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Sugar Land Selected as One of Nation’s Strongest Economies
September 24, 2014
Westin Homes

Since 1999, the Sugar Land Office of Economic Development has worked with more than 40 corporations and developers to expand operations, construct improvements or relocate to Sugar Land — bringing thousands of jobs and more than $1 billion in capital investment to Sugar Land.

More than 15 corporations from the 2014 Fortune 500 lists have a significant presence in the city. As a regional employment center with more than 54,000 jobs, the city is home to high-profile regional and international corporations housed in over 25.3 million square feet of commercial space.

Sugar Land topped the Money Magazine’s selection of 15 small cities that offer great opportunity. Judging criteria included places with lower-than-average unemployment and positive past job and population growth. Projected job growth was then ranked to select the winners.

According to Money Magazine:

JOB GROWTH SINCE 2010: 10%
PROJECTED JOB GROWTH THROUGH 2018: 18.4%

“Life in Sugar Land is sweet indeed. Unemployment is a mere 4.2%, due not just to the town’s proximity to Houston, 20 miles northeast, but also to a vibrant local job market anchored by offices of Fluor and Schlumberger and the headquarters of Minute Maid. When not in the office, the town’s mostly white-collar, mostly university-educated citizens head to the town square or local country clubs, enjoy three public libraries, take in minor league baseball games at a two-year-old stadium, and shop at nearby First Colony Mall.”

Furthering Sugar Land’s recognition as a regional business center, the city recently approved economic development agreements for two major headquarters expansions for existing Sugar Land businesses – one to expand the headquarters for Applied Optoelectronics, Inc., and another to recapture the headquarters for Nalco Champion, an Ecolab company.

The projects are anticipated to bring more than $84 million in capital investments and nearly 1,400 new jobs to Sugar Land over the next 10 years, as well as recapture almost 250 jobs previously in Sugar Land and retain over 575 jobs currently in the city. The city also expects to see the continued development of destination activity centers throughout the city, including breaking ground by the end of the year on the approximately 6,500-seat performing arts center located in Telfair near the new Texas Instruments campus.

The city continues to focus recruitment efforts on targeted national and international businesses, including multiple projects that would result in headquarters relocations and consolidations in Sugar Land. These projects would bring more than 1,000 new, high-wage jobs to the city and millions of dollars in new capital investment.

“Not only do we have one of the lowest tax rates in the State of Texas, but we also have established a focused, aggressive economic development program to create new jobs and wealth within our community,” said Director of Economic Development Jennifer May. “We provide access to world class infrastructure, and Sugar Land Regional Airport is home to Global Select, consistently rated one of the top FBOs in all of the Americas. Our population is extremely diverse and very highly educated, making it easy for corporations to hire the highest quality employees.

“Continued partnerships with the University of Houston Sugar Land and Wharton County Junior College enable businesses in Sugar Land have direct access to higher education programs and training opportunities without ever leaving the city.”