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Economic Development News news
Attend | Future of Retail: Your Community Destination Workshop | H-GAC

Save the date for Future of Retail: Your Community Destination from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. September 21, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. At this half-day workshop, participants will gain insights from experts on retail trends and future opportunities and learn how small communities are attracting and retaining retail tenants while rebranding their retail destinations through practical policies, programs and projects. Breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. Registration is requested. For more information, contact Anita Hollmann at 713-993-4587.
Nominate | HYPE Impacts Awards | Due September 1 | GHP

Impact Awards Logo As part of its Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs HYPE Impacts Awards, the Greater Houston Partnership is seeking nominations of young professionals or entrepreneurs (21-40 years old) who have contributed to their local community. Three categories of awards recognize inspiring individuals who have built successful businesses, generate innovate ideas, and demonstrate passion and spirit through their work. Complete applications are due by 5 p.m. September 1.
Explore | New Demographic and Socio-Economic Interactive Tool | H-GAC

Demographic and Socio-economic changes in the houston region cover The Houston Galveston Area Council's new Demographic and Socio-Economic Interactive Tool compares the Houston metropolitan area to 19 peer regions to explore topics such as employment, population change, Gross Metropolitan Product, and housing across these metro areas. Key topics to include housing affordability, average commute time, and the proportion of small businesses within the region.
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies
The following article highlights actions underway or available for the region to advance the strategies and actions in the GCEDD Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS).
Update | Helping Businesses Recruit New Talent | Workforce Solutions

workforce Solutions Logo Workforce Solutions can help businesses throughout the region meet their staffing needs at no cost to the employer. Burlington Coat Factory's East Freeway store was heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey and was forced to close until repairs were complete. When it came time to open and staff the location, Burlington Coat Factory contracted with Workforce Solutions to meet their employment needs. Through a series of three recruiting events, Burlington Coat Factory secured the 75 qualified employees it needed to reopen. The store is now fully staffed and operational.
Funding Opportunities
Grants Available for Economic Development Projects in Rural Communities

The Foundation for Rural Service is accepting grant applications from rural communities to support business and community development, education, and telecommunications projects. Priority is given to projects in broadband development. The deadline to apply is September 15, 2018. Program guidelines and instructions to apply are available online.
Grants Available for Financing Affordable Housing and Community Facilities CDFI Fund Affordable Housing Logo

Certified Community Development Financial Institutions and eligible nonprofit housing developers can apply for funding through the US Treasury Department's Capital Magnet Fund through September 17, 2018. Awardees can use funds to create financing tools such as loan loss reserves, revolving loan funds, risk-sharing loans, and loan guarantees to help develop affordable housing and community facilities. More information is available on online.
$4 Billion Available for Rural Water Infrastructure Projects

The USDA's Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program is accepting applications for rural water infrastructure projects until September 30, 2018. The USDA is providing direct loans to help rural communities build or upgrade water infrastructure. Community leaders and water district operators are encouraged to apply. Rural communities can find out more and apply through online. Contact the region's local representatives, USDA's Area Director Sabrina Glenn or USDA's Area Loan Specialist, Monica Pierre with any questions.
$2 Billion Available for Eligible Producers Affected by 2017 Hurricanes

Agriculture producers affected by hurricanes in 2017 may be eligible for USDA 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity program relief funds through November 16, 2018. All counties within the GCEDD region are eligible to apply for funds. The USDA is making immediate payments of up to 50 percent of calculated payments. More information and instructions on how to apply is available on the USDA's website.
Upcoming Developments
Houston Community College broke ground on a two-story, 38,000-square-foot culinary arts building. The $30 million project will be bounded by Alabama, La Branch, Windber and Austin streets, and is expected to be complete in two years.

Katy ISD will soon break ground on a new Agricultural Sciences Center. The $33.7 million project will replace the existing 25,200-square-foot building students have outgrown. The new center will at 5825 Katy Hockley Cut Off Road.

Ridge, the industrial development arm of Transwestern Development Co., broke ground in May on the Southwest Commerce Center, a 477,000-square-foot industrial project. The new building is on 29 acres near the corner of Beltway 8 and Highway 90 in Missouri City. It is expected to be deliver in early 2019.

Winther Investment Group broke ground on a midrise apartment in Midtown. The 215 unit is planned for completion in spring of 2020.

Costco plans to open a 150,000-square-foot store in Webster on October 9.

RTIC Coolers is opening a new store on Hempstead Road, near Huffmeister Road and Highway 290 in Cy-Fair. The 10,000-square-foot store will open on November 1.

Hines plans to develop the Grand National Business Park on 107 acres adjacent to the Sam Houston Race Park. The 1.5 million-square-foot industrial and logistics space will be on the southeast corner of Sam Houston Tollway and Gessner Road.

Medical Plaza West, a medical office building, will be breaking ground in Katy early 2019. The 70,000-square-foot building will part of Katy Green mixed-use development, located south of Interstate 10 between Barker Cypress and Greenhouse roads across the freeway from Texas Children's Hospital and Houston Methodist West Hospital.

Megacenter of Florida is converting a shuttered Walmart Supercenter at 7075 Farm-to-Market Road 1960 into Megacenter Willowbrook, a mixed-use project offering industrial flex, retail, and office space, along with a gym, an auto center, and self-storage. The 235,627-square-foot project will be built in three phases with the first phase, a 113,940-square-foot gym, 47,319 square feet of flex space and a 6,810-square-foot auto center, is underway.

Compiled from reports in the BisNow, Community Impact Newspapers, Connect Texas: Commercial Real Estate News, Houston Business Journal, and Houston Chronicle.
Upcoming Events
August 24 | Economic Development Sales Tax Workshop | Lubbock, TX
September 13 | Forum Governor's Business Form for Women | Arlington, TX
September 18-21 | Fall Basic Economic Development Course | Arlington, TX
September 28 | Economic Development Sales Tax Workshop | Richardson, TX
October  8 - 11 |ULI Fall Meeting | Connect With the World of Real State | Boston, MA
October  17 - 19 | TEDC Annual Conference | Fort Worth, TX
October 23 | Bring Back Main Street Roundtable |TBD, TX
November 9 | Economic Development Sales Tax Workshop | Houston, TX

The Economic Development Digest is published quarterly by the
Gulf Coast Economic Development District.