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Economic Development Newsnews
Responses Requested: Broadband Availability Survey | GCEDD

The GCEDD is working to enhance broadband access in the region, in accordance with the region's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. To better understand the region's broadband needs, the GCEDD is conducting a survey of broadband availability

This survey takes under a minute to complete. Please consider passing the link to your colleagues, the more responses we receive, the better our understanding of the regional broadband network will be. 

For more information, contact Joshua Owens at  832-681-2613. 
Economic Development Revitalization Program | General Land Office Texas General Land Office Logo

Heather LaGrone of the General Land Office presented at the last GCEDD quarterly meeting, October 5, at the Houston-Galveston Area Council. She presented on the Community Development and Revitalization Program (GLO-CDR). Within this program there is currently $100 million allocated for economic revitalization. For more information, see her presentation or contact Heather LaGrone.
Fall Planning Workshop: Planning at the Edge November 9 | H-GAC

Planning at the Edge word lock up logo Mark your calendars for the annual Fall Planning Workshop at 8:30 a.m., Friday, November 9, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

This annual half-day workshop series for local governments features presentations on best planning practices for communities and is co-sponsored by Houston APA.

This year's workshop, Planning at the Edge, invites participants to join in discussion with local cities and counties, especially unincorporated areas, experiencing growth and development. This workshop will focus on common issues, challenges, and potential management solutions.
Recap: Future of Retail Workshop | H-GAC

On September 21, partners from across the region gathered to hear from a variety of local and national community leaders at the Future of Retail workshop at H-GAC. Participants gained insights from experts on retail trends and future opportunities.

They learned how communities like Navasota, Rosenberg, Huntsville are attracting and retaining retail tenants while rebranding their retail destinations through practical policies, programs, and projects. If you missed the presentations, you can view them here.

For more information, contact Anita Hollmann at 713-993-4587.

Have Ideas for future Retail Workshops? Please take this survey.
Explore the August Gulf Coast Labor Market Analysis | Workforce Solutions

workforce Solutions Logo Workforce Solutions provides a monthly analysis of the Gulf Coast region's labor market. Some highlights from the August 2018 report are:
  • Employers in the H-GAC region added 110,200 jobs over the past year- this growth is approaching the record peak of December 2014
  • Professional and business services saw the largest decline in August at a loss of 5,800 jobs, but year-to-year growth of 35,000 jobs is the largest ever year-to-year gain the region has seen in this sector
  • The sectors with the biggest gains were Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Education and Health Services; and Construction.

The report highlights data from the Texas Workforce Commission and the Bureau of Labor Statistics focusing on the region's 13 counties. Reports from January to August 2018 are available on 
Workforce Solutions' webpage.
Apply for Our Great Region Awards | October 15 to November 16| H-GAC

The Our Great Region Awards recognize outstanding projects in the region that are advancing the goals and strategies identified in the Our Great Region 2040 plan. The application opens Monday, October 15, and closes Friday, November 16. 

Any plans, programs, projects, or policies that have implemented a strategy of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13-county region in the past four years are eligible for submission. 

For more information, contact Amy Combs at 713-993-4544.
Funding Opportunities
EDA Hurricane Harvey Funding Available | Continuous

The U.S. Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Austin regional office received $129,119,000 in supplemental funding for disaster relief and is actively seeking projects to help communities in our region recover from Hurricane Harvey. The recently released Notice of Funding Opportunity outlines the requirements, which include the following:
  • Projects require an 20% match, which can include in-kind
  • Typical projects will range from $1-$2.5 million
  • Must demonstrate a nexus to Harvey in terms of economic recovery or resilience
  • Eligible applicants include governments, non-profits, and universities
For more information, contact Joshua Owens or Robert Peche of the EDA.
FEMA Funding Available for Flood Mitigation Assistance | January 31, 2019        
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program provides funding to local communities for projects and planning that reduces or eliminates long-term risk of flood damage to structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FMA funding is also available for management costs. The application period ends January 31, 2019.  Eligible projects include:
  • Infrastructure/ Utility/ Sanitary sewer protective measures
  • Floodwater storage and diversion
  • Stormwater management
  • Wetland restoration/creation
  • Localized flood control to protect critical facility
  • Floodplain and stream restoration
USDA Funding Available for Farm to School Programs | December 4

