Economic Development Digest 
| Economic Development News
Attend The GCEDD July Meeting  

The next meeting of the Gulf Coast Economic Development District (GCEDD) will be from 10 a.m. to noon July 12 at the Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston. The Center for Houston's Future will present information on the region's future economy.

GCEDD meetings provide an opportunity to network with fellow economic developers, community members, and regional stakeholders. 

For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership Moves Offices

The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership is relocating their offices to Lake Front North, Building 2, at Hughes Landing to accommodate their growth.
Foreign Investments, Exports Increases in Houston Region Over Past Decade

The Greater Houston Partnership recently announced more than 2,500 Houston manufacturing firms are currently engaged in global trade, and more than 500 foreign-owned firms have announced investments in the Houston area over the past decade. Approximately 17.3% of Houston's economy is tied to exports, nearly double the percentage in 2003, according to the latest data from the Brookings Institution. 

Over the past 10 years, at least 517 foreign-owned companies have announced plans to invest in Houston through 659 different deals. Though the value of investment was made public in less than half of these deals, the cumulative total of the disclosed investment is over $33 billion.
Apply Now for the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design Program 

Since 1991, this National Endowment for the Arts Program has provided assistance to communities to address local challenges related to economic vitality and quality of life through design solutions. New this year to the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) program is a peer learning component for rural leaders that features training in design, planning, community engagement, and support in navigating funding opportunities.

Communities with a population of 50,000 or less are encouraged to apply by July 22.
NADO Impact award with graphic of outlined faces
Deadline for 2019 NADO Impact Awards is July 16

The National Association of Development Organizations recognizes member organizations that demonstrate valuable and effective approaches to regional economic and community development through The Impact Awards. Awards winners have successfully leveraged their awards to bring additional resources to their regions and have also used the awards to better explain to their various audiences the important work they do. 

The application is open until July 16.
Disaster Recovery Program | IEDC 

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is placing experienced economic development professionals as volunteers in economic development organizations throughout 
the region that can use expert input doing various
tasks such as: 
  • Attracting inward investment
  • Business outreach, retention and recovery 
  • Community outreach, finance, flood control and mitigation
  • Grant writing, strategic planning, and training/education
Thanks to U.S. Economic Development Administration funding, the volunteers-- who typically come for five days and then do supplementary work remotely--are completely free of charge to communities in the region.
For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
Economic Disaster Resiliency Workshop | IEDC and BVCOG 

On July 16, the Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG), in partnership with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), will host a full-day workshop in Bryan, Texas, on economic resiliency and preparedness for communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey and other disasters. Trainings and presentations by IEDC, local organizations, and federal and state agencies will demonstrate how communities can build back better at this free workshop. For more information, please contact [email protected].
TEEX Recovery Courses Accepting Course Requests/Reservations 

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is accepting course requests and reservations. The 12-hour Disaster Recovery Public Assistance course and the four-hour Disaster Recovery for Senior Officials course can be scheduled now. TEEX will come to your community; there is no-cost for this training. For more information, contact Andrew Wenzel, Program Director, at [email protected].
Texas General Land Office Logo
Take the GLO's Disaster Recovery Mitigation Survey 
Texas will receive $4.297 billion in federal disaster mitigation funds to help vulnerable communities prepare for future disasters. The Texas General Land Office (GLO) is working to write a Mitigation Action Plan that outlines what types of activities will be funded, who will receive these funds, and how much funding will be available to each community. 

This survey is one of the many ways GLO is generating feedback on needs and challenges faced by communities. This survey maybe used to generate an allocation methodology. Completion of this survey does not guarantee allocation of funds nor is it required to receive funding.         
|CEDS Updates
May Gulf Coast Labor Market Analysis  

Workforce Solutions provides a monthly analysis of the Gulf Coast region's labor market. Some highlights from the  May 2019 report are:
  • The regional unemployment rate was 3.2%, remaining the same as last month
  • Professional & Business Services added the most jobs (3,200)
  • All sectors except information showed year-over-year growth 
The report highlights data from the Texas Workforce Commission and the Bureau of Labor Statistics focusing on the region's 13 counties. Reports are available on Workforce Solutions' webpage.
Economic Resilience
Future Proofing Through Smart Mobility Technology
Transportation technology and infrastructure is undergoing a significant transformation with the innovations in electrification, shared transportation, and automation. The Regional Plan for Economic Resilience highlights a case study of the work the City of Frisco did to pilot an adaptive signal control allowing traffic lights to respond to traffic conditions. This is a step toward automation in transportation. 

