1. Nano Nano Yoo Hoo

California has Silicon Valley, New York is getting a Nano Node.

Mia Ertas/CNSE

A public-private consortium is investing $4.4 billion to make upstate New York a research center for the next generation of smaller, faster nano computer chips.

IBM, Intel, Global Foundries, TSMC, Samsung, and the state of New York are building a research and development network expected to create and keep 6,900 jobs, including 2,500 new technology positions.

IBM promised $3.6 billion of the total needed while the state will invest $400 million in the State University of New York College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the governor’s office says.

2. Train Sticker Shock

The huge price tag of a new train line has local governments fretting over the tab.

Everybody thinks extending the Washington Metro line 23 miles to Dulles International Airport and beyond to Lodoun County, Va., is a great idea. What’s not so clear is how it’s going to be funded.

The first phase is scheduled to be finished in 2013, but the financing for the second phase is still being discussed among local governments. Loudoun land owners along the line, such as SunCal, which recently bought Harbor Station, a formerly stalled master planned development next to one planned train stop, have high stakes in completing the line.

“Although there are matters that need to be finalized, we are very optimistic that this high-priority regional transportation improvement will move forward,” says Joe Aguirre, a SunCal spokesperson.

3. Tampa Taps Time Warner

Sweet state incentives help lure the media giant to Tampa.

Tampa, Fla., beat out 58 other cities, including Atlanta, Rochester, N.Y., and Charlotte, N.C., for Time Warner’s new 500-job, $5 million company resource center.

The center is expected to open in late 2012 with about 100 employees, mostly in human resources and information technology. An additional 150 jobs are expected by the end of 2014, and 125 in 2015 and 2016. The average salary is expected to be $57,200.

The deal was sweetened by more than $3 million in incentives from the state and local governments.

“We only need 1,400 more of these announcements,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott joked. Scott campaigned last year on a promise to create 700,000 jobs within seven years.

4. High-Tech Stars in Texas

Well-paying, high-tech jobs help keep the Lone Star state vibrant.

Denis Tangney Jr.

Even the market for high-tech jobs has taken a hit in the current economy. Texas, for instance, with the second-highest concentration of tech jobs behind California, lost 11,800 jobs last year, even as 500 new high-tech companies moved in, says the Tech America Foundation.

While that loss seems high, it only amounts to a 3 percent drop. The state still has 456,400 jobs with an average annual paycheck of $84,800, 84 percent higher than the average private-sector job. The total payroll for high-tech jobs in Texas is $38.7 billion.

5. City Where No One Sleeps

Plans are made for a city for research.

There will be tall buildings in downtown, suburban homes outside town, and farms by an Interstate that goes nowhere, but nobody will pull into their home’s driveway at 7 to settle in for dinner at 8, TV at 9, and sleep by 11.

Washington, D.C.–based tech firm Pegasus Global Holdings announced plans to build a 20-square-mile city in the middle of New Mexico to serve as a testing center for everything from cell phone service to renewable energy in real-world conditions. Beneath its empty streets technicians would work in a subterranean “hive” to keep the city running since nobody will live there, says Pegasus CEO Bob Brumley.

“We don’t have that burden of having people [living] in the city,” says Brumley. “We could do destructive testing you could never do with people there.”

Pegasus expects the new town would create 350 direct jobs and 3,500 indirect jobs during design, development, and construction.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Tampa, FL, Washington, DC, Charlotte, NC.