Archived Story

City working well with new businesses

Published 10:40am Thursday, October 4, 2012

Daily Herald editorial

On Tuesday, the Herald reported that an unnamed developer is interested in buying two lots directly west of Walgreens in Austin, and the city planning committee is already working to rezone that land to fit the developer’s needs. This is another example of the city providing a business-friendly environment, and we encourage it to continue on this path.

In another example, the Austin Port Authority has worked this summer with Bomgaars, a home improvement store, to move into the vacant Kmart building, and with it provide another 25 to 30 jobs. And while it may not be Bomgaars moving in, (the company asked the Port Authority for a $150,000 loan, but another unnamed improvement store is interested to move in without any financial help), a lot of the credit should go to the Port Authority.

In 2010, the Development Corporation of Austin and the Austin Port Authority worked together and bought a 25,000-square-foot facility at 1805 14th St. NE, and in June they signed two tenants, one of whom (Ellumilite) hopes to grow from 10 employees to 100 in five years. Ellumilite also received a $150,000 loan from the city and a $100,000 loan from the DCA in hopes of eventually bringing those jobs to Austin.

But the best example may be the Port Authority’s $13.5-million bonding issuance to the Hormel Foundation — and its efforts to secure a $13.5-million grant from the state — to secure The Hormel Institute’s $27-million expansion expected to bring 120 high-paying jobs to town.

It seems the city, the Port Authority and the DCA are on a roll lately. We hope this newest developer and the home improvement store choose Austin, and the city continues to do what it can to make Austin attractive.

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