Texas has been named Business Facilities’ 2019 State of the Year, becoming the first state to win BF’s top honor for the fourth time. The Lone Star State won the magazine’s inaugural SOTY designation in 2007; Texas also was BF’s State of the Year winner in 2012 and 2016.
The top five Texas projects in terms of capital investment last year brought a tidal wave of more than $30 billion in capex to TX, while the top five job-creating projects netted nearly 15,000 direct new jobs.
“As we ring in 2020, it’s time to acknowledge that Texas has by far been the most prolific economic development success story of the decade just ended,” said BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. “With a rapidly expanding skilled workforce and leadership in a diversified set of growth sectors, Texas will be sitting tall in the saddle for years to come.”
The biggest job-creating projects in TX included Uber’s new Administrative Hub in Dallas and a $1-billion investment by Apple in metro Austin. Uber’s facility at a new office tower is expected to create 3,000 new jobs. Apple is planning to hire 5,000 new employees for its new campus in northwest Austin, the second campus the tech giant has established in the TX capital.
Two mammoth LNG projects topped the list of major investments in Texas. Construction is scheduled to begin this year at the $15-billion Rio Grande liquefied natural gas export terminal in Brownsville, which will feature six LNG production units capable of producing more than 16 metric tons of LNG annually (the LNG production units are being designed to withstand hurricane-force winds of up to 150 miles per hour). A second major LNG export facility, Port Arthur LNG, has received the green light from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin construction at the Jefferson County site.
“These LNG export facilities will ensure that Texas maintains its grip on the top spot among exporting states in the 2020s, as it did throughout the first decade of the 21st century,” Rogers said. Texas has been the top state for exports for 15 consecutive years.
“Even if you take the oil and gas projects off the board, Texas brought in billions in capital investment for other growth sectors,” Rogers added. The top projects in TX included Texas Instruments’ commitment to build a $3.1-billion semiconductor chip fab in Richardson and Steel Dynamics’ new $1.9-billion steel mill in Sinton.
The Lone Star State’s dominance of the economic development landscape was again reflected in BF’s annual State and Metro Rankings Reports in 2019. Texas notched top-10 results in 15 categories in BF’s 2019 State Rankings Report; TX was BF’s top-ranked state in Installed Wind Power Capacity, FTZ Activity (Imports and Exports) and Cybersecurity Growth Potential.
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.
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