Cleveland’s Eaton Corporation is asking the Cuyahoga County Port Authority to loan it $170 million so it can move its corporate headquarters from downtown Cleveland to move to suburban Chagrin Highlands, The Plain Dealer is reporting. ...
... I’ve heard some people comment that this is necessary to prevent Eaton from becoming Cleveland’s NCR.
NCR recently announced a move from Dayton, OH to Atlanta, GA. The implication is that Cleveland will sacrifice urban density for jobs. Why not use tax dollars to move Eaton from downtown Cleveland to downtown Dayton?
Apparently, Eaton "threatened to move to another state". Imagine Ohio holding onto NCR, leveraging the talent pool in Columbus. Obviously, that wouldn't go over too well in Dayton. But that's better than the jobs heading to Georgia. I doubt that Eaton couldn't find the space to grow in downtown Cleveland. Even if that were true, I'm sure that Youngstown or Toledo could accommodate Eaton expansion. Akron would also qualify and employees wouldn't have to move. My guess is that Eaton wanted to be closer to the residences of its workers.
Likening Eaton to NCR is instructive. Doing so highlights the geography of economic competition. Cleveland is at war with everywhere not Cleveland. Dayton is at war with everywhere not Dayton. The same is true for Pittsburgh and every other Rust Belt city. As long as this parochial perspective holds, Atlanta will continue to win.