The Houston-Galveston region took step toward future proofing with the introduction of the first self-driving shuttle, being piloted by METRO at Texas Southern University.

For more information about Future Proofing, see H-GAC's Economic Resiliency Plan. 
| Funding Opportunities
BUILD Transportation Grants | July 15

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation grants will be awarded to projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, or intermodal transportation projects, including pre-construction activities. 

Local governments, including cities and counties, as well as port authorities can apply for funding. Applications are due on July 15. 
HUD HOPE VI Main Street Grant Program | July 30 

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding up to $1 million to small communities to convert unused or obsolete commercial property into housing. Eligible applicants include city and county governments. 

More information is available on HUD's website. 
NEA Our Town Grant | August 8 

The National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) Our Town Grants provide the opportunity for new creative placemaking projects. Projects can include public art, art festivals, public space design, and creative business development. 

Projects require a partnership between a non-profit organization and a government entity. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $200,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount. For more information visit the NEA's website.
| Upcoming Developments
Houston's Heights neighborhood will see the development of a 12-story apartment complex at the corner of West 12th and Nicholson
Street. The 152-unit project will be at 510 W. 20th Street near the Heights Waterworks.

Avera has purchased 40 acres in the Cedar Port Industrial Park near the Grand Parkway and FM 1405 in Baytown for the site of Cedar Port Logistics. The Houston-based developer plans to break ground on a project ranging from 610,000 square feet to 2.3 million square feet in the second quarter.  
Life Time Inc. will soon break ground on a 140,000-square-foot fitness-coworking facility and a 420-unit multifamily project in The Woodlands. The $130 million mixed-use project will be near the intersection of Six Pines Drive and Lake Front Circle. Completion is expected by 2022.
The Texas Medical Center in Houston will see the construction of the first public mental health hospital built in Houston in the past 30 years.  UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus for Behavioral Health broke ground on its 240-bed hospital at 5601 W. Leland Anderson St., near the UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center. The $125 million facility is scheduled to open in 2022.
The Houston Airport System broke ground on the first phase of the Houston Spaceport at the former Ellington Airport site. The spaceport would be used for the launching of micro satellites, astronaut training, zero gravity experimentation, spacecraft manufacturing,and other potential activities, including space tourism. The $18.8 million phase will include streets, wastewater, electrical power, and a 53,000-square-foot lab and office space on 154 acres.
Fidelis Realty Partners began demolition at Baytown's San Jacinto Mall. They plan to redevelop the mall and turn it into an outdoor retail and lifestyle center. The new San Jacinto Marketplace will include 1.1 million square feet of retail and 80,000 square feet of office space, restaurants, festival, and concert space. The first phase is expected to open in 2020.
The Ion is expected to break ground later this summer at 4201 Main Street, a former Sears location in Houston's Midtown. The renovated 270,000-square-foot facility is being designed to bring the area's entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities together into collaborative spaces and programs. A mix of restaurant and entertainment amenities will make the building a continuous hub of collaboration and activity.
Houston's former Barbara Jordan Post Office at 401 Franklin Street will be redeveloped into a 550,000-square-foot mixed-use development. The project will include restaurant, retail, entertainment space, and a 210,000-square-foot rooftop garden. It is expected to be complete in 2020.
Howard Hughes Corporation broke ground at the southeast intersection of Six Pines Drive and Timberloch Place in The Woodlands on a 163-unit multifamily development. The seven-story, 179,388-square-foot development is expected to be complete in late 2020.

Spring ISD's Dekaney High School Ninth-Grade Center broke ground at 22351 Imperial Valley Drive. The 130,989-square-foot school is expected to open before the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Compiled from reports in Community Impact Newspapers, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, and Texas A&M University Real Estate Center
Upcoming Events

August 1 | Governor's Small Business Workshop | League City 

August 23 | Sales Tax Workshop | TEDC | Abilene 

September 10 | Women's Issues in Transportation Conference | TRB | California

September 20 | Sales Tax Workshop | TEDC | San Antonio 

October 9-11 | Annual Conference | TEDC | San Antonio 

October 13-16 | Annual Conference | IEDC | Indiana 

October 19-22 | Annual Training Conference | NADO | Nevada

October 25 | Sales Tax Workshop | TEDC | Houston  

November 6-8 | Big State Big Plans | APA | Waco  

December 13 | Sales Tax Workshop | TEDC | Austin 

The Economic Development Digest is published monthly by the

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