Economic Development News
First Quarter 2019
Fourth Quarter 2018
Second Quarter 2018
First Quarter 2018
Fourth Quarter 2017
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) recently released a report highlighting goods exports from U.S. metropolitan areas for 2016. The International Trade Administration’s 2016 Metropolitan Area Export Overview indicates that goods exports from both the Austin-Round and Waco metropolitan areas totaled $10,682,654,557 and $1,107,417,158 last year, respectively. For the Austin-Round Rock area, this was an increase of $694,482,108 from 2015, or a 7-percent overall increase. In comparison, the Waco area saw a 136-percent increase, with a year-over-year increase of $638,062,449.
The AAFES Exchange has announced its expansion into 280,000 square feet of the former Sherwin-Williams facility on Texas Central Parkway. Seventy-five new positions will be added to an existing workforce of nearly 400 individuals. The expansion was driven by the recently announced e-Commerce service, granting tax-free and military discounts to not only active-duty military but also the more than 21 million military veterans located in the United States.
Third Quarter 2017
Cypress Creek Renewables announces, in partnership with McLennan County and the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, a $13 million solar farm project in McLennan County near Bruceville-Eddy. The 88-acre, 13 megawatt solar farm will generate enough power to support the energy needs of 1,000 homes annually, further supporting Central Texas’ growth and additional electricity demands. Construction was expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017, completing within a six-month timeline. While under construction, the project is expected to support 100 related jobs. Cypress Creek is expected to utilize a significant number of local contractors to establish the site.
Empereon Marketing, LLC, a leader in contact center solutions, is locating a 68,312 square-foot Customer Support Center at 1205 N. Loop 340 in Greater Waco. The center will provide business support services for Fortune 500 clients. Hiring is expected to begin in September with 500 employees, growing to 750 within two years. The Cities of Lacy Lakeview and Waco, along with McLennan County, worked in partnership to provide incentive support to the project, making it a true regional collaboration. Empereon will invest $2 million in the facility.
Second Quarter 2017
The City of Waco has chosen to move forward with the negotiation of a development agreement with The Civic Center, LLC for its Heritage Square property, located in the heart of downtown Waco. Civic Center’s proposal includes multiple phases, including an urban forest, underground parking, retail space and 500,000 square feet of Class-A office space. If the project moves forward, it will begin with infrastructure improvements in downtown that will service this project and other areas in the vicinity.
Trane Co. has chosen Waco as the location of a national distribution facility. The 66,000-square-foot building is located on the Texas State Technical College Airport and previously served as a distribution facility for DHL. The building will serve as a main point of distribution for Trane’s HVAC units, serving both the Texas and national markets. The company has invested nearly $1 million to upgrade the building and employs 16 individuals. In addition to the distribution facility, Trane operates a manufacturing facility in Greater Waco, near McGregor, producing water source heat pumps.
FoamTec, an industry leader in the supply of particulate control for clean rooms, has opened a 15,600 square-foot distribution facility in Waco. The company provides material support for both the pharmaceutical and semi-conductor industries, making its Waco location in central Texas an ideal location for serving its customer base. The facility currently employs 10 distribution and professional associates.
Advanced Sheet Metal, a subsidiary of service company Lochridge Priest, has established a manufacturing facility at 2901 E. Industrial Blvd. in Waco. The production facility will include engineering and design services along with state-of-the-art precision metal fabrication equipment to support the evolving needs of its customers. ASM will provide production support for industrial, commercial and residential clients, in an array of industries.
The Brazos Commons development project received approval for $7.9 million in public support from the Waco Tax Increment Finance (WIF) board for its $129 million riverfront development project along the Brazos River in downtown Waco. Developers Joe Beard and Rick Sheldon are slated to begin construction of the mixed-use project in late 2018, which will include retail, residential and hotel space.
First Quarter 2017
Dwyer Group, the holding company of 15 brands, is growing its presence in Waco, Texas. The company is investing $2.84 million to construct an 18,225-square-foot, three-story building to expand its franchise training capacity. The project will add 26 jobs to an existing 650 team.
Second Quarter 2016
Channel Control Merchants, LLC (CCM) selected Greater Waco for the site of its first Texas distribution operation. The company has acquired a 200,000 square foot building located at 401 Precision Drive and will invest $1,050,000 in capital improvements and hire 116 employees. The company plans to have the facility updated, fully staffed and operational by September 2016. The company will also open a 38,000-square-foot retail location at 300 North Valley Mills Drive under its Dirt Cheap brand with plans for multiple retail locations throughout Texas. Dirt Cheap is the largest retailer of customer returns and marked out of stock merchandise in the United States.
