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Business Journal: HB2 just cost North Carolina another 730 jobs

Chalk up another major jobs loss to the anti-LGBT law HB2.

The Charlotte Business Journal reports that Charlotte was one of four cities on the final short list for a major expansion by CoStar Group, Inc.

The commercial real estate information and analytics company announced on Monday plans to open its new research operations headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.

The Journal’s Ashley Fahey reports:

logo_costar…sources say North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 ultimately cost the Queen City those jobs and approximately $8.2 million in initial investment by CoStar.

“The primary reason they chose Richmond over Charlotte was HB2,” said David Dorsch, senior vice president at Cushman & Wakefield’s Charlotte office. Cushman & Wakefield was representing CoStar nationally, and Dorsch said he had been working with CoStar in its local real estate search for most of 2016. He said the company was looking at downtown new construction for about 100,000 square feet.

david-dorsch

David Dorsch (Photo: LinkedIn)

“(CoStar) is a great company; they’re a world leader in commercial real estate,” Dorsch said. “Their not coming here is a commentary on Gov. Pat McCrory and Mayor Jennifer Roberts … HB2 is a problem that was, in my opinion, led by those two people.

“This would come on the heels of a growing list of companies that have not moved to Charlotte as a result of HB2,” Dorsch continued.

Some of the more well-known decisions directly resulting from HB2’s passage: PayPal (NYSE: PYPL) reversing its decision this spring to add 400 jobs in a new global operations center in University City and the NBA’s decision to move next year’s All-Star Game out of town. But many local leaders, including developer Johnny Harris, have previously said there are countless other losses that nobody has heard about that pose an even bigger threat.

When asked whether CoStar planned to open any type of research facility in Charlotte, the company submitted a statement to CBJ late Monday:

“CoStar Group has concluded a national search for its research operations headquarters, selecting Richmond, Va., for the expansion, bringing approximately 730 new jobs to the Richmond area,” the statement read. “At this time, there are no plans to open additional research facilities.

On Monday, state Commerce Secretary John Skvarla told The Charlotte Observer that HB2 has had no significant business impact in North Carolina.

“It hasn’t moved the needle one iota,” Skvarla told the Observer Monday during a visit to Charter Communications’ training center in Matthews.

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