City hosts Economic Development Symposium on Aug. 30

The City of Georgetown is hosting the fifth annual Economic Development Symposium from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center, 1101 Woodlawn Ave.

The symposium will feature a lunch and keynote presentation by real estate economist Mark G. Dotzour on the economic outlook for investors and business decision makers.

Each fall the Georgetown Economic Development Department invites a nationally recognized expert to share insightful analysis on a topic of importance to business owners, real estate professionals, and community leaders for its annual economic development symposium.

Past events have highlighted the impact of the presidential election on the economy, how changing retail-customer behaviors ripple through the economy, and workforce trends.

In addition to the keynote speaker, Georgetown City leaders will provide a look back at the year’s important announcements and events and give a sneak peek of those to come.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit invest.georgetown.org/symposium2021.

Shop Small Business Saturday and support local businesses

Shoppers are invited to Shop Small, Shop Local with local merchants during the annual Small Business Saturday event on Saturday, Nov. 28.

Celebrate the season and support a small business by shopping local this holiday season. Participating retailers and restaurants will have specials available just in time to kick-off the holiday season.

Join the Shop Small game and earn points to win prizes by downloading Eventzee in the app store. To join the event in the app, use event name: Shop Small GTX and join code: Shop Small.

The annual Small Business Saturday event is sponsored by the Georgetown Main Street Program, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Georgetown Association.

Due to rising COVID-19 case numbers in Williamson County, masks or face coverings are required and participants should maintain physical distancing from others not in their household. Good hand hygiene is also encouraged. Find out more at bit.ly/COVID19GTX.

Breakfast Bites: Building Community Through Arts and Culture

The Breakfast Bites meeting on Dec. 3 will feature Amanda Still, City of Georgetown Arts and Culture coordinator, and Jane Estes, the City’s Arts and Culture Board chair, presenting on “Building Community Through Arts and Culture.” The informal meeting opens at 8:15 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at the Council & Court building, 510 W. Ninth St. The presentation will start at 8:30 a.m. and will include both an in-person and virtual attendee option. Limited seating is available to attend in person, and participants must register in advance.

The presentation will cover the growing affect arts and culture is having in Georgetown from building community to impacting economic development and cultural tourism, as well as creating collaborative partnerships between businesses and the arts.

The meeting will also include City and community updates.

Participants attending in person will be required to wear a mask or face covering and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet. Hand sanitizer will also be available for attendees. Food and drink will not be provided during the event due to COVID-19 safety restrictions.

Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, online at https://bit.ly/3lr7nPF.

NorthPark35 development under construction at I-35 and SH130

NorthPark35 ground breaking: Representatives from Titan Development and the City of Georgetown break ground on NorthPark35, the city’s first master-planned industrial business park on 146 acres at I-35 and SH 130.Titan Development Real Estate and the City of Georgetown broke ground on the first phase of the 146-acre NorthPark35 Class A industrial development at I-35 and SH 130 today.

Phase one of the project includes two buildings totaling more than 330,000 square feet, as well as the extension of Aviation Drive to intersect with SH 130 and I-35. One building will be partially occupied by Georgetown-based Texas Speed and Performance, while the remaining space will be available for future industrial users. The park is designed and master-planned to accommodate users in need of 25,000-250,000 square feet of space.

Phase one of the project is expected to be completed in spring 2021 and will be Georgetown’s first master-planned industrial business park

“Georgetown is poised to become an important new business center along the I-35 corridor,” said Joe Iannacone, vice president of development for Titan Development. “With such direct access to major markets such as Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, we’ve already had exceptional interest from end-users in the e-commerce, logistics, pharmaceuticals, light manufacturing, and agriculture industries. This new park is destined to become a hub of innovation for Georgetown and beyond.”

The project also includes the extension and expansion of Aviation Drive, as well as electric and waterline infrastructure extensions.

“Here is another great example of how this city is a wonderful place to do business,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “This project creates an opportunity for our local companies to expand and offer others a place to relocate or open. This project will help draw new jobs to our community, which is something our residents have asked for, and something that helps make Georgetown the best community for businesses and residents.”

