Betty Reinbeck past Executive Director of the Tomball Economic Development was our speaker for this month’s meeting of Tomball Business & Professional Women. Notice I said “Past director” as we were her last presentation before she retired. She filled us in on the economic outlook of Tomball for 2011.
Tomball economic development corporation is a type B sales tax organization; which means it is funded by sales tax revenue and that is its only funding. Betty told us for the last 6 months the sales tax revenue has been up which means the economy of Tomball is doing quite well. This is good news as in 2008 & 2009 the sales tax was down about 4 to 7%. In the last 6 months it has been up 10 to 12% over the previous year. Economic outlook is extremely good from sales tax and the interest in Tomball. Since January the economic development corporation already has 5 new projects.
One of the projects is water, gas and sewer to Brown road all the way down to Spring Creek Estates. EDC cannot spend money on utility extensions for residential so from there it is city. It opens up about 100 acres in 5 different parcels. This will be a boom for commercial construction on Brown road. A prime example is Paloma Energy Consultants LP whom are relocating their corporate headquarter to 14405 Brown Road within the City of Tomball. They will be relocating 58 employees and are looking to add additional employees. This is the type of project that is perfect for Tomball.
There’s still a lot of land in the City of Tomball that does not have utilities. The Tomball EDC is looking for those projects that will open a lot of tracts. They are not going to put utilities in to help a developer sell his one development but they will do it for 5 to 10 developments.
Another project of the EDC is the Tomball Market Center (which most people call the Academy Center). The Tomball market center started in 2007 but then the downturn happened and up until the present it has just been Academy Sports. Hopefully that is soon to change as Betty said a big anchor store has signed their lease and have their plans in to review with the Tomball city council. If that should happen then leases than have been pending such as Ross & Best Buy would happen as they have just been waiting for a big anchor store. Community Bank of Texas is also going in to Tomball market place
Betty told us that during the downturn of the last few years a number of the companies that she has been working with have had to lay people off but now they are re-hiring which is a promising sign.
Several Tomball companies are expanding right now. To name a few are Walker Shaw Pierce Industries on Hicks Street , Theo Technologies on South Cherry Street & Hole specialist on Commercial Park Dr. Hole Specialists Inc., plans to expand its facility by 25,000 square feet and add between 15 and 25 new jobs. Persimmon Business park just added a 10,000 square foot building. Jameson products took an existing building remodeled it and doubled their size. Chestnut business park will have 8 building in it; office/warehouse space. Glass Tech Enterprises getting ready to start construction.
Toro Downhole tools has begun construction of a 25,000 square foot corporate headquarters and tool service facility on the northeast corner of FM 2920 and Buescher Road, just west of Tomball. Fabcorp Incorporated is relocating to a facility on Red Fox lane. This will bring 52 employees with fabrication and machine operation. Even though these two companies are not located within the City limits of Tomball they are still important as their employees will be living, working, shopping and eating in Tomball.
Tomball is also slated to get a Veterans clinic. At the moment they have three sites in Tomball they are looking at. They expect to have 65,000 patient visits annually. That is 65,000 people coming to Tomball and while there many will spend money. On top of that it is GREAT for the veterans to have this accessibility.
America’s Best Value Inn (38 rooms) is about ready to open. They are located at the corner of FM 2920 and Park Road on one acre of land.
Another exciting project is the expansion of Medical Complex drive; they are in the process of buying right away and easements. It will start on east side of 2920 and come around to the west side of 2920.
The last thing Betty talked about was the Economic Development Corporations grant program. EDC will pay up to 50% on business improvements with their grant program. There are 4 categories of funding; facade improvements, signage (must be major signage), property improvements (such as demolition of buildings) and landscaping. You can go to the website and look under business improvement grants. From there you can apply online and submit your request. They added the additional landscaping category as a person who needed help with landscaping and driveways would have to decide which one was more important. This way they can apply for two grants. The grants are up to $10,000 with a maximum of 30,000 a year. A committee goes through all the applications and approve/disapprove.
As an interesting aside the census report from 2000 showed that high growth areas were 10 miles from Tomball. In this last 2010 census the high growth was 5 miles from Tomball. Who knows what the next 10 years will bring! Tomball the hometown with a heart has a bright future ahead!