What’s surprising about BB&T’s announcement that it’s opening an new operations center in the former American Express call center —creating 1,700 jobs over five years — is they did not involve local government or economic developers:

Dan Lynch, the president of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance, the city’s business recruitment group, said Tuesday that about 500 continue to do their customer service jobs from their homes in the Triad.

Lynch, usually an insider in major economic development announcements, said he didn’t know about BB&T’s plans in advance.

But, he said, it proves that companies are making major business decisions that they had been putting off during the worst days of the recession.

“It gets to a point where you have built up demand and you can’t prolong decisions,” Lynch said.

…Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins opened Tuesday’s City Council meeting with the BB&T announcement. Earlier, he and other council members said they didn’t know the announcement was coming.

“This is not only a good day for Greensboro, but it’s a good day for the entire Piedmont Triad,” Perkins said. “This is very special.”

With this in mind, BB&T is not asking for economic incentives. See –it can be done.