City Council approved $10.5 million to be reimbursed to Titan Development for the infrastructure improvements, including $8 million from the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation for the road construction, $1.9 million from the Georgetown Economic Development Corporation for the electric construction, and $600,000 from the water capital improvement fund for the waterline construction.

Reimbursement would be made in three installments if certain terms are met, including construction of the roadway within 24 months, an investment of a minimum of $15 million in capital expenditures, and the developers adhering to approved design and use standards for the construction of the industrial park.

The new road and the utility line extensions will serve future phases of the NorthPark35 industrial business park as well as other undeveloped properties along Aviation Drive.

Breakfast Bites: PoppyStrong in a Pandemic

The Breakfast Bites meeting Sept. 17 will feature Georgetown City Manager David Morgan and Economic Development Director Michaela Dollar presenting on “PoppyStrong in a Pandemic: How the City of Georgetown is staying resilient in a crisis.” The informal meeting opens at 8:15 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at the Council & Court building, 510 W. Ninth St. The presentation will start at 8:30 a.m. and will include both an in-person and virtual attendee option. Limited seating is available to attend in person, and participants must register in advance.

The presentation will cover updates on city operations, projects, developments, and planning in a pandemic.

At the Sept. 17 meeting, there will also be updates from City staff on:

  • Arts and culture
  • Public Library
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau

Also, learn about updates from downtown partner organizations and find out about new businesses in the downtown district that have opened or are under construction.

Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, online at www.eventbrite.com/o/georgetown-main-street-14992737626.

Champion Site Prep to relocate to Georgetown

Champion Site Prep plans to begin construction on a new headquarters for its more than 200 employees near I-35 and CR 143 in 2020.

After a temporary relocation to Jarrell, Champion Site Prep plans to invest more than $17 million in an 18-acre headquarters facility.

The company performs site development and excavation services for schools, commercial retail, office buildings, hospitals, subdivisions, and commercial site development.

“We are excited to see Champion Site Prep return to Georgetown, and continue to grow in our community. We always appreciate when one of our major employers chooses to grow here,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “The City works hard to partner with our businesses to continue to create a world class business environment that makes Georgetown a great place to work.”

Along with the new location, the company plans to create 75 new jobs during the next five years with an average annual salary of $65,000.

“We are excited to soon be building our new headquarters for Champion Site Prep, and are happy we are able to build in Georgetown. Georgetown’s growth and supportive business climate make it a perfect place for companies like ours to grow,” said Trey Taparauskas, Champion Site Prep president and CEO. “We could have put the building anywhere in Williamson County, but Georgetown is our home. We appreciate the efforts made by City leaders and staff to help us find a location in Georgetown, and we look forward to a long partnership with the City as we continue to grow.”

During its Jan. 28 meeting, City Council approved an agreement with the company to reimburse the company $500,000 for infrastructure improvements.

Texas Speed and Performance expanding in Georgetown

Georgetown-based Texas Speed and Performance, a high-performance aftermarket automotive parts retailer, is expanding its operations in Georgetown. Founders Trevor Doelling and Jason Mangum have plans to construct two buildings through their real estate company Motion Commercial Properties LLC.

Motion Commercial Properties purchased 157 acres next to the Georgetown Municipal Airport and will build two commercial buildings with a total of 200,000 square feet. Texas Speed will occupy 70,000-square-feet within the first building that will total 120,000 square feet, and the remaining space will be leased to other businesses.

The total capital investment for the project is expected to be $11.5 million, including $1.5 million in infrastructure improvements.

“It’s great when our local businesses expand here in Georgetown because it shows they know this is a wonderful place to do business,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “Georgetown residents have said one of the top needs in our community is creating employment opportunities, and Texas Speed and Performance’s expansion helps us get one step closer to that goal. We work hard to build relationships with our existing businesses to support their continued growth that helps make Georgetown the best place to live, work and play.”

Doelling said the company purposefully chose to expand in Georgetown because so many of the company’s employees are already located in the Georgetown area.

“We also wanted to stay on the same electric provider because of its reliability, which is a concern due the power requirements to run all of our machining equipment,” he said.

