By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2021 Issue
A civilian workforce of 14 million, unrivaled access and investment in infrastructure and the nation’s largest deal-closing fund come together in Texas to create the most advantageous business climate for expanding and relocating companies.
It’s why Toyota and Charles Schwab have moved their corporate headquarters from California to Texas; Apple has broken ground on a new Austin campus that will initially house 5,000 employees with the ability to grow to 15,000; and SpaceX has continued to invest throughout the state in office, development and space launch facilities.
From its workforce to industry base, Texas’ sheer size makes it an unrivaled powerhouse in the global economy.
In fact, if it were a country, Texas would be the 9th largest economy in the world, ahead of Australia, Mexico, Spain and Russia. Companies continue to flock to the Lone Star State to tap into the nation’s second-largest civilian workforce of 14 million; world-class infrastructure with international access by land, sea and air; and more. It’s no wonder that Texas is the leading state for GDP, exports, population growth and job creation.
Time Series (NETS) data confirms the popular view that Texas is the top destination for firm relocations. Counting all moves of businesses in or out of Texas from 2000 to 2013, more than 25,000 establishments came to Texas from other states, bringing more than 300,000 jobs.
NEW BRAUNFELS, TX: MAKING AN IMPRESSION
“The thought came to me involuntarily upon viewing the city and beautiful fruitful valley from a distance, what an earthly paradise could be created here through the hands of an industrious and cultured population.” – Dr. Ferdinand von Roemer, 1845.
Dr. von Roemer really did not know what the impact of the beauty of New Braunfels would have 175 years later.
Nestled deep in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, on the banks of two beautiful rivers is where you will find New Braunfels. Founded in 1845 by German settlers, the foundation of New Braunfels entrepreneurial spirit was kindled and remains very alive today. Since 1845, the characteristics of “work hard and make good progress” define New Braunfels—much like its founding ancestors over 175 years ago. Though much has changed from 1845 to today, the core principles set forth by the founders—hard work, progress, civic pride and family devotion—have remained a steadfast way of New Braunfels life.
Whether you are greeted with Willkommen or Howdy, you will feel the welcome grown from decades of pride and hospitality. Tourism has been a staple in this community since its first Hotel review in 1847 appeared in the Galveston, Texas paper. The stagecoach lines followed in 1848 and visiting New Braunfels was becoming a strong economic engine.
Fortunately, the pioneer German settlers brought with them the best teachers, craftsmen, architects, brewers, millers, weavers, festivals, and music, to supply New Braunfels with an advantage in the Texas frontier. From the beginning, New Braunfels was known for its festivals, singing societies, and celebrations; fast forward to 2021 and the hospitality in New Braunfels remains a staple of its economy.
Most visitors come to New Braunfels packing a swimsuit, a rod and reel, or a snorkel and fins. But New Braunfels is not just a water paradise. Once on shore, you’ll find a whole range of family-friendly activities and attractions in town. Throughout the year, visitors can tee off at the area’s premier golf courses, dance at Texas’ oldest continually operating dance hall, toe tap to over 20 live music venues, sip a craft beer, and dine under the stars while enjoying the sound of the flowing river.
Enjoying all that New Braunfels has to offer didn’t happen by accident. The founders chose the area due to its abundant natural resources, ample game, and building materials. “The land is so wonderfully situated: nothing better could be wished for; and much more beautiful than can be described.” – Nicholas and Anton Riedel, letter, April 30, 1845.
Unique beauty and one-of-a-kind attractions are still at the core of any visit to New Braunfels.
Delve into nearby Natural Bridge Caverns, the largest caverns in Texas, or enjoy 400+ acres drive through safari park at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch; both attractions are properties that are owned by one of New Braunfels’ founding families and that pride, care, and responsibility shines through every experience. Mozie on over to Gruene Historic District and get the true feel of a Nationally Registered Historic District that has been gently resisting change since 1872. Home to four live music venues, tubing or rafting the Guadalupe river, dining, and shopping, as well as festivals, spend plenty of time to soak it up.
“It is a central point, where the agricultural population can exchange their products for merchandise and the artisans have their permanent place of residence.” – Dr. Ferdinand Roemer, 1847.
Step into the “wunder” of downtown New Braunfels! A combination of over 50 buildings that are more than 100 years old and a vibrant shopping, dining, and cultural experience. This area has always been the heart of the community and the main plaza was left open in 1845 to be a marketplace to bring crops and goods to sell and barter. Today, the farmers market still takes place every Saturday and area restaurants pride themselves on serving up goodness from local farmers and the oldest bakery in Texas, Naegelin’s Bakery.
Stepping back and admiring the historic outdoor murals in downtown, the story of New Braunfels industrious founding comes to life. You may not know that a common household spice was invented in New Braunfels by a humble bartender, at the Phoenix Saloon that is still operating in the same location today. Willie Gebhardt decided to come up with an easy dish to serve the hearty Germans while they enjoyed some of the State’s original craft beers. He ground some ancho chilis and added them to a stew and—Gebhardt’s chili powder was born and sold nationwide today.
