The Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) announced the recipients of this year’s Community Economic Development Award (CEDA). This year the TEDC received thirty-four (34) CEDA nominations. Wichita Falls won in the population 100,001 to 250,000 category for the Pamlico Air/Stanley Tool building project.
The CEDA winners are judged in five criteria: Innovativeness, Transferability, Community Commitment and Leverage, Measured Objectives, and Secondary Benefits.
2020 CEDA Recipients:
- Sinton, Texas – population less than 10,000
- City of Fate – population 10,001 to 20,000
- Seguin Economic Development Corporation – population 20,001 to 50,000
- Pflugerville Community Development Corporation – population 50,001 to 100,000
- Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce – population 100,001 to 250,000
- Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation – population 250,000 and above
- City of Sugar Land –Innovativeness
- Harlingen Economic Development Corporation – Transferability
- Development Corporation of Abilene – Community Commitment and Leverage
- City of Cibolo – Measured Objectives
- Rockdale Municipal Development District – Secondary Benefits
“The CEDA represents a true community effort. A community is only as strong as the people who are willing to serve as volunteers and elected officials. The Pamlico Air project would not have happened if it were not for the great people who work tirelessly to build a better community.
Partners were the key to success for this project. The day the building became vacant a group of local investors put a plan in place to buy and rehabilitate the 181,000 sq. ft. facility – that group was led by local businessman and philanthropist Harry Patterson. The group of investors completed their plans for the building and then donated the building to the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation.
From the city and county officials, the 4a board members and the entire team at the Chamber of Commerce to the private sector contractors and volunteers we are very fortunate that everyone does their part to make economic development a high priority,” said Travis Haggard, Vice President of Business Retention & Expansion for the Wichita Falls Chamber.
The 2020 CEDA nominees and recipients will be recognized at the virtual coffee break during the TEDC’s 2020 Virtual Annual Conference on Wednesday, October 7th, 2020. The 2020 CEDA Recipient nominations will be published on the TEDC’s website after the 2020 Annual Conference.
From a lump of coal to a diamond in Wichita Falls TX.
In 1979, Stanley Tools Company built a 181,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Wichita Falls, TX and became an anchor for the local manufacturing community. Unfortunately, Stanley Tools closed their Wichita Falls facility and subsequently left a tired and worn out building in 2002.
In 2007, the deed was transferred to group of community stakeholders known as Production Blvd, L.L.C. led by local businessman and philanthropist Harry Patterson. The group took over the dilapidated building and began to make improvements. After nine years of ownership, Production Blvd, L.L.C. had completed the work they had planned and they decided to donate the facility to the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation, a.k.a. 4a Board.
Immediately, the 4a Board knew there were additional items that needed to be repaired or replaced. The most expensive repair was a new roof of the 181,000 sq. ft. building. Along with the deteriorated roof, the electrical systems in the building were outdated – hardly ready for a new tenant. Between repairs, maintenance, and upkeep, the 4a Board spent nearly $2.5 million dollars on the property over a three-year period. On May 1, 2017, the property officially hit the market with Binswanger of Texas, Inc. as the listing company and Holmes Davis IV as the listing agent.
In June 2019, the Chamber of Commerce received a call from a gentleman from Pamlico Air inquiring about the building. By mid-September, we had a signed Letter of Intent (LOI) from Pamlico Air. The LOI simply stated that Pamlico Air wanted to purchase the building and invest capital to customize the facility to their needs with the end goal of opening a brand-new manufacturing and assembly plant to construct residential, commercial, and industrial air filters. Top executives at Pamlico Air stated they needed 200 – 300 full-time employees as production ramps over the next two years.
To land this project, our economic development team:
- Was innovative by offering a forgivable loan at the time of the building sale. The funds from the forgivable loan were used to help with the additional renovation. The terms of the loan forgiveness were based on the total number of jobs created at the facility. The forgivable loan was secured by an irrevocable letter of credit.
- Created transferability by offering an employee relocation assistance incentive. Pamlico Air is eligible for a $3,000.00 per employee incentive if the Company needs to recruit employees from outside of Wichita County. Company will receive the incentive if employee(s) relocates and remains a resident of Wichita County for a minimum of six months. Not only does this program help with workforce it also increases the population of our community.
- Showed community commitment and leverage by collaborating with local government agencies and elected officials using property tax abatements for both real and business personal property. We also relied on and used the State of Texas sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment and the triple freeport exemption.
- Measured objectives: Pamlico Air vowed to create 200 jobs in our community. The company brought a new industry to Wichita Falls and their manufacturing and assembly process opened new doors for our workforce. Jobs offered range from entry-level line work to upper management, all within the walls of a climate-controlled facility. The Wichita Falls facility currently supplies 70% of the North American market Pamlico Air serves. Pamlico Air has invested 5 million dollars to date in the Wichita Falls plant. Additional investment is planned as new production lines open.
- Community Impact and Secondary Benefits: An economic impact analysis from the Chmura Company shows the direct employment of 200 Pamlico Air will create an additional 81 Indirect jobs and 95 Induced jobs, with a total community payroll impact of $25,894,109 annually. (Source: JobsEQ® Data as of 2020Q1)
Pamlico Air has made a big impact on Wichita Falls. Through every challenge they have faced, Pamlico Air has remained positive and though many other companies suffered layoffs, Pamlico Air was one of few who has continued to expand their operations during these trying times.