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Posted on: March 4, 2023

Manhattan Ranks as a Top Metro, Kansas Wins Governor’s Cup from Site Selection


The magazine’s annual rankings of new and expanded facility projects are considered “the industry scoreboard” by corporate real estate analysts.

The Manhattan area garnered national recognition as a top metro with a population less than 200,000, ranking 3rd by projects per capita and 4th by total projects. Additionally, Manhattan ranked 9th overall in the West North Central region, which was up from the 23rd spot in 2021.

“We’re thrilled to break into the top metros category,” said Jason Smith, president and CEO of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. “This is a credit to all of the collaborative efforts between Kansas State University, the Greater Manhattan Economic Partnership, the City of Manhattan and other community partners to attract businesses that will benefit from our strengths, research assets and talent pool.”

“The unique economic development partnership between Pottawatomie County and the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce works. This collaboration has fueled growth for both communities and the state as a whole,” said Jack Allston, executive director of the Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation. “In addition to the tremendous corporate expansions, we have seen impressive growth in the entrepreneurial sector.”

The Governor’s Cup Award goes to two states — one for having the most projects overall and the other for having the most projects per capita. While Texas was recognized for overall activity, Kansas ranked No. 1 for the most growth per capita.

“As governor, I have been determined to make Kansas a place where businesses want to invest, where there is an abundance of good-paying jobs, and where young people feel they can build their futures,” Governor Laura Kelly said in a statement. “This award proves our efforts have paid off. The record-setting investment we’ve attracted will fuel prosperity in every corner of our state for generations to come.”

This is the ninth year Site Selection has included the per capita award category and the second year in a row Kansas has been recognized with the honor.

Kansas had 138 projects in 2022, earning it the top spot per capita, as well as the top spot overall in the West North Central region. The top three projects by investment dollars were:

  • Panasonic Corp./Panasonic Energy Co. in DeSoto (also the 5th largest project in the U.S. by facility size and the 4th largest by projected job creation)
  • Scorpius BioManufacturing in Manhattan
  • Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in Olathe

“The Governor’s Cups recognize not only the winning governors, but their entire economic development teams, and by extension, the many professionals throughout their states who work every day to attract new investment and retain and grow existing businesses,” Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection, said in a statement. “Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Laura Kelly of Kansas deliver the kind of business climate and fiscal predictability that capital investors from around the world rely on for long-term success.”

The Governor’s Cup has been awarded annually since 1988 and is based on new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by Site Selection’s proprietary Conway Projects Database. The database focuses on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations and logistics sites. It does not track retail, government, school or hospital projects. To qualify, projects must meet at least one of three criteria: involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.

Additional Kansas highlights include:

  • Metros with population over 1 million: Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri combined) ranked 10th by projects per capita.
  • West North Central region: Kansas City ranked 1st, Wichita 6th (up from 9th in 2021) and Manhattan finished 9th, the only other Kansas city on the list.

The magazine also ranked states by the number of micropolitans with qualifying projects. Micropolitans are defined as cities with a population of 10,000 to 50,000 that cover at least one county. Kansas ranked 6th overall with 24 projects in seven micropolitan areas.

To learn how your business can benefit from expanding to the Greater Manhattan region, please contact us. We welcome the chance to share what’s so special about Kansas.

Site Selection, published by Conway Inc., is the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development fields and is the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council.

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