(Seguin) -- The Seguin Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Board of Directors got some good news during its first meeting of 2018. SEDC Executive Director Josh Schneuker told the board more jobs are being created in Seguin and the housing market is expected to grow significantly very soon.
Schneuker's staff report during the meeting, held on Monday afternoon, featured a look United Alloy Inc., a company that recently set up shop in Seguin. He says the company is now up and running thanks to their successful recruitment efforts.
"So they're a company out of Janesville, Wisconsin. They're a supplier to Caterpillar. We first met them back in April at an event hosted by Caterpillar. In late September (or) October, we entered into a deeper conversation with the company about possibly having some sort of a facility here in Seguin, (to) support Caterpillar's expanding operations. We identified the facility that seemed to fit their needs, and it kind of became a little competitive with surrounding areas. So we wanted to ensure that we could recruit that company and secure their investment in job creation here in Seguin. So we provided a $15,000 incentive. That help offset some of the cost associated with facility improvements at their current facility that they're at right now on State Highway 123. The largest portion of that improvement was the addition of a truck pit, so they can get their product in and out in a timely fashion," said Schneuker.
The SEDC is also working with Cone Bioproducts on its expansion here in Seguin. Schneuker says the local company needs more space to handle the growing demand for its products.
"We've been working with Cone probably for about a year and a half now. When they first came to us and expressed their intentions of expanding their facility -- that they've kind of outgrown where they currently are, so we assisted in identifying potential properties that might be a good fit for them. It's kind of evolved from there to where we are today. They have a piece of property now off of State Highway 46. They plan to build a new state of the art 1,500 square foot facility that will suit their needs and be able to accomodate the growth that they're experiencing," said Schneuker.
The Seguin City Council last week approved an $80,000 incentive offered to Cone Bioproducts by the SEDC board. Schneuker says this money helps them invest in the growth of a local company that's been contributing to Seguin for a long time.
"In return for our assistance -- our financial incentive on this project, Cone is going to retain their employment levels and create an additional 15 jobs over the five year period. It's a great homegrown business story. This company has been around since the 70s. The roots of this company has been around since the 70s. So its been wonderful to work with them. They're great people. Their roots are deep within this community, and they're very involved. So we're very happy to work with them and help facilitate that growth," said Schneuker.
The performance agreement with Cone Bioproducts provides the funding to assist with the expansion plan, but also asks that the company meet certain bencmarks over the course of the agreement.
"That, ($80,000), will of course be tied to a performance agreement, where they'll have benchmarks of job retention, job creation, facility development and payroll creation as well," said Schneuker.
The jobs news was good. The unemployment rate continues to hover around 3.3 percent, and the actual size of the overall workforce in Seguin has grown by about two percent. The data shows that the jobs are here, and Schneuker says there will soon be more places for those employees to live in Seguin.
Schneuker told the board that there are some major housing projects in the works. He says nearly 2,000 new homes are called for as part of three new housing developments in the city. The largest of the three proposed subdivisions is to be located near Vogel Elementary School, and it will ultimately bring more than a 1,000 new homes to the city.
"Arroyo Ranch, this is the big one -- at full build out, according to the plans submitted by the developer, it could deliver over 1,100 homes to Seguin at the corner of State Highway 46 and FM 725. This one we're very excited about," said Schneuker.
Two other neighborhoods are planned to get started soon. Schneuker says Navarro Oaks will add around 300 single-family homes and the third will bring in even more homes to Seguin.
"(Navarro Oaks), this is over off of State Highway 123 Bypass near Martindale Road, near The Ranch apartments. This development is expected to deliver about 330 new homes. Then the final one that's moving along through a development process, (is) formerly known as Butte Meadows and is now known as Hidden Brook. So this development is expected to deliver close to 500 new single family homes at full build out. This is very exciting. We know that we need to increase the amount of houses that we have coming out of the ground in order to successfully attract new commercial and retail developments to the community. So this is really going to help out in our efforts there. So we're excited to go out into the field and start marketing these developments and the growth that's taking place here in Seguin," said Schneuker.
In addition to the housing and jobs information shared by staff, Schneuker says that two new restaurants are also set to come to Seguin soon. A Vietnamese restaurant is going into the old TSO location in the Plaza Del Rey Shopping Center, and A-Tan Asian Bistro has also purchased the Tavern on the Creek building across from the Seguin Public Library. Schneuker says they are excited about these two new dining choices that will soon be available to the Seguin community.
The SEDC board also welcomed a new member during its meeting. Local businesswoman Mary Reiley, the owner of Gift & Gourmet, officially took her place on the board of directors, which is appointed by the Seguin City Council. Reiley replaces Leroy Alves, who was no longer eligible to serve due to term limits.
The SEDC Board of Directors oversees a portion of the sales tax dollars that are collected by the city of Seguin. That money is to be used primarily for job growth and retention efforts here in Seguin.