Round Rock, Texas, Strikes Two Economic Development Deals in One Day That Will Result in up to 90 New Jobs and $14 Million Capital Investment

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City Council approves a pair of incentives; one for a company to relocate from California, the other to help a local pharma manufacturer to expand operations.

The Round Rock City Council approved two incentive agreements on Thursday, Nov. 12, that will result in at least $14 million in new capital investment and the addition of 75 to 90 new jobs.

The agreement with ThermaSol will result in the company moving its headquarters to Round Rock from Simi Valley, Calif., while the deal with Insys Therapeutics allows a local company to significantly expand its operations by 400 percent here.

The City Council approved a $400,000 incentive package for ThermaSol to develop a 27-acre upscale business park anchored by its new world headquarters facility.

ThermaSol, which closed on the property earlier this month, will build its new world headquarters on one of the five parcels being replatted in the property. The 55-year-old company is the inventor and leading global manufacturer of steam bath equipment for homes, hotels, spas and resorts. It and its parent company, D.M.A. Enterprises, are currently located in Simi Valley, California.

"We looked at most places in central Texas, and found that Round Rock gave us the most comfortable feeling,” ThermaSol CEO Mitch Altman said. “We liked the bigger town amenities combined with the small town feeling and warmth of the people."

Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw said the deal was a “win-win situation for us.”

"Getting a new world headquarters facility and business park in the same project doesn't happen every day,” McGraw said. “We are very excited to have them join our community."

The property, located just south of the City's Police Station on Mays Street, will be replatted into five parcels. Four of the parcels will be between 3.5 to 4.5 acres and developed for build-to-suit or sale opportunities. The fifth parcel will measure 11 acres and be developed last.

The company's new world headquarters will open the fourth quarter of 2014 with a 37,000-square-foot manufacturing facility covering nearly 3.5 acres. It will employ a minimum of 45 people including factory personnel and the upper management team, but could create as many as 60 new jobs in the community.

Total investment by ThermaSol will be at least $3.5 million, per the incentive agreement with the City. The investment and job creation of 45 net jobs to the community gives the City of Round Rock a payback of 6.8 years, not including the anticipated development on the remaining lots once they are shovel-ready. The $400,000 cash incentive will be paid at the completion of the headquarters facility.

Insys, which currently employs 11 people at its manufacturing facility in Round Rock, will be relocating to a 53,000-square-foot facility at 2700 Oakmont Drive in December. It plans to be operational by August 2014 and will hire an additional 30 people over the next four years at an average salary of $50,000. Insys' minimum total investment for the expansion will be $10.5 million.

Although the company was definitely growing, it wasn’t exactly sure where to grow, according to Bryan Waltrip, Insys Director of Operations. It discussed areas near its headquarters in Arizona, but decided to remain in the Austin area to retain the employees that were already trained in the highly specialized process and equipment. After looking at several locations in North Austin, it found one in its own back yard.

"As a manufacturing facility, we will have other businesses located near 2700 Oakmont that reflect similar technologies," Waltrip said. "Additionally, we are excited to be near an area with continued growth in the educational sector with the recent additions of Austin Community College, Texas State University - Round Rock, and Texas A&M Health Science Center."

Incentives for the expansion will include a five year property tax abatement beginning in 2015 for 100 percent in year one, 75 percent in year two, and 50 percent in years three through five; $150,000 for capital expenditures, and $50,000 for job creation over a four-year period. The payback to the City in economic impact from this project is estimated at 3.5 years.

"It is always exciting when an existing company decides to expand in Round Rock," McGraw said. "We know we aren't the only option for a business location, but we try to be the best option. When a company that has already done business with us decides to keep growing here, that is a great statement about the community."

"Bioscience is one of our major industry clusters and target industries here in Round Rock," said Bryant Smith, Chair of the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Partnership. "This type of facility is a great compliment to the businesses already in the area and their expansion will help develop the foundation we are building for future growth in the bioscience industry."

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