Let’s Gel announced plans to expand its Waco, Texas facility with the addition of 15 new production jobs and $600,000 capital investment to support new production capacity. Initially opening its Greater Waco operation in 2014, the Let’s Gel’s product line popularity has accelerated company growth plans creating the need for added production capacity. Let’s Gel operates a 64,000 square-foot manufacturing facility located at 501 Precision Drive in Waco. The expansion will grow the site’s workforce to 50 full-time positions.
City of Bellmead/Economic Development Administration. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded the city of Bellmead a $1.9 million EDA grant to aid in the $2.8 million replacement and expansion of Tirey Road in Bellmead, Texas. The project is anticipated to promote economic development for the region, reduce traffic congestion on adjacent residential roadways and improve storm water management for the surrounding area. The project involved other partners including local businesses, the city of Waco, the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, Waco Industrial Foundation, Heart of Texas Council of Governments and Texas State Technical College.
Allergan broke ground on a $200 million expansion of its Waco, Texas facility. The expansion will add 322,000-square-feet of manufacturing space to the current facility, nearly doubling its footprint. Once completed, the expansion is expected to add approximately 100 full-time jobs, with the potential for the expanded operations adding as many as 250 full-time jobs as the facility reaches full utilization.
Polyglass U.S.A, Inc. announced plans to establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing operation in Waco, Texas. Polyglass will invest $19 million in the 145,000-square-foot facility located at 1701 Exchange, to produce modified bitumen roofing membranes. Employment will reach 45 full-time associates within the first three years of operation.
Central Tube and Bar opened operations in Waco, Texas with a 40,000-square-foot facility, adding 20 jobs. The company will invest $2 million on an existing building in Lacy Lakeview.
Fourth Quarter 2015
Time Manufacturing announced expansion plans of its truck-mounted hydraulic lift manufacturing operations in Waco, Texas. The company, headquartered in Waco since 1968, will spend $5.8 million to expand its facilities at Imperial Drive and Texas Central Parkway and add 121 jobs during the next four years.
Coca-Cola Refreshments receives tax abatement incentive through the expansion of its Waco, Texas presence with a $13.3 million investment of a new blow-molding line for in-house production of bottles within its facility in the Texas Central Park. The facility will retain 327 permanent, full-time positions.
The Sherwin-Williams Company announced plans to expand its Waco, Texas presence with the construction of a new state-of-the-art, 600,000-square-foot distribution facility in the Waco International Aviation Park. Sherwin-Williams will invest $39 million including a 49-acre land acquisition, personal and real property. The facility will retain 264 permanent, full-time positions and is expandable to accommodate additional growth. The company currently occupies 440,000-square-feet in Texas Central Park, also located in Waco.
Third Quarter 2015
Sonoco Flexible Packaging, a facility of global packaging company, announced plans to expand its Waco, Texas location in 2015 with completion in early 2016. Sonoco will install a new rotary die-cut machine, slitter and rotogravure printing press, investing $13.5 million in equipment at the facility and will add an estimated 15 jobs to the area – a 27 percent increase to its employment base.
Kingsdown, Inc., the nation’s largest independent and employee-owned mattress manufacturer, began operations in a 100,000-square-foot facility for its state-of-the-art sleep products manufacturing and distribution center. Kingsdown invested $2 million within the facility to support its growing business in the central US. The new plant created 50 new local jobs.
Waco Mammoth Site was declared by President Barack Obama as a national monument, giving Waco community leaders the prize they have pursued for more than a decade. The designation means that the National Park Service will manage the five-acre mammoth dig site in partnership with the city and Baylor University. The agency also will provide nationwide marketing for the educational attraction at 6220 Steinbeck Bend Drive, which now is operated by the city of Waco.
Second Quarter 2015
McLennan County commissioners approved the creation of McLennan County Spaceport Development Corporation. The designation will allow the county to apply for state funds held in a Spaceport Trust Fund. That money is earmarked for infrastructure and other items needed to pursue space flight activities, which would include training, research, development, testing or manufacturing for the launch of spacecraft.
The City of Waco released a request for proposals on both the Brazos Commons (deadline July 29, 2015) and Heritage Square (deadline June 16, 2015). Both properties are envisioned to be mixed-use development.
