How Dell made Los Angeles look like a sucker - in pictures
Move over, cows
Silly, silly Californians. They don't know how to get things done right or at least how to get things done cheap.
Take, for example, the Frank Gehry Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. This building cost close to $250m with much of that money coming from rich people donations. It's a wonderful creation to be sure and something the city should be proud of, but to get a sense of how much $250m or so can really buy you, we've got to travel out to North Carolina.
Out in Winston-Salem, you'll find an elegant architectural treat that will cost tax payers close to $280m. It's the new Dell factory. You know the one built on the back of hundreds of millions in incentives and perks. Simple stuff like tax breaks on products, roads, a police force and Dell product support classes at the local community college.
North Carolina fought hard to lavish such gifts on Dell. In return, the state could see up to 1,500 people maintain steady jobs in the coming years. We're told the average wage for these staffers will come in around $28,000. That's a healthy $42m or so in annual wages - a total which will surely be boosted by a couple of well-paid executives.
It's always heart-warming when corporate America and local communities can strike these kinds of symbiotic deals. Making billions and employing thousands of workers overseas - more than you do at home - requires serious savvy and a push from the plebs every now and again. With that in mind, we bring you Dell's new North Carolina plant in pictures. Frank Gehry? Oh no, it's so much more than a concert hall. North Carolina bought the future with its $280m.
Huge thanks go out to Ed Stephens and Tamar Pandi who did a fine job on their first assignment as Vulture hardware paparazzi.
In the first photo, we find some local beef. It's time for these cows to get a move on because Mikey's PC and server biz is coming to town. This probably happened in Texas too, so no big deal.
Come on, you know you were praying for the old, faithful "All deliveries in the rear" sign.
Okay, okay, so this rather gloomy photo might make the new factory look like a prison and that might be a cheap shot. But, hey, how can you blame us for having talented paparazzi? Notice the Gehry like lines and the stunning dirt mounds.
This is where the magic goes down. Many Dell workers have written to us complaining that the company will often hire staff en masse to try and fix a bad quarter or to handle holiday sales. When things return to normal, the little PC makers are sent back home. That's not going to happen here in North Carolina. Dell can only fire about 40 per cent of its workers and maintain the incentives package. It's swell at the top.
Dell hasn't quite finished construction on this first building, but it does have the company logo up there in the left corner. That's Michael Dell blue. In the end, it seems Dell stayed away from those awkward Gehry curves and conniptions. No sense mussing up the North Carolina farmland with a monstrosity. Hopefully, the locals will enjoy this building. Lord knows they earned it.
How do you get to this paradise? On the Road to Jobs, of course! See you there.
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