A powerhouse city. Boomtown. The epicenter of the Rio Grande Valley. There are plenty of ways to describe McAllen, Texas, but they all have one
thing in common: growth. “With the volume of consumers that comes in to
McAllen daily, our city has developed a robust economy,” says Rebecca Olaguibel, the city’s Director of Retail and Business Development. The numbers are incredible for a city its size. With a population of around 140,000, McAllen generates more than $3 billion in gross retail sales thanks to 18 million people (an average of 39,000 people per day) who visit the city every year. It’s just 10 miles north of the Mexican border, so international visitors flow through it via McAllen International Airport and the two international bridges managed by the city. “It’s truly a geographic jackpot,” says Olaguibel, who has worked for the City of McAllen for 12 years. Its retail offerings are part of the draw of McAllen, making it the premiere shopping destination in South Texas and northern Mexico. While new
shopping centers and big box retailers open up new locations there, city leaders say it’s important to recognize the critical role small businesses play in the overall success of McAllen. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.
Austin City Council is scheduled to cast its first vote on the latest draft of a comprehensive revision of its land use rules and zoning maps Dec. 9. Ahead of the vote, elected officials are holding a public testimony over the weekend for anyone to weigh in on the changes. The city’s land development code governs which and how structures can be built in the city, and the accompanying zoning maps dictate where specific development can occur. Significant makeovers to both pieces have been proposed in response to Austin’s rapid growth and will directly impact the physical character of Austin for years to come. The hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Austin City Hall, is the second such weekend public hearing on the land use code rewritten this fall. The Austin Planning Commission held a similar hearing in October ahead of its own vote on the revision. The window to sign up to speak will be open between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Speakers will get 2 minutes to speak to City Council. Saturday’s hearing marks the home stretch of the revision effort that extends back to 2012 and has directly cost taxpayers more than $8.5 million in costs associated with the rewrite. Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.
Apple has started construction on a new $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, the company announced this week. The facility is located near its Mac Pro facility, which began producing the firm’s latest top-of-the-line computer this month. The general contractor of the project has not been publicly identified. The 3-million-square-foot development, which is slated to be completed sometime in 2022, will be able to accommodate 5,000 employees at first, but Apple’s plan includes an eventual 15,000. Apple will power the buildings with solar power generated on-site, and the 133-acre campus will feature a 50-acre nature preserve, which will help the company achieve a total of 60% green space. The Austin campus is part of the company’s commitment to make $30 billion of capital investments in the U.S. from 2018 to 2023. During a press conference earlier this year, Kristina Raspe, vice president of global real estate and facilities for Apple, said that construction of the first building should take between 30 and 36 months. Click to read more at www.constructiondive.com.
The city of Austin expects the areas around the Broadmoor Campus and McKalla Place—the site of the new Austin FC stadium—to be primed for dramatic increases in development and subsequently heightened demand for transportation. City Council acknowledged that looming boom Nov. 14 when it directed City Manager Spencer Cronk to work with the city’s public transportation authority, Capital Metro, to help finance the completion of new rail stations in the two areas. Last year, City Council greenlit the first phase of a massive, 20-year, phased mixed-use development at the 66-acre Broadmoor Campus, an area currently occupied by the IBM campus. Plans for the area include at least 2,000 housing units and buildings reaching 360 feet tall. The area has been referred to as Austin’s future second downtown. The developers agreed to help relocate the Kramer Lane MetroRail station to the Broadmoor Campus.
Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.
Texas has awarded Microsoft Corporation a nearly $4.9 million grant as part of economic incentive deal that will bring hundreds of new jobs to the company’s Las Colinas office. Microsoft is expanding its operations in Las Colinas with $31 million in investments and the creation of 575 new jobs, according to a news release from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The grant comes from the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund, which is a “deal-closing” grant for companies considering investments in Texas, according to the Governor’s Business and Community Development Division. “We are excited that Microsoft has renewed its commitment to Irving-Las Colinas and believe it’s a testament to our business-friendly climate and high quality of life for companies and their employees,” Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer said in the release. “As a valuable corporate stakeholder in our community, we look forward to working with Microsoft as it builds [its] workforce and creates thousands of valuable technology jobs in Irving.” Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.
DALLAS – Texas employment will grow 2.1 percent this year, according to the Texas Employment Forecast by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Based on the forecast, the state will add 263,700 jobs this year. Employment in December 2019 will reach 12.9 million. This prediction comes after incorporating September 2019’s annualized employment growth of 0.7 percent and a decrease in the leading index. “After strong growth in June and July, Texas jobs decelerated in August and September,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president, and senior economist. “The weakness in oil and gas extraction is spilling over to other sectors such as transportation and warehousing, which experienced job losses in both August and September. “Manufacturing employment continues to grow at a good pace, however, in part driven by continued strength in petrochemical and refining activity. Construction activity also remains robust.” Click to read more at www.recenter.tamu.edu.