Texas State Technical College and the Waco McLennan County Economic Development Council partner with L-3 Communications to renovate and upgrade the 102,000-square-foot 11-1 hangar located on the TSTC side of the runway – totaling a $4.5 million investment.
Fourth Quarter 2014
Kingsdown, Inc., the nation’s largest independent and employee-owned mattress manufacturer, is investing $2 million in a 100,000-square-foot facility to convert it into a state-of-the-art sleep products manufacturing and distribution center that will support its growing business in the central portion of the country. The new plant will create 50 new local jobs.
Let’s Gel, Inc., an Austin-based company and developer of gel-filled floor comfort mats, announces it has acquired a 64,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Let’s Gel’s capital investment of $3,500,000 includes building purchase and improvements, as well as, investments in machinery and equipment. The company will create 35 jobs over a three year period.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will invest an estimated $46,300,000 at its McGregor, Texas rocket-development facility to accommodate growing business activities and future expansion. SpaceX, a designer, manufacturer and launcher of advanced rockets and spacecraft, tests all of its engines and other structures at the state-of-the-art development facility. Currently, the site employs more than 250 engineering and technical professionals and will add 300 jobs as a result of the expansion.
Balcones Distilling, an award-winning maker of whiskey, announces its relocation and expansion into a 60,700-square-foot downtown Waco historic building. The company will invest $15,000,000 in renovations and technology to help boost their production to help meet demand. The expansion is expected to add 10 jobs.
Third Quarter 2014
Financial Control Services (FCS), part of the Receivables Management Partners company, announced the relocation of its Waco office that will accommodate continued growth including staff and client base. As a provider of account receivable management and revenue cycle management services to the healthcare industry for 150 years, FCS currently employs 50 and plans to expand by an additional 50 employees over the next three years.
C3/CustomerContactChannels announced its expansion to hire an additional 400 jobs, making the total employment 1,000. C3 is a global provider of contact center services providing services in sales, service, performance optimization, reputation management and complete customer interaction management via traditional, Web and emerging communication channels.
First Quarter 2014
Allergan LLC announced and broke ground on its $10.6 million, 22,000-square-foot expansion, which includes new manufacturing technology and expanded production capacity to support a new product line. Allergan currently employs approximately 640 and expects the expansion to create 20 to 30 new jobs. 2014 also marks the 25th anniversary of the start of operations at the Waco facility.
Con-way Freight, a less-than-truckload (LTL) trucking company and subsidiary of Con-way Inc., completed construction of its $3.7 million, state-of-the-art, 48-door, 18,870-square-foot freight service center located on 12-acres in the Robinson Industrial Park. Conway currently employs 52 employees and will hire an additional 15 associates.
thInc Space, an incubator for creative startups, providing both a community gathering place and professional support network for entrepreneurs and businesses, relocated to 514 Franklin Avenue. The new location is in the center of Waco’s downtown revitalization activity.
Fourth Quarter 2013
WDS Corp., a national warehousing and distribution company serving manufacturing, medical and technology industries, announced its 19,000 square-foot building supporting local Cargill operations.
Matheson TriGas, a provider of specialty gases and gas handling equipment, completed its relocation and expansion in Greater Waco. The company moved into a 3,900 sq. ft. renovated location on Interstate 35. The expansion included $250,000 in new capital investment, retention of five existing employees and one new associate.
Cen-Tex Sheet Metal Fabricators, a precision metal machine shop, completed its relocation and expansion in Greater Waco. The company has purchased a 25,000 sq. ft. facility along Interstate 35, near Elm Mott. The larger facility will increase efficiencies and allow the company to grow its water-jet and laser cutting business.
Mars Chocolate North America will make $11.78 million in new capital investment at its Waco, Texas location. The expansion, which includes facility upgrades and production equipment, will allow for increase production and efficiency at the site. The facility employs 456 full-time associates.
Woco Tech Texas, a division of German based Woco Industrietechnik GmbH, has selected Greater Waco for its industrial anti-vibration systems manufacturing operation. Woco will collocate with Vossloh Fastening Systems, providing a direct supplier connection to Vossloh’s rail fastening production line. Woco will create 10 technical production positions and invest $3.7 million in the facility.
Central Texas Corrugated, a subsidiary of Packaging Corporation of America, completed $17 million in facility upgrades. The investment will increase the facilities production capabilities and improve the overall efficiency of the operation.
