Economic Development Digest 
| Economic Development News
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Build to Scale (B2S) Funding Opportunities / Competitions

The Build to Scale Program supports technology-enabled, scalable startups that build regional economies. Intermediary support organizations, including incubators, accelerators, universities and labs, are eligible to apply for $35 million in funding, available across three challenges: the venture challenge, the capital challenge, and the industry challenge. The Economic Development Administration is accepting Concept Proposals for the Build to Scale program through March 24.
Project LIV-LAP Request for Proposals Due March 13

The Office of the Governor is requesting information for a company seeking a heavy manufacturing site. The project is expected to create up to 450 jobs with the potential of a two-phased investment of $150 million and $400 million. The company is seeking a geographic area with greater than a 100,000-person workforce within a 60-mile radius. The site should be located on a minimum of 50 buildable acres and served by a minimum of one Class I railroad near a major interstate. For more information, contact Michelle Rueda immediately at 512-936-0001.
Draft 2020-2024 CEDS Open for Public Comment

The 2020-2024 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is available online for review. Updated every three to five years, the CEDS analyzes the regional economy, establishes economic goals, and outlines a plan of action to achieve those goals. All comments should be directed to Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613 by March 23.
H-GALDC Logo H-GALDC Opens Applications for Community Enhancement Grants

The Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation (H-GALDC) Community Enhancement Grants initiative aims to stimulate reinvestment and commercial activity in downtown areas and public spaces, as well as to restore and preserve the historical fabric and character of the region's communities. Awarded funds will be used to beautify and revitalize downtown and public spaces in communities across the 13-county H-GAC region.

Eligible improvements include, but are not limited to, repair, replacement or new installation of gateway and wayfinding signs, streetlights, building façade improvements, fountains or sculptures, and more. Costs associated with design and/or materials and labor are eligible for funding.

For more information on this initiative and how to apply, contact H-GALDC staff at[email protected].
Liberty, Walker, Wharton Broadband Surveys Open

Liberty, Walker, and Wharton counties are acting to improve high-speed internet (broadband) connections for residents and businesses in the counties. Connected Nation is conducting surveys to determine the communities' internet needs. Residents and business owners in Liberty, Walker, and Wharton counties are encouraged to complete the online survey. More survey responses will provide better data to help broaden the provision of high-speed internet. 
Resilient Houston to be Focus of Presentation at Houston Food Bank March 11

The City of Houston released a comprehensive resiliency master plan--Resilient Houston--in February. Resilient Houston is a framework for how Houstonians can prepare for future disasters and the effects of climate change. Marissa Aho, the city's chief resiliency officer who spearheaded the plan, will be speaking at the Houston Food Bank about Food + Resiliency: the integral role food will play in our city and region's future from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 11 at the Houston Food Bank Room #245, 535 Portwall St, Houston, TX 77029 
Greater Houston Freight Committee Meeting April 16

The Greater Houston Freight Committee will meet from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on April 16 at the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The topic for the meeting is port competitiveness.
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.
| Funding Opportunities
Economic Development Administration Public Works Grants | Ongoing

The Economic Development Administration supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States by fostering job creation and attracting private investment. These Public Works Grants help communities build the infrastructure they need to support job growth and private investment. If you have an economic development infrastructure need in your community, contact Joshua Owens at 832.681.2613. Learn more.  
Environmental Protection Ageny Brownfield Grants | Ongoing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grants available for cleaning up brownfields. Brownfields are properties that have been contaminated by pollutants or hazardous waste. The EPA offers Area Wide Planning Grants, Assessment Grants, Revolving Loan Fund Grants, Cleanup Grants, and Job Training Grants. Learn more.
Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan & Grant Program | Ongoing

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan & Grant program provides funding to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities in rural areas.  The program has more than $2 billion available for rural communities to build or modernize education, health care, municipal and public safety facilities this fiscal year. Learn more.

Upcoming Developments 
A 58-acre mixed-use project  Center at Long Meadow Farms is slated to be located at Highway 99 and West Bellfort Street in Richmond. Grand Center will feature a 46,000-square-foot, two-story retail center expected to be complete in April.
Construction has stared on Montrose Collective, a 150,000-square-foot mixed-use development. The project will include the Montrose branch of the Houston Public Library. It is in the 800 block of Westheimer at Grant Street and is expected to be completed in 2021.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise's campus broke ground in Springwoods Village on the southwest corner of East Mossy Oaks Road and Lake Plaza Drive. The campus will consist of two five-story buildings totaling 440,000 square feet. The project is expected to be complete in 2022.
Phase one of a new development dubbed Woodforest Professional Plaza will break ground at the corner of Central Pine Street and Fish Creek Thoroughfare. Woodforest Medical Plaza I will be a two-story, 50,481-square-foot building. Phase two will consist of 42,000 square feet of medical and office space. Phase one is expected to be complete this year.
Southwest International Gateway Business Park will soon start construction along the US. 59-Interstate 69 corridor in Wharton County. Phase I will consist of a 125,000-square-foot distribution center and a 200,000-square-foot warehouse. The development has capacity for up to 8 million square feet of industrial space.
Nexus Park NorthWest will start construction on its four buildings for an industrial business park. The 476,640-square-foot industrial space will be at the intersection of FM 1960 and Bobcat Road in Cy-Fair. The industrial business park is scheduled to deliver by the end of year.
South Belt Central Business Park broke ground on the first phase of what will be a $3.5 million project. The first phase will consist of a 274,680-square-foot cross-dock facility and a 130,800-square-foot building. Both buildings are expected to deliver by the end of the year. The business park will be located at the northeast corner of Beltway 8 and Cottingham Street.
Construction started on The Interpose, a mixed-use project north of Washington Avenue at 11007 Shepherd Drive, former home of Bethel Church. The 126,500-square-foot, six-story project will contain 168 residential units and 20,475-square-feet of retail. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.
The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center will break ground later this year on a new three-story, 126,000-square-foot facility. The project will also include renovations of its existing facility at 5601 S. Braeswood Blvd.
A nine-story, 190,000-square-foot office tower has started construction at 9753 Katy Freeway. The office project is part of a mixed-use development which includes The McKinley, a 25-story multifamily tower. Construction is expected to take two years.

Marcel Boulevard is underway at 11322 I-45 S in Conroe. The open-air development will add 68,160 square feet of retail space as well as 32,400 square feet of office space. The project is expected to open in 2021.

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

Upcoming Events
March 14-18 | 2020 Washington Conference| NADO | Washington
March 27 | Future of Texas: Education and Industry | GHP | Houston
April 25-28 | 2020 National Planning Conference | APA | Houston
April 27-30 | Broadband Communities 2020 Summit| Houston
May 8 | State of the City | GHP | Houston

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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