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Consultant who landed Cat in W-S speaks with Greensboro officials

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The consultant that lured Caterpillar to Winston-Salem told Greensboro officials on Tuesday how they can attract large companies as well.

The consultant told the city that it needs more places ready for businesses to build. A location on Holden Road is ready, but Mayor Robbie Perkins said the city needs to have more sites ready for business.

"We've got to grade a couple sites--two or three sites--because we really don't have a lot of product out there that's ready to go," Perkins said.

Greensboro's list of places to upgrade for future business include east Greensboro, north Greensboro off Highway 29 and land around PTI Airport.

Several smaller cities near Greensboro have more space ready for construction, said Andy Scott, assistant city manager.

"If someone is looking for buildings, existing facilities, we have a reasonably good existing inventory. But if someone is looking for a site to build, particularly bigger sites, we are woefully short," Scott said.

Also, companies prefer airports with several non-stop flights to many cities, the consultant told city officials.

"The airport authority has been working hard on bringing in more passenger flights, and that includes the low cost carriers. But its a function of job growth. The carriers are going to go where they feel like they can fill the seats," Perkins said.

The consultant said Cat looked at five different spots in Guilford County before settling on the land in Forsyth County. None of the Guilford County sites worked, the consultant said.

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