By Kathy Warbelow
Things are heating up at the southern end of the Texas 130 corridor, where work is underway to complete the final stretch of the toll road, from Mustang Ridge to I-10 near Seguin, late this year.
The Seguin Economic Development Corp. this week announced an incentives deal to attract two suppliers to the Caterpillar Inc. plant in the city, creating 65 jobs.
In February, the SEDC announced an incentives package for Continental Automotive Systems Inc., which will expand its Seguin facility to make vehicle sensors. The expansion will add 300 jobs to the 1,340 now at the plant.
Job creation is crucial to supporting development along the toll road corridor. It will drive demand for housing, retail and other services.
Expect more job creation announcements over the next year or so.
Ron Cherry, president of Dalcan, says he is focusing on job creation first for Cherryville, a 3,400-acre mixed-use project at Texas 130 and State Highway 80.
While most other projects proposed in the toll road area are primarily residential, Cherryville has designated a large part of its land for industrial and commercial users.
“We wanted to bring jobs into the area first. Housing and retail can follow that,” Cherry told me earlier this year.
Taurus of Texas has planned light manufacturing, research facilities and other commercial uses as key components of Indian Hills, a 239-acre project east of the toll road near Decker Lake Road.
Its larger Whisper Valley, 2,066 acres east of Texas 130 near Braker Lane, includes single-family housing, as well as office and retail.
Some major employers, such as Samsung and Applied Materials, already are an easy commute from the toll road area. But Taurus of Texas President Douglas Gilliland said more jobs are needed in the corridor itself to support development there.
“It’s important that more companies see the benefits of locating on the SH 130 corridor,” Gilliland told me recently. “They will come for the same reasons we did: convenience, location near the city and government facilities, quality school district and proximity to the airport.”
Two other projects also include industrial, warehouse or other commercial uses: Centerpoint at Lockhart, where 179 of the 271 acres are planned for industrial or retail uses, and Rio de Vida, Texas Industries’ proposed 2,130-acre project on both sides of the toll road north of Texas 71.
TXI’s plan envisions major employers locating in the section west of the toll road, which is only 5 minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Kathy Warbelow is a guest contributor to The Bluebonnet Blog. She’s lived in Austin since 1996 and was the business editor at the Austin American-Statesman for 10 years.