Economic Development Digest and GCEDD logo
Economic Development Newsnews
Map of Growth in Chambers County
Growth in Chambers County
The Resin Boom: Perspectives from Brazoria and Chambers Counties
At the Gulf Coast Economic Development District (GCEDD) meeting on July 7, B.J. Simon of the Baytown-West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation and Sean Stockard of the Economic Development Alliance of Brazoria County gave presentations on the impact of increased resin production on their counties and how the growth will impact the regional economy. Mr. Simon provided an overview of the rapid growth taking place in Chambers County and the impact of the plastics industry as part of that growth. Mr. Stockard's presentation focused on the economic impact of the Dow Plant's investment in Brazoria County since 2008, with over $28 billion in capital investments, creating over 3,500 permanent jobs.
Economic Resilience Survey Closes September 1
The GCEDD is researching Economic Resilience in the 13-county Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) planning region through a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant. GCEDD seeks local expertise on economic vulnerabilities faced by each county and strategies being employed to address those concerns. Learn more about the project and provide insight on the region's economic vulnerabilities by participating in a survey for your county by Friday, September 1. For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable
H-GAC hosted a Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable on July 25 in Magnolia to discuss how to apply for funding from, and partner with, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). TxDOT's presentation is available on the Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable website. Save the date for the next Bringing Back Main Street at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 24. For information on the quarterly roundtables, contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513.
Economic Development Administration logo
Economic Development Administration Funding Available
Is there a job generation project in a distressed area of your jurisdiction in need of additional funding? The U.S. Economic Development Administration's investments in planning, technical assistance, infrastructure and capacity building support business start-up and expansion to enable towns and cities all across the country to build strong, durable and resilient local economies that produce good wages for American workers. If you have a project in that is in need of assistance, contact Robert Peche at 512-568-7732.
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Actions

The following articles highlight actions underway or available for the region to advance the strategies and actions in the GCEDD Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS).

Greater Houston Freight System Map
Federally designated Primary Highway Freight System and Tier One _ Tier Two of the Greater Houston Freight System
Freight Corridors Identified
Under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, in metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 population, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (such as H-GAC) are responsible for identifying supplemental strategic freight roadways within their regions. Stakeholders and freight professionals participating in the Greater Houston Freight Committee used maps to identify more than 100 important roadways to their businesses. H-GAC staff used data on truck activity and the location of major freight generators to further analyze the region's 100,000-plus roadways for additional freight routes. The Freight Committee recommends two tiers of roadways to comprise the Greater Houston Freight System. Tier One carries the most freight and provides regional connectivity. Tier Two provides critical primary access to key manufacturing, warehousing, and port locations.
New Jobs Planned for Conroe
Mitsubishi, Caterpillar, and Jungheinrich announced a plan to hire approximately 80 employees at the new Conroe plant. The venture, known as ICOTEX (Industrial Components of Texas), will provide metal components for forklifts, machinery, and other applications. Construction is expected to begin soon with completion planned by year-end, per Origin Bank. Workforce Solutions board member Joe Garcia is coordinating with the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council on the new hires. If you are interested in how Workforce Solutions can meet your staffing needs, contact Susan Dixon at 713-993-2406
Upcoming Events

Funding Opportunities
TDA Texas Capital Fund Infrastructure and Real Estate Program
The 2017 application and guide are now available for the Texas Department of Agriculture's (TDA) Texas Capital Fund Infrastructure Development and Real Estate programs. The programs are economic development tools designed to provide financial resources to non-entitlement communities. Funds from the infrastructure program can be used for public infrastructure needed to assist a business that commits to create and/or retain permanent jobs, primarily for low- and moderate- income people. Funds from the real estate program must be used for real estate development to assist a business that commits to create and/or retain permanent jobs, primarily for low- and moderate- income people. The real estate and/or improvements must be owned by the community and leased to the business. These programs encourage new business development and expansions. Applications are due on the 20th of each month.

EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is accepting grant applications to provide investments that support construction, nonconstruction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA's Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to forward economic prosperity in distressed communities. There are no submission deadlines under this opportunity. Proposals and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the publication of a new funding opportunity notice.

The SBA 504 Loan Program provides long-term business expansion financing for real estate, construction, and equipment purchases.  

The EDA Business Loan Fund assists qualified businesses with low-interest loans.  

The EDA Government Loan Fund assists governments making qualified purchases with low-interest loans.
Upcoming Developments
Part of the River Oaks Shopping center near the corner of Driscoll Street and West Gray Street will be replaced with a 29-story, 318-unit luxury residential tower.

District West is a 100-acre mixed use development coming to the Katy area south of the Westpark Tollway near Peek Road and east of the Grand Parkway. It will include 120,000 square feet of office space, approximately 70,000 square feet of retail space, and a Star Cinema Grill. It is expected to open Spring 2018. Kelsey Seybold already opened a 42,000-square-foot facility in the development.

Houston Methodist is preparing to open a hospital in The Woodlands, following a three year, $328 million construction project. The new, 193-bed hospital is located near Texas Highway 242 and Interstate 45.

Contempo Builders created a 9-acre development of 82 modern style homes ranging from 2,160 to 2,777 square-feet and starting in the $300,000s. The development is located south of West Tidwell at Rosslyn Road in the historic Acres Homes neighborhood of Houston.

Grand Texas, an entertainment district in New Caney, Montgomery County, is expected to include a water park and a theme park, among other offerings . Construction is planned to begin this year.

Energy Commerce Business Park is expected to finish Phase II in early 2018 and consists of a 101,400 square-foot building and a 232,960-square-foot building. The park is located at 611 E. Sam Houston Parkway S. Plans also include a 54,080-square-foot building for Phase III.

Compiled from reports in the Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, Covering Katy, and Houston Community Impact Newspaper.
The Economic Development Digest is published quarterly by the
Gulf Coast Economic Development District.  

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