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

The Gulf Coast Economic Development District's (GCEDD's) next meeting is July 12 at the Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, Texas, 77027, 10 am to 12 pm. 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.
Apply Now for the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design Program 

Since 1991, this National Endowment for the Arts Program has provided assistance to local communities to address local challenges related to economic vitality and quality of life through design solutions. New this year to the 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.
Nominate Your Community for the Planning Excellence Awards Program

The American Planning Association (APA) Planning Excellence Program recognizes communities for outstanding contributions to planning in Texas.  

Evaluation criteria include the level of training of Planning Commissioners and professional staff, professional qualifications of the planning staff, breadth and currency of master plan components, economic development efforts, and completion of other planning related projects.

The application is open until July 1.  
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.
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
April Gulf Coast Labor Market Analysis  

Workforce Solutions provides a monthly analysis of the Gulf Coast region's labor market. Some highlights from the April 2019 report are:
  • The regional unemployment rate was 3.2%, down from the last three months  
  • Leisure & Hospitality added the most jobs (7,600)
  • 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
Attracting Employers By Creating a Vision for a Community 
Waller is a small town on the border of northwest Harris County and northeast Waller County. In 2009, Waller participated in the Houston-Galveston Area Council's Livable Centers initiative and created a plan to address future development, preserve the community's identity and sense of place, and enhance economic development. The plan forged a common vision of the town's intentions and desires for the future through the coordination of public infrastructure investments and private development and led to $1,600,000 in public investments.

The City of Waller created the plan to make the community a more appealing place to live, work, and play. Waller's efforts paid off by attracting the $417-million Daikin H-VAC manufacturing facility. 

For more information, see H-GAC's Economic Resiliency Plan in the Defending Great Places Section page 3. 
| 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.
USDA ReConnect Program |   June 21, and July 12

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting the first round of applications for the Rural e-Connectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program) with applications due: 
  • June 21, 2019, for loan/grant combinations; and
  • July 12, 2019, for low-interest loans.
ReConnect, a new program, offers loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in areas of rural America without sufficient access to internet. 

Local governments and other organizations can apply for 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 broadband service.
Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program | June 30 

The National Park Service (NPS) helps local agencies, non-profit organizations, tribes, and citizen groups on a variety of conservation and outdoor recreation projects. NPS offers technical assistance in four main categories: 
  • Build healthy communities through parks, trails, and outdoor opportunities 
  • Conserve natural lands, rivers, and watersheds 
  • Engage youth in outdoor recreation and stewardship 
  • Strengthen the organizational capacity of project partners
Applications are due June 30. Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to email the local office at [email protected] to discuss project ideas. 
USDA Rural Broadband Access Program | Throughout 2019

Local governments, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies can apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Broadband Access Loan program. 

Program funds pay for the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities required to provide service at the broadband lending speed throughout eligible rural areas.

Loan amount and terms vary by project and location. For more information, visit the USDA's website.
H-GAC's Clean Vehicles Program | 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 non-attainment 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.
H-GAC's Commuter and Transit Programs | 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 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. More information about H-GAC's Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Commuter and Transit Pilot Program, including how to apply, is available online.
| Upcoming Developments
A 124,800-square-foot industrial facility is planned at Generation Park. The development will be within Lockwood Business Park.

Lakeside Row The Residences is planned next to Josey Lake in Bridgeland. The 312-unit project will consist of a mix of apartments and townhomes.

The Cypress Preserve Logistics Center, a 560,000-square-foot facility, broke ground on 31.9 acres near I-45 and Hardy Tollway. It is expected to be complete fall 2019.

A 600-unit residential complex and 50,000 square feet of retail space will break ground on Allen Parkway across Buffalo Bayou Park. This will be the second phase of Regent Square, a mixed-use project.

A 124,500-square-foot office-warehouse project broke ground at 19005 FM 529. It is expected to be completed later this year.

A 5-story, 148-room Hyatt House hotel broke ground within the MetroPark Square mixed-use development in Shenandoah. The hotel is expected to open in late 2020.

Insperity broke ground on a 10-story, 270,000-square-foot office building and a six-floor parking garage on its campus near the southeast corner of I-69 and Kingwood Drive. The building is expected to be complete in 2020. Its corporate headquarters are at 19001 Crescent Springs Drive.

Marcel District, a 69,000-square-foot mixed-use development broke ground near Riverstone master-planned community. It is expected to be complete in 2020.

The Fordham at Eagle Springs, a 55-plus, active-adult community, broke ground late 2018. The 137-unit community will be at 18021 Eagle Springs Parkway in Humble and open in 2020.

Tomball ISD broke ground on its new district complex at Cypress Rosehill Road and the Grand Parkway last month. The complex will consist of an 117,000-square-foot elementary school, a 232,000-square-foot junior high school, and a 10,000-seat athletic stadium. After a few delays, the junior high school is expected to be complete in 2021, and both the elementary and stadium are scheduled to be complete in 2020.

Compiled from reports in Community Impact Newspapers, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, Rebusiness Online, and Texas A&M University Real Estate Center
Upcoming Events
June 19 | Trends in Online Site Election | TEDC | Webinar

June 20 | Feeding the Masses, and Your Economy | IEDC | Webinar 

June 25 | UpSkill Works Conference | GHP | Houston 

June 27-28 | Citizen Planner Program | TAMU | Rockport 

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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