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GCEDD Meeting on Opportunity Zones | January 18 | GCEDD

The Gulf Coast Economic Development District quarterly meeting will be at 10 a.m. Friday, January 18, at H-GAC, 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston. 

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation will discuss the opportunity zones tool and the potential impacts it may have in the region. 

For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
Economic Development Administration Harvey Recovery Grants Technical Assistance Available During Federal Shutdown | EDA

Lydia Ortiz and Lucas Martin of the  Economic Development Administration (EDA) are providing technical assistance and support for the EDA's Long Term Economic Recovery Grants for Hurricane Harvey. For more information, see the Funding Opportunities Section or contact Joshua Owens.

For more information, see the Funding Opportunities section or contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
ReConnect Program Offers Broadband Infrastructure Funding for Rural Communities | USDA

The ReConnect Program, a new U.S. Department of Agriculture program, offers loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in areas of rural America without sufficient access. Local governments and other organizations can apply these funds to construct or improve buildings, land, and other facilities that are required to provide broadband service, and facilities that support the provision of satellite broadband service.
In addition to the ReConnect Program, the Farm Bill (H.R. 2) was recently signed into law and adds $350 million in broadband-related funding over five years. The Farm Bill 2019 [TA1] sets forth plans for the expansion of high-speed internet access to rural, unserved areas through three broadband funding mechanisms: Middle Mile Infrastructure Grants, Loans, and Loan Guarantees; Innovative Broadband Advancement Grants and Loans; and the Community Connect Grant Program.
Disaster Recovery Program | IEDC

International Economic Development Council logo with The Power of Knowledge and Leadership wordmark
The International Economic Development Council 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, branding and marketing, 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 - would be completely free of charge to organizations in the region

For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
Bring Back Main Street | January 22 | H-GAC

The next  Bringing Back Main Street roundtable will be Tuesday, January 22, at the Brazoria County Historical Museum, 100 East Cedar, in Angleton. Jason Vandever, Energy Code Program Manager at SPEER, will share his knowledge on meeting building codes and standards when renovating old or historic buildings in your downtown. Jason's presentation will be followed by a tour of two renovated buildings in downtown Angleton led by Martha Eighme, City of Angleton's Economic Development and Tourism Director.

For more information, contact Joey Kaspar 713-993-4547.
2045 Regional Transportation Plan | Public Meetings | H- GAC

The 2045 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is the region's long-range transportation plan prioritizing transportation projects in the eight-county Houston-Galveston region. Over the next few months, H-GAC will initiate conversations about the eight-county's mobility needs and will actively engage the public for feedback about what the community envisions for the future. Learn what's next for the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan at one of the upcoming public meetings or participate virtually in panel discussions real time at 

For more information, contact Francis Rodriguez.
CEDS Updates
November 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 November 2018 report are:
  • Employers in the H-GAC region added 16,600 jobs over the past month
  • The region has added nearly twice as many jobs this year compared to last year
  • November's unemployment rate was 3.8 % unchanged from October  
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 November 2018 are available online.
Economic Resilience
Utility Hardening | City of Liberty

Chambers County enhances the region's economic resilience through proactively working to plan and effectively regulate land use throughout the county. After Hurricane Ike, the County wrote and implemented a Disaster Recovery Plan. The plan prioritizes projects and identifies potential new building codes and land use regulations for the county. Projects include expanding the levee and developing a drainage master plan.   

Funding Opportunitiesfunding
Hurricane Harvey Funding Available | EDA | 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 a 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.
Funding Available for Clean Vehicle Programs | H-GAC | Continuous

H-GAC's Clean Vehicles program has grant funding available for local governments, school districts, and businesses to accelerate the replacement of high-emitting and heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses with new, lower emission vehicles. The program funds projects in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria nonattainment area. Previously funded projects include clean diesel and alternative fuel bus and truck replacements, natural gas refueling systems, hybrid electric transit buses, and marine vessel engine replacements. More information is available online. 
Funding Available for Commuter and Transit Pilot Programs | H-GAC | August 2022

