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Economic Development Newsnews
Resources for Long-Term Economic Harvey Recovery
The U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Gulf Coast Economic Development District hosted a workshop on June 1 highlighting state and federal agencies with resources to aid in long-term economic recovery from Hurricane Harvey. A listing of state and federal agency resources for long-term recovery is available.      
Economic Resilience Plan Draft Review cover screen shot
Open for Comment: Draft Economic Resilience Plan
A draft of the Regional Plan for Economic Resilience has been released for review. Please submit your comments by noon, Friday, June 29, to Joshua.Owens.
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EDA Hurricane Harvey Recovery Funds Now Available!
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 percent match, which can include in-kind
  • Typical projects will range from $1 million-$2.5 million
  • First round of 14-15 applications anticipated to be funded by September 2018, with 1 or 2 subsequent rounds of funding
  • Must demonstrate a nexus to Harvey, in terms of economic recovery or resilience
  • Eligible applicants include governments, non-profits, and universities
For more information, please contact Joshua Owens or Robert Peche of the EDA.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Actions

The 2018-2022 Draft Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) will be open for public comment on Monday, July 2, at


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).

Texas Freight and Mobility Plan cover screenshot
Greater Houston Freight Committee Meeting
Two major highlights from the May 14 Greater Houston Freight Committee meeting include presentations from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on the Texas Freight Mobility Plan and H-GAC staff on the Ports Area Mobility Study. During the Texas Freight Mobility Plan update, TxDOT reviewed the steps taken to develop the plan, provided a 7-day overview of truck flows from Houston, and provided details on the 5-Year Freight Investment Plan. H-GAC staff's update on the Ports Area Mobility Study included a container management demonstration highlighting areas for operational improvements. The Ports Area Mobility Study is currently moving into the alternative modelling phase. The next Greater Houston Freight Committee meeting will be scheduled in August.
Marine Highway 69 (M-69) & Strong Ports Workshop
The West Gulf Maritime Association hosted the Marine Highway 69 (M-69) & Strong Ports Workshop on May 16 to advance and support freight logistics and opportunities for ports on the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway in Texas. One of the objectives of this workshop was to share information about federal and state initiatives that could benefit the local marine transportation system. Representatives from the ports of Houston, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Brownsville, and Freeport gave updates on the state of their respective ports and discussed ongoing projects at each port.  
Workforce Solutions and Apprenticeship Programs
workforce Solutions Logo TRIO Electric and the Electrician Pre-Apprenticeship Program at Spring Branch ISD's Guthrie Center offers high school students the opportunity to get a head start in the high-demand, high skill field of electrical work. By graduation, students can earn Level 1 Certificate for Electrician Helper from Houston Community College and will move immediately into the paid apprenticeship program at TRIO. Workforce Solutions supports collaborations between private sector employers and educational institutions to develop a highly skilled labor force in the region.
Upcoming Events

Funding Opportunities
EDA Announces University Center Economic Development Program
The purpose of the Economic Development Administration University Center Economic Development Program is to enable institutions of higher education and consortia of institutions of higher education to establish and operate University Centers specifically focused on using university assets to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship. Solicitations have a floor of $80,000 and ceiling of $200,000. Applications are due by July 15.

Small-scale Manufacturing Technical Assistance
Smart Growth America is soliciting applications for a new round of free technical assistance for communities interested in using small-scale manufacturing as a strategy to create economic opportunity, boost the prospects of Main Street, and build great places.

TDA Texas Capital Fund Infrastructure and Real Estate Program
The 2018 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 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.  

Upcoming Developments
NAI Partners, Kansas City Southern, and Ridgeline Property Group are participating in the development of the SW International Gateway Business Park. This 540-acre, rail-served business park in El Campo will accommodate up to 8 million square-feet of development. 

Jackson-Shaw have purchased 20 acres in Park Air 59 to develop three buildings totaling 320,000 square feet. The site is at the northeast corner of Will Clayton Parkway and US 59 in Humble. 

Texas Medical Center 3, or TMC3, a 30-acre research center, will break ground in 2019. The 1.5 million-square-foot project will be south of Brays Bayou and north of Old Spanish Trail. Estimated completion is in 2022. 

A new two-story 149,000 square-foot middle school is planned for Spring ISD. The middle school will be on 32 acres next to Northgate Crossing Elementary east of the North Freeway and north of the Grand Parkway.  

Coca-Cola plans to build a 1 million square-foot distribution facility at Pinto Business Park at Beltway 8 and Interstate 45 in north Houston. The project is estimated to cost $250 million and will be finished in 2020. It will replace two existing plants in Houston. 

H-E-B bought a 10-acre tract in Sealy's Town Park Center where it plans to build a grocery store with a pharmacy, a fuel station, and a car wash. The project will be on the Interstate 10 frontage road. 

Houston City Council has approved a $3.2 million deal to build a stadium for the city’s major league rugby team, the SaberCats. The 3,500-seat stadium will be at Houston Sports Parks along Highway 288. 

Ikea is under contract to build 160 acres in Generation Park as site for a new distribution center. The project may consist of a facility between 1.2 million and 1.5 million square feet.

Compiled from reports in the Community Impact Newspapers, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, Realty News Report, and company websites.
The Economic Development Digest is published quarterly by the
Gulf Coast Economic Development District.  

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