The Houston area had more corporate expansion projects last year than any other large metro in the country, according to a new report from Site Selection magazine.
With the energy boom and its growing shale industry, “Houston is reaping a windfall of investment,” according to a March article in Site Selection, a national corporate real estate and economic development publication. Houston earned the top spot for facility expansions for the second straight year.
This area saw 325 new or expanded corporate facilities in 2012, ahead of second-place Chicago, which had 311 projects. Dallas/Fort Worth came in third with 224 projects.
“We can attribute it to a strong year in all of our major crown jewel industries — energy, life sciences, chemicals manufacturing, headquarters projects and high tech companies,” Fred Welch, vice president of regional economic development for the Greater Houston Partnership, said in the article.
Welch said nearly $60 billion in energy projects have either been announced, planned or are under way.
The two largest deals started last year were Chevron Phillips Chemical’s petrochemical plant in Sweeny and Dow Chemical’s ethylene cracker complex in Oyster Creek. Other major investments are being made by Ineos USA, which is building a new ethylene plant in La Porte and LyondellBasell’s ethane and methanol complex in Channelview.
The magazine also gave Governor Rick Perry the 2012 “Governor’s Cup” award. At 761 projects, Texas had the highest number of new corporate facilities last year.
These private sector projects must meet one or more of the following requirements:
- An investment of at least $1 million,
- the creation of at least 50 new jobs,
- or construction of of new space comprising at least 20,000 square feet.