H-GAC is requesting applications from local communities in the Metropolitan Planning Area for pilot programs that assist in the development of alternative travel modes that will help to improve air quality throughout the region. Projects may include, but are not limited to, new commuter bus services, suburban to suburban employment commuter services and first to last mile services. Funding is available from $150,000 to $1.6 million. For more information about H-GAC's Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Commuter and Transit Pilot Program, including how to apply, is available online.
Manufacturing Innovation Challenge | U.S Department of Energy | Ongoing

The U.S. Department of Energy is offering a series of cash prizes for innovations in next generation manufacturing technologies. The Challenge offers applicants an opportunity to submit innovative design concepts for additive manufacturing and other topics within several technology areas, including bioenergy, buildings, fuel cells, and vehicle technologies.
Individual prizes ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 will be awarded to innovators with the best solutions for today's manufacturing challenges. Challenges and deadlines are soon to be announced.
Funding Available for Flood Mitigation Assistance | FEMA | January 31        

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.  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
For more information, contact Kathy Hopkins.
Volunteers for Disaster Services | AmeriCorps | February 7

AmeriCorps is offering funding funding to organizations or local communities proposing member activities in Disaster Services. Disaster Services activities will provide support to increase the preparedness of individuals for disasters, improve individuals' readiness to respond to disasters, help individuals recover from disasters, and/or help individuals mitigate disasters.

An AmeriCorps member is an individual who engages in community service through an approved national service position. Members receive a living allowance while serving. A webinar about the program and how to apply is on Wednesday, January 16. For more information, contact Elisa Gleeson.
Upcoming Developments
Katy Boardwalk District, a mixed-use development next to Katy Mills Mall, will include a hotel, a conference center, luxury apartments, retail and offices. The 300-room hotel is expected to break ground late 2019.
A new project is coming to Missouri City. Logistics Property Co. is planning to develop City Park Logistics Center at the Northwest corner of Beltway 8 and US 90. The project is planned to have 1.7 million square feet.
The Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church will double its space next year. The church will be adding a new  80,000-square-foot sanctuary and education complex on the current site of Frenchy's on the corner of Wheeler and Scott.
Moviehouse & Eatery will anchor the first phase of a development in The Woodland's Village of Creekside Park. The 42,370-square-foot project should be complete in winter 2019.
A new industrial project is coming between I-10 and US 90, east of Igloo's headquarters. Pederson Distribution Park will break ground on a 621,920-square-foot building with an completion date of August. The 106-acre site has room for 1 million square feet of industrial space.
New retail is coming to Fulshear. Shoppes at Creek Crossing, a 40,000-square-foot project, will be near the West Park Tollway on FM 1463.
Waller County broke ground on a new  96,000-square-foot project that will include a jail, a sheriff's office and a courtroom. The project is expected to finish in October 2020.
Work on Centro, Shenandoah's single-family development, has started. The 13-acre project will include 96 single-family homes. Commercial space will follow in several years. Centro is southeast of the intersection of I-45 and Highway 242 adjacent to MetroPark Square. Homeowners can begin to move in summer 2019.

The former site of Toys R Us near the southeast corner of I-10 and Bunker Hill Road will soon be the home of a  six-story mixed use project. It is expected to consist of 275,000 square feet of office space and 45,000 square feet of retail.

Flour Enterprise Inc. plans to use a 28.5-acre site at the southeast corner of Lexington Boulevard and University Boulevard for a future campus that will include four multistory office buildings ranging in size from 79,000 to 169,000 square feet. 

Compiled from reports in Bis Now, Community Impact Newspapers, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, and Texas A&M Real Estate Center
Upcoming Events
Ongoing | USDA ReConnect Broadband Program | Webinars

January 29-31| Energy Mexico Oil Gas Power Expo & Congress | Mexico City

January 31 | GHP 2019 Annual Meeting | Houston, TX

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

February 5-6 | HOU2ATX 86th Legislative Session | Austin, TX

February 5-8 | Basic Economic Development Course | Katy, TX

February 7 | Small Biz Matters | Houston, TX

February 20 - 22 | TEDC Legislative Conference | Austin, TX

February 21 | Be Your Own Best Advocate | Webinar

March 20 | An Afternoon with the CEDS | Arlington, VA

March 21 | Get in the (Opportunity) Zone | Webinar

November 2018- April 2019| LISC's How to Do Creative Placemaking! | Webinar Series  

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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