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Program provides grants and technical assistance to help local governments, schools, and agriculture producers implement farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in schools. Grant funding is available for three main activities:

  • Implementation grants to scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. Implementation awards range from $50,000 - $100,000.
  • Planning grants to help entities organize and structure their efforts for maximum impact by embedding known best practices into early design considerations. Planning awards range from $20,000 - $50,000.
  • Training grants to support trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains, or trainings that provide technical assistance in local procurement, food safety, culinary education, and/or integration of agriculture-based curriculum. Training awards range from $20,000 - $50,000.
$2 Billion Available for Eligible Producers | November 16

Agriculture producers affected by hurricanes in 2017 may be eligible for USDA 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity program relief funds through November 16, 2018. All counties within the GCEDD region are eligible to apply for funds. The USDA is making immediate payments of up to 50% of calculated payments. More information and instructions on how to apply is available on the USDA's website.
Upcoming Developments
Former Palace Bowling Lanes located at 4191 Bellaire Blvd. will become a mixed-use development. Southside Commons will consist of a two-story, 80,000-square-foot building which will include 10,000 square feet of retail, 30,000 square feet of entertainment/restaurant, and 40,000 square feet of offices. This project is expected to open in summer of 2019.

Montrose Garden, a 20-story mixed use project, will replace Khun Kay Thai Café on Montrose Boulevard. The upcoming development will include about 6,000 square feet of retail and 100 condominiums.

Two Lakes Edge, the second apartment complex in Hughes Landing, broke ground last month in The Woodlands. The 8-story complex will include 386 units plus retail and restaurants on the ground level.

The Grid, a mixed-use project, broke ground this month on the site of the former Texas Instruments Inc. campus in Stafford. The project will consist of 350,000 square feet of retail and restaurants which will include In-N-Out Burger, Pluckers and Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar. The Grid will also include 500,000 square feet of office space and 2,400 residential units. The first phase of the $500 million development will open next year.

The Royalton at Kingwood has broken ground. The apartment project will be along North Park Drive, west of IUS 59. The project will consist of 331 units. Another project is expected at the northwest corner of Greenhouse Road and Cypress North Houston. This 14-acre project will be a mix of townhomes and apartment buildings.

The Lodge at Pine Creek has broken ground in Baytown. The 217-unit senior living project will be located on Hunt Road, east of Garth Road. The development is scheduled for completion for in 2020.

A new luxury townhome project will begin construction early next year. Starwood Farms will be located at 12603 Telge Road and include 244 homes. The first buildings will be ready to move in 2020.

Pearland Learning Center will open at the end of October. The two-story, 20,000-square-foot project is located at 12310 Broadway Street.

The Domain at Boulder Creek is a 324-unit apartment complex expected to finish by the end of the year. The apartment complex is park of Boulder Creek, a planned development which may include restaurants, office, medical office and hotel buildings. The project is located at Beltway 8 and Pearland Parkway.

The Woodlands Christian Academy recently broke ground on a 65,000square-foot, 3-story high school building on its 40-acre campus. The building is expected to be complete by August 2019.

Plastic Bagging & Packaging Inc. is adding a new facility in Cedar Port Industrial Park. The new 520,000-square-foot project will be located on 515 E. Grand Parkway S., and it is expected to be complete next summer.

Mars Properties broke ground in August on an 89,440-square-foot industrial distribution center. The center will be complete next spring and it is located at 1039 Schlipf Road.

Stonelake Capital Partners are planning a 15-story office at the corner of Westheimer and Mid Lane. The 200,000-square-foot tower is expected to be completed by 2020.

Plans to renovate the Astrodome are expected to start next year. The Astrodome floor will be raised 30 feet to create 500,000 square feet of rentable space and 1,400 parking spaces. Construction is expected to take 20 months.

Compiled from reports in Bis Now, Community Impact Newspapers, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, and Texas A&M Real Estate Center
Upcoming Events
October 23 | Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable | Humble, TX

November 7-9 | CDFA National Finance Summit | Dallas, TX



 
November 9 | Economic Development Sales Tax Workshop | Houston, TX


December 4 | Latest on Opportunity Zones | Webinar

January 27- 29, 2019 | IEDC Leadership Summit | Fort Lauderdale, FL

The Economic Development Digest is published quarterly by the
Gulf Coast Economic Development District.  

Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77027
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