Third Quarter 2013
Baylor Scott & White Health had the grand opening for its $19.5 million two-story, comprehensive cancer center specializing in state-of-the-art diagnostics, treatments and support services located on the now $191.5 million campus. The 24,400-square-foot center will initially employ 10 to 12 employees with expansion to 20 employees.
Con-way Freight, a less-than-truckload (LTL) trucking company and subsidiary of Con-way Inc., announced a major expansion for Greater Waco and central Texas with plans to build a new $3.7 million, state-of-the-art, 48-door, 18,870-square-foot freight service center on 12-acres in the city of Robinson. Con-way currently employs 52 employees and will hire an additional 15 employees.
Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy (GWAMA), administered by the Waco Independent School District, opened in August 2013 to McLennan County junior and senior high school students to prepare them for careers in welding and manufacturing. Students who go straight to work upon graduation are guaranteed a job that pays at least $10 an hour with benefits or they can continue their education at Texas State Technical College and/or four-year university. GWAMA recently received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to acquire new equipment and expand course offerings.
Tinsley Place townhouses, a $4 million multi-family residence project in Downtown Waco near I-35, completed 12 out of 30 units. Shane Turner and Cody Turner plan to begin construction of a 65-unit second phase by November, with a complete build-out of the site by summer 2015.
Carter BloodCare completed construction of its $7.5 million, 29,154-square-foot, state-of-the-art component processing, distribution lab and blood donor facility on a six-acre site at the Colonnade in Woodway, giving Carter BloodCare the opportunity to expand with the increasing health care demands. The facility will bring production and lab capacity to Waco and house the administrative and recruitment offices, donor center, mobile staging, and act as the training and mobile collections site while retaining 58 jobs with a projection reach of 77 jobs. The Woodway location will provide blood supply resources to local and outlying community needs.
Second Quarter 2013
Vossloh AG announced a United States production facility for Vossloh Rail Fastening Systems in McLennan County, Texas, near McGregor. Vossloh operates worldwide in selected rail infrastructure and rail technology markets, focusing on heavy-haul, transit and high-speed rail. Operations will absorb a 100,000-square-foot building along Highway 84 and employ 28 employees by production start in mid-2014.
MaxFlight, providing multiple aviation services, announced its headquarter and major maintenance facilities relocation from Dayton, Ohio to Waco, Texas. MaxFlight will occupy space at the TSTC Industrial Airport. Employment is currently 40 and expected to grow to 80 over the next three years.
Waco Industrial Foundation (WIF) purchased 634.694 acres in Robinson, Texas from Dove Hill Partners, LP continuing its efforts to grow the economy through the attraction and expansion of business in the Greater Waco area.
General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has located its 68,312-square-foot Customer Support Center at 1205 N. Loop 340 in Lacy Lakeview. The center will support contracts with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and employ more than 440.
FedEx Freight broke ground on a 42,000-square-foot, $8 million to $10 million distribution facility in the city of Robinson, a Greater Waco community. Construction is underway with scheduled completion in early 2014. The facility is expected to create new jobs as a result of the expansion. The city of Waco received one proposal for 16 acres of riverfront property along the Brazos River and will be reviewing the various criteria points that were discussed in the request for proposal to make sure all areas were met. The city of Waco will announce their decision at a later
First Quarter 2013
The city of Waco began seeking proposals for 16 acres of riverfront property along the Brazos River. Lease and development of various properties will serve as a catalyst for riverfront development including a carefully integrated mix of commercial, retail and residential uses with public open spaces.
The Baylor Research & Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) is nearing completion of Phase 2 construction, bringing a total, to date, of $45 million in combined Baylor, local and state investments to the site. Phase 2 includes the finish out of advanced lab spaces and preparation of academic and research space for multiple Baylor research centers, graduate level engineering and completion of 50,000-square-feet of shelled industry space. Additionally, “LAUNCH” BRIC’s innovative business accelerator has established its home in the facility and is serving as an in-house bridge between research, product development and commercialization. Outside the BRIC, LAUNCH is serving the innovation and technology start-up movement in Greater Waco.
thInc Space, an incubator for creative startups, providing both a community gathering place and professional support network for entrepreneurs and businesses, is a program of the Greater Waco Chamber centrally located in the heart of the Greater Downtown Waco renaissance. Home to Baylor University’s Accelerated Ventures program, businesses have direct access to the resources necessary for a successful endeavor, including on-site counseling through the McLennan Community College Small Business Development Center and access to financial support through an on-site venture capital firm.