“We love working with the City of Georgetown with all of our businesses, and we are very excited for the opportunity to expand our business even further. Georgetown is a great location, and with the significant growth it makes it a no-brainer to continue our expansion in the city that has supported us with our other ventures,” Doelling said. “We are anxious to begin the construction of our facility that will offer lease space to attract additional businesses to Georgetown, and the ultimate goal is to add a second facility once the first one is fully leased out. Georgetown is a prime location for continued growth, and we are excited to be a part of it.”

Texas Speed, founded in 2002, is now one of the largest high-performance late-model General Motors parts retailers in the country and currently leases 36,000 square feet of space from Texas Outdoor Power Equipment. The company employs 62 people and plans to add 45 new employees with an average salary of $50,000 over the next five years.

Three Georgetown projects, businesses selected as finalists in TDA awards

Two City of Georgetown initiatives and one Georgetown business were recently named finalists in the achievement categories for the Texas Downtown Association’s 2019 President’s Awards Program.

The City’s Red Poppy Festival, which celebrated its 20th year in 2019, was selected as a finalist for Best Promotional Event. Georgetown’s City Center project, which consolidated City offices into a civic campus in downtown just west of the Square, is a finalist for Spirit of Downtown. And the recently opened Lark & Owl Booksellers was named a finalist for Best Downtown Business.

“Having three President’s Award finalists is a huge honor for Georgetown and our community, because there are so many wonderful projects happening in downtowns across the state,” Downtown Development Director Kim McAuliffe said. “We’re looking forward to hosting the annual Texas Downtown Association conference this year where we will get to showcase Georgetown to downtown professionals from cities throughout Texas.”

Finalists were selected from 119 entries submitted in eleven categories from communities throughout the state. The judges for achievement entries included: Molly Alexander, Downtown Austin Alliance; Travis Baker, Community Impact Newspaper; Alan Bojorquez, Bojorquez Law Firm; Margo Richards, Lower Colorado River Authority; and Daryl Whitworth, Madden Media.

Winners will be announced on Oct. 30 at the Awards Gala held in conjunction with the 2019 Texas Downtown Conference at the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center, 1101 Woodlawn Ave.

TDA was established in 1985 to connect and serve communities that are committed to downtown vitality. The President’s Awards program has recognized outstanding projects, places, and people of Texas downtowns.

Voting for the People’s Choice Awards in these categories will be Sept. 30-Oct. 4 on the TDA Facebook page at facebook.com/TexasDowntown.

For more information about the President’s Awards or other TDA programs, visit www.texasdowntown.org.

Breakfast Bites: Collective Success-The Power of Collaboration

The Breakfast Bites meeting on Sept. 11 will feature Judy Lester presenting “Collective Success: The Power of Collaboration.” The informal meeting opens at 8 a.m. in the Friends Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. The talk will start at 8:30 a.m. Coffee and light breakfast snacks will be provided.

Lester was co-owner of The Escape Fine Crafts and Gifts from 1996-2016. She now enjoys working with business owners, community leaders, and associations to enhance essential standards of practice so they can go after the success they desire. The years spent growing an award-winning Main Street business provides Lester with the perspective and experience concerning the unique challenges historic downtown businesses face. Her passion is seeing businesses thrive abundantly, instead of merely survive.

At the Sept. 11 meeting there will be updates from City staff on:

  • Arts and culture
  • Public library
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau updates and Red Poppy economic impact report
  • 2030 Comprehensive Plan update
  • Downtown construction projects and parking improvements
  • Small Business Saturday update

Also, learn about updates from downtown partner organizations and find out about new businesses in the downtown district that have opened or are under construction.

Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to Kim McAuliffe, downtown development manager for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 930-2027 or at kim.mcauliffe@georgetown.org.

Georgetown Veterans Job Fair on Aug. 21

The City of Georgetown, along with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, are hosting the Veterans Job Fair on Aug. 21 from 9 a.m.-noon in the Georgetown Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St.

More than 40 businesses from Georgetown and the surrounding area will be onsite accepting applications and resumes. Veterans and their spouses are invited to attend. The last hour of the fair will be open to the public to attend.

Businesses interested in participating must register by Aug. 16 by contacting Sean Jevning or Craig Henry from Texas Workforce Solutions at sean.jevnig@ruralcapital.net or craig.henry@ruralcapital.net.