Missouri City’s steadfast commitment to economic development and private-public partnerships that promote growth was recently rewarded with the prestigious 2012 Community Economic Development Award for the Niagara Bottling Company project.
The honor was bestowed by the Texas Economic Development Council and the “Show Me City” won the top award for cities with populations of 40,001 to 100,000.
In making its decision, TEDC cited Missouri City’s “team effort” in partnering with the Greater Houston Partnership, the Fort Bend Economic Development Council, Fort Bend County, CenterPoint Energy Economic Development Group and Water Control and Improvement District No. 2 to interest the second largest water bottling company in the United States in opening its doors in premier Lakeview Business Park.
“We are very pleased with this achievement that involved CenterPoint, representing power, WCID number two, representing water, Fort Bend Economic Development Council, providing tax abatement assistance and the Greater Houston Partnership, which initiated the discussion,” said Mayor Allen Owen, who shared details of the recognition at the Oct. 1 City Council meeting. “This is an exemplary example of the significant growth and development our City is experiencing.” Mayor Owen, City Manager Edward Broussard and Economic Development Coordinator Bob Graf traveled to Austin recently to receive the award.
“The criteria used to determine the winners included, innovativeness, transferability to other communities, the number of jobs created, community commitment and added value to the tax base,” Graf said. “The Texas Economic Development Council looks at what tools were used as a community effort. For example, we were able to secure the deal with the help of other entities that will provide the resources that Niagara’s 356,000 square foot plant will require.”
In its recognition, TEDC also noted that “Missouri City attracted Niagara Bottling Company to the site of a former golf course, which had been re-developed into the Lakeview Business Park by Trammell Crow Company. Missouri City provided a 10-year tax abatement and used a Section 380 Agreement to help streamline the development process. The $60 million investment will create nearly 100 jobs.” The Austin-based professional association is dedicated to the development of economic and employment opportunities, and established the Community Economic Development Award in 1995 to honor excellence and exceptional contributions of Texas communities in business growth.
“We are honored by the recognition of our economic development peers for the work we did with Niagara,” Broussard said. “This is the result of the outstanding partnerships we have with our public and private partners, as we work together to build the economic infrastructure for our community.”
Niagara’s Missouri City plant is scheduled to be fully operational in Lakeview Business Park in the first quarter of 2013. When complete, the facility will include water processing, bottle manufacturing, warehousing and a distribution facility. The local plant will be the company’s 12th location countrywide, and will serve an expansive regional market for private label bottled water. Headquartered in Ontario, California, Niagara has bottling plants in eight states including Texas.
The 168-acre Lakeview Business Park, located adjacent to major thoroughfares such as the Sam Houston Parkway, Highway 90A and U.S. Highway 59, is currently home to manufacturing and distribution companies representing a variety of industries.
Following the purchase of land by Niagara, Lakeview developer Trammell Crow will add $2.75 million in drainage and road improvements to the business park. Missouri City has three years to reimburse Trammell Crow for these improvements and will do so with Metro sales tax rebates earmarked to be used for general mobility projects. The water and sewer improvements will be managed and reimbursed through WCID No. 2.