industry thanks to the state’s partnerships with companies like Pfizer. One of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) currently employs approximately 3,600 North Carolinians at its sites in Chapel Hill, Morrisville and Sanford. In late August 2019, the company announced a $500 million expansion of its Sanford operation. The expansion is expected to bring about 300 new jobs to the Sanford area. The company’s investment will be used to help advance Pfizer’s gene therapy line through the addition of a state-of-the-art gene manufacturing facility.
Pfizer isn’t the only life sciences company to make recent investments in the state. Chicago-based gene therapy company AveXis announced in February 2019 that it would put $60 million into the Durham area, creating 200 new jobs in the process. In April 2019, AskBio—a leading AAV gene therapy company based in the Research Triangle Park—declared a $235 million investment to continue its gene therapy research in the area. In July 2019, Precision BioSciences (NASDAQ: DTIL) made public the company’s intention to make a $26 million investment in the state via a 17,300-square-foot facility located in the Research Triangle Park.
Xerox Picks Cary for Major New Hub
Cary, North Carolina has been selected as the new home of Xerox Corporation’s new “Center of Excellence.” Although the exact location of the hub has not yet been disclosed, the selection of Cary for The Center of Excellence will put Xerox within proximity to the state capitol, the famed Research Triangle Park and three major universities. North Carolina beat out several other states for the hub, including New York and Connecticut. Xerox currently operates three other facilities of this nature, both in the United States and Canada.
Xerox plans to invest $18.4 million in The Center of Excellence. As part of its investment, Xerox will receive a Job Development Investment Grant from the state that will allow for reimbursements of $12.3 million over a period of 12 years. The new Xerox facility is expected to pump more than $1.7 billion into the statewide economy.
JPMorgan Chase Enters the North Carolina Market
The largest bank in the country by assets, JPMorgan Chase opened the doors to its first Chase bank branch in North Carolina on August 7, 2019. The branch sits at a prominent, visible location along Franklin Street in Chapel Hill close to the heart of the University of North Carolina campus. JPMorgan Chase already serves more than one million customers and local businesses throughout the state through commercial, private and investment banking.
The opening of the Chapel Hill Chase branch signals the company’s larger commitment to expanding the JPMorgan Chase footprint throughout the state. The company expects to add up to 40 branches and 80 ATM locations throughout North Carolina over the next three years. These branch locations—which will be located primarily in the Triangle and Charlotte areas—will allow JPMorgan Chase to expand its customer base and enhance its existing services. These new bank branches will also allow for the creation of new, good-paying jobs.
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