Military budgets have continued to tighten, affecting operational levels at military instillations and the economy of the greater Texarkana area. To thrive in this environment, defense contractors can no longer rely on their classic business models. Winning defense contracts will require an increasingly more adaptive and entrepreneurial approach to contracting. This new approach will call for a commitment to building business partnerships, training of local workers in 21st century workplace skills, and using business assistance tools to help lower the cost of operations. Having access to defense industry support tools for our local companies will only enhance the attractiveness of the greater Texarkana area, especially should the White House administration be successful at growing the defense budget over the coming years.
TexAmericas Center’s Board of Directors approved a lease for a new tenant, Jackson Melons, Inc., at its board meeting on Tuesday, April 25th. Jackson Melons, Inc., headquartered in Henderson, Texas, will occupy warehouse space on TexAmericas Centers’ East Campus, consisting of 22,500 square feet. The nature of work to be performed on site is for warehousing and storage of locally grown and freshly picked watermelons. The short-term lease commences on June 1, 2017.
TexAmericas Center’s Board of Directors approved a lease extension for IsoNova Technologies LLC at its board meeting on Tuesday, April 25th. IsoNova Technologies LLC, headquartered in Springfield, MO, will continue to occupy production space on TexAmericas Center’s Eastern campus, consisting of 22,586 square feet and has added approximately 0.92 acres. The nature of work performed on-site is for isolating the components of eggs into high-quality ingredients designed for specific pet-food applications, including function, nutrition, and health. IsoNova Technologies is one of TexAmericas Centers’ longest running tenants. The lease term will be extended for an additional period of five (5) years, commencing on September 1, 2018 and will terminate on the 31st day of August, 2023. The additional ground will allow IsoNova to accommodate tractor-trailer parking on-site.
TexAmericas Center celebrates Earth Day 2017 with 107 acres of new saplings on their East Campus. As part of the Forest Management Plan presented by Kingwood Forestry in 2011 and updated by the TexAmericas Center Board of Directors in July 2013, Kingwood Forestry completed the replanting of 64,200 loblolly pine trees in December of 2016. Kingwood Forestry is contracted to address the timber management for TAC on an annual basis. The purpose of the plan it to provide long term management guidance while protecting cultural and environmental resources.
Foote Consulting Group, LLC of Phoenix, Arizona has been chosen to fulfill the final phase of the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) Grant received by Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas (WSNET) in 2016. TexAmericas Center (TAC), a State of Texas redevelopment authority, has partnered with WSNET to coordinate the grant requirements. TexAmericas Center brings extensive knowledge and experience in economic development to the project. TAC organized a volunteer committee of local community leaders to help evaluate proposals for the Workforce Alignment and Targeted Industries Study RFP, and Foote Consulting Group was chosen as the best-fit candidate based on prior experience, recommendations, price, and other qualifying criteria.
In response to the $150,000 Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grant that TexAmericas Center (TAC) announced in November of 2016, the TexAmericas Center Board of Directors has approved a contract with Olsson Associates to provide property assessment and planning services outlined in the grant. This comprehensive planning strategy will position TAC to strategically redevelop selected portions of their 12,000 acres with targeted industries in mind.
The TexAmericas Center (TAC) Board of Directors voted on January 24, 2017 to approve a contract with Navitas Utilities Corporation to be the primary natural gas provider for TAC-East tenants. The new partnership will allow TAC to offer a reliable natural gas supply for the first time to current tenants on their East Campus and will greatly aid in attracting new industries to the footprint.
TexAmericas Center’s Board of Directors approved a new lease for VSE Corporation at its board meeting on Tuesday, January 24th. VSE Corporation, headquartered in Alexandria, VA, will occupy warehouse space on the TexAmericas Center Central Campus consisting of 19,228 square feet and .93 acres. The nature of work to be performed is warehouse and distribution. The lease term will be for a period of seven (7) months and the company has the option to extend the lease for two (2) additional one (1) year periods. VSE will invest approximately $175,000 in facility and equipment to create about 14 jobs.
During the Expal USA press conference, state elected officials, local county officials, and representatives from: TexAmericas Center, Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas, and the Economic Development Administration announced details pertaining to four major grants currently impacting economic development in the Texarkana area.
TexAmericas Center (TAC) has seen an 18% increase in employment amongst its’ tenants from the previous year (July 1, 2015- June 30, 2016) and is proud to report the addition of 82 jobs to the area— as a part of this growth. TAC completes an annual census of current tenants and businesses located on their Central, East, and West campuses (excluding the Red River Army Depot) to evaluate employment growth. The 2016 census ultimately revealed an overall $13.9 million annual payroll for the 26 tenants/businesses located on TAC’s combined footprint.