How exactly do you get to New Braunfels, Texas? The roadways and bridges you travel today were platted by the founding families in the first 30 days after they forded the river and found their home. Their advanced skills brought a surveyor, builder, engineer and all the know-how of a civilization with thousands of years of expertise.
The trails that cross Texas originated as Native American trails, marked by the ruts created by teepee poles being dragged as nomadic tribes traversed the area. Spanish and French explorers used these same trails as they entered the region. Their expeditions around New Braunfels were based on the ability to cross rivers in the area. Many explorers walked the ground of what would become New Braunfels years before any German settlers arrived, yet no permanent structures were in the area. Today, you can traverse these trails and navigate bridges that were some of the first crossings in Texas from West to East. Trails like the San Antonio Stage line, El Camino Real de los Tejas, Meridian Highway, International 7 Great Northern Railroad, Michler Military Trail, and the Shawnee, Wester, and Chisolm Trails.
So “Making an Impression” has been a New Braunfels tradition since 1845!
TOMBALL, TX: DYNAMIC DESTINATION
Business-minded Tomball, Texas is sustaining economic success with a multitude of favorable attributes. Developed infrastructure, prime location, carefully designed business parks, safe communities, premier education, and authentic culture are qualities of Tomball, located just 30 miles north of Houston. For businesses and many others discovering the uniquely vibrant city, Tomball is truly a dynamic destination.
Improved access to reach business centers has helped the Tomball economy grow swiftly. Local transportation projects, such as the expanded Tomball Parkway and recently completed Grand Parkway, deliver Tomball businesses direct entry to major thoroughfares that navigate the state and region and provide reasonable commutes for workers from newly developed communities. The improved infrastructure also allows travelers to and from Tomball convenient access to America’s fourth largest city, Houston, which hosts important infrastructure staples.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), less than a half hour drive from Tomball, serves as a key resource for Tomball businesses. With more than 25 airlines and nearly 70 international destinations, IAH helps bring the world to Tomball. Closer to home, David Wayne Hooks Airport, just five miles from downtown Tomball, gives businesses a nearby option for chartered flights and fixed-based operator (FBO) services.
Via one of the country’s busiest ports, Port Houston, Tomball companies can reach international and domestic markets by sea. Less than an hour from Tomball, many businesses access the Port by truck. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway also travels from Port Houston to Tomball.
The proximity to the area’s important hubs has encouraged businesses to look at Tomball for its location. What these businesses find once Tomball appears on their radar is a ready-made economic environment to grow and thrive.
Led by the 99.5-acre Tomball Business & Technology Park, Tomball’s commercial and industrial facilities continue to attract successful companies. Operated by the Tomball Economic Development Corporation, the Park is fully served with all utilities, provides off-site detention, and is mere minutes from Tomball’s major highways. Master-planned and deed-restricted with a light industrial zoning classification, the Park utilizes flexible lot sizes and competitive pricing to stand out.
Several new businesses announced plans to construct facilities in the Tomball Business & Technology Park. Most recently, JDR Cable Systems commenced construction on their U.S. headquarters in the Park. The power cable design, engineering and manufacturing company will bring 65 new jobs to Tomball from Houston when the company launches operations from its 65,000 square-foot facility in 2021.
Building off success of the Tomball Business & Technology Park, the Tomball EDC has made other key investments to inspire future development. 6.2-acre South Live Oak Industrial Park, located directly off Main Street near downtown Tomball, will provide a central location for businesses wanting to be close to Tomball’s top amenities. While South Live Oak is presently home to two industrial warehouses totaling more than 41,000 square-feet, the Tomball EDC has a vision to make the Park and adjacent property a master-planned, mixed-use development.
Location and available land are key reasons why businesses are investing in Tomball. Helping to encourage that investment are business incentives at a local and state level. The Tomball EDC helps fund infrastructure costs for eligible projects and provides financial assistance in the form of cash grants for projects that create or retain jobs, while the City of Tomball has a popular tax abatement program. The state incentivizes new business investment through the Texas Enterprise Zone Program and the Texas Enterprise Fund.
With so many new businesses moving to and looking at Tomball, the area’s population has seen a recent uptick and is projected for more rapid growth. Tomball’s population is expected to go from around 12,000 to more than 20,000 by 2030. The area immediately surrounding Tomball will likely see population surpass 100,000 within five years.
Tomball’s growth has been met proactively with a supply of residential housing. Last year, the City of Tomball announced nearly 2,000 new homes are planned for construction. Numerous other neighborhoods and master-planned communities have opened, or expanded, in recent years to meet Tomball’s growing popularity.
Key partners in managing Tomball’s surge are strong local educational institutions, specifically Tomball Independent School District and Lone Star College. Ranked among the highest-rated school districts in the State of Texas, Tomball Independent School District received an “A” grade from Texas Education Agency in its most recent accountability ratings.
Lone Star College-Tomball, which is part of the second largest community college system in Texas, educates thousands of students at three campuses, with degrees and certificates that directly translate into the labor force.
With roughly 7 million people in the Houston metro area, Tomball companies can effectively locate a skilled and diverse workforce without having to extend beyond the region.
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