Texas To Provide Microsoft $4.9M Grant As Part of Las Colinas Workforce Expansion

Texas has awarded Microsoft Corporation a nearly $4.9 million grant as part of economic incentive deal that will bring hundreds of new jobs to the company’s Las Colinas office. Microsoft is expanding its operations in Las Colinas with $31 million in investments and the creation of 575 new jobs, according to a news release from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The grant comes from the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund, which is a “deal-closing” grant for companies considering investments in Texas, according to the Governor’s Business and Community Development Division. “We are excited that Microsoft has renewed its commitment to Irving-Las Colinas and believe it’s a testament to our business-friendly climate and high quality of life for companies and their employees,” Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer said in the release. “As a valuable corporate stakeholder in our community, we look forward to working with Microsoft as it builds [its] workforce and creates thousands of valuable technology jobs in Irving.” Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.

TEXAS JOB FORECAST

DALLAS – Texas employment will grow 2.1 percent this year, according to the Texas Employment Forecast by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Based on the forecast, the state will add 263,700 jobs this year. Employment in December 2019 will reach 12.9 million. This prediction comes after incorporating September 2019’s annualized employment growth of 0.7 percent and a decrease in the leading index. “After strong growth in June and July, Texas jobs decelerated in August and September,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president, and senior economist. “The weakness in oil and gas extraction is spilling over to other sectors such as transportation and warehousing, which experienced job losses in both August and September. “Manufacturing employment continues to grow at a good pace, however, in part driven by continued strength in petrochemical and refining activity. Construction activity also remains robust.” Click to read more at www.recenter.tamu.edu.

The FBI Raid Of Texas Real Estate Investor Nate Paul

This week, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation descended unannounced on the home and business of Nate Paul, a young Texas real estate investor who became known for buying up prominent real estate assets in the state capital of Austin. The FBI confirmed the raids to Forbes but declined to specify the nature of its search at Paul’s sprawling 9,175-square-foot Austin home or the downtown Austin offices of his World Class Holdings. Local media reported FBI agents were spotted leaving World Class’ offices with documents. Paul, 32, and World-Class Holdings, were the subject of a complimentary Forbes article in 2017, which described how Paul had snapped up commercial real estate in Austin, including valuable downtown locations and 3M’s 158-acre campus, and built a large self-storage company with 60 or so sites across the nation. Click to read more at www.forbes.com.

Austin’s a “Brain Drain” City For Tech Talent — Is That Good or Bad?

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin is once again a top 10 city for having the most talented people working in the tech industry. In CBRE’s 2019 “Scoring Tech Talent” report, Austin beat out other Texas cities like Dallas-Forth Worth and Houston. “[Austin’s] the envy of just about every other tech city, not only in the United States but globally,” said Spencer Levy, Chairman of Americas Research & Senior Economic Adviser. Highlights from the report include: Total tech occupations went up by almost 3,000, from 69,610 in 2017 to 72,360 in 2018. The average office rent went from $34.99 in Q1 2018 to $37.62 in Q1 2019. Austin is poised to become one of the largest tech growth markets in the next five to 10 years. Levy told KXAN, “Talent, infrastructure and foreign money. The more you can get in all three of those things, the more you’re going to be able to attract and retain the talent in your market.” Click to read more at www.kxan.com.

Reshaping South Texas Commercial Real Estate

ANN EATON, Opportunity Zones Manager for the City of San Antonio Economic Development Department:
• First authorized in 2017, San Antonio has OZs located in 9 parts of town: Brooks City-Base, Downtown, East Side, Far South, Far Southeast,
Near South, Near Westside, Northeast Corridor, Port San Antonio, and Lackland Air Force Base.
• We’ve created a new mapping tool and website related to economic development opportunities in specially designated areas to market the
assets and needs in our OZ clusters.
• The Westside Strategic Plan will be available in September. Working in partnership with Wendell Davis & Associates, this plan will identify
business and commercial corridors in need of investment and community redevelopment. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.

Hotel Building Boom Underway in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto

From the behemoth Kalahari Resorts & Conventions—expected to offer 975 hotel rooms at completion in November 2020—to the boutique 39-room Ruby Hotel that opened in February, the hospitality industry is alive and well in Round Rock. “We definitely are seeing a building boom, or increased interest, in hotel development in Round Rock,” said Bradley Dushkin, Round Rock’s assistant director of planning and development. For projects in the works, the size and price point of the new hotels are varied, Dushkin said. A Tru by Hilton, which opened in February, offers a “no-frills” option for business travelers, he said. Large to medium-sized hotels, including the Embassy Suites and the Four Points by Sheridan, will offer needed conference room space when they open. Kalarahi, the hotel arguably making the biggest splash, is a resort-style getaway complete with the nation’s largest indoor waterpark. Click to read more at www:communityimpact.com.