The announcement last week that HCL Holdings, Ltd. will build a 60-80,000 square foot, $5.7 million project in a fallow south side industrial park shows that something is going right in Taylor.
Since the Taylor Economic Development Corporation (Taylor EDC) built a sometimes controversial spec building in the Mustang Creek Industrial Park a couple of years ago, Taylor has been a destination for small to mid-sized companies looking for a new home.
HCL Holdings manufactures products for the residential and commercial construction industry. Initially, the company known locally as Project Bay, will bring 46 jobs to Taylor and add a rail spur to the Union Pacific tracks that parallel State Highway 95 south of Taylor.
The incentive package includes a measure that the city will provide services to the site. This will open up another 50-plus-acres to commercial development.
“We’ve been working with them for quite some time,” said Thomas. “We always show the spec building to prospects. They were looking for space and the spec building seemed to fit their criteria. It turns out, they needed more space but they liked Taylor.
Noren Products, which opened a brand new 28,000 square foot facility in the Mustang Creek Industrial Park, looked at Taylor and its spec building. “We considered it but it was too big,” said Cheryl Webster, one of the company’s principals.
“The spec building was important but, really, it was the McCrory Project that convinced us,” she said. “We thought, okay, people are willing to invest in Taylor. We want to be a part of that.”
Noren’s initial capital investment was $2.9 million plus an initial work force of about 40 people.
Summit Cabinets also just opened a plant in the industrial park and that company also first looked at the spec building.
That construction project came in at around $1.5 million but that does not include the investment in equipment needed to keep its 45 or so employees busy.
The owners of Lassi a yogurt processing plant, first looked at the spec building but, instead, chose to take over the old Capitol Wright beer distribution warehouse on South Main, just north of the loop.
“You can kind of see a pattern develop here,” said Thomas. “About 80 percent of new projects go into existing buildings. By having a building like this, we’re fishing in the deep end of the pool. It tells prospects we are serious. It’s noticed.”
The concept was originally introduced at the end of 2014 and in February 2015, the Taylor City Council approved borrowing $3.5 million to build the 50,000 square-foot site. Construction began in the summer of 2015 and the project was complete by early 2016.