Aviation-related company eyes Fort Worth for key expansion

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Fort Worth officials are looking fill the former FAA headquarters with another aviation-related company with the hope of bringing more than 500 corporate jobs.

Wesco Aircraft plans to relocate its headquarters from Valencia, California in two phases starting in 2021. Wesco recently merged with Pattonair in a $1.9 billion deal. The new company is in the process is changing its name to Incora.

“Wesco is the world’s leading independent distributor and provider of comprehensive supply chain management services to the global aerospace industry,” said Robert Sturns, Fort Worth’s Economic Development Director told the Fort Worth City Council during its work session on Sept. 15. “They serve more than 7,000 customers worldwide and have a broad range of industries utilizing their supply chain support.”  

Sturns said the combined company will have 60 locations in approximately 17 countries with 4,000 employees once the merger is complete.

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Incora already has several major operations in Fort Worth, according to the company’s CEO.

“Incora is a leading, global provider of innovative supply chain solutions, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area already is home to two of our offices and our largest, by volume, distribution center in the world,” said Incora Chief Executive Officer Todd Renehan. “Our new, larger office space in Fort Worth will allow us to bring our teams together to increase efficiency, encourage collaboration and support the future growth of our business. This centrally located site also will offer more accessibility and availability to our customers and colleagues across the U.S. and in Europe.”

Sturns outlined a $1 million incentive package to the council, touting the fact that Wesco fits neatly into the city’s long-term development strategy.

Among the attractive features are the company’s commitment to initially relocate 239 jobs in about 53,000 square feet of space in the former FAA headquarters building at 2601 Meacham Blvd. The company will make a minimum of $4 million in tenant improvements and $1.5 million in business personal property investment in the building. Then, in 2022, the company plans to bring 300 additional jobs, another $4 million in tenant improvements and $1.5 million BPP investment for the 40,000 square feet of additional space in the building. The 539 total jobs bring with them an average salary of $75,000 and a minimum salary of $44,000.

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Sturns said no tax dollars will be used in the incentive package from the city. He noted that when the city sold the Pinnacle Bank property at 250 W. Lancaster Ave., $4.5 million was set aside to provide incentives for economic development projects.

“Our proposal would be to utilize that designated project fund,” said Sturns. “This would be the first project that we would use that fund for. We would provide up to $490,000 to be paid for the phase one employment commitment, and then up to an additional $510,000 to be paid in 2026, based on achievement of the phase two commitment.”

Sturns also said the project would be nominated as an enterprise project through the Texas Enterprise Zone Program.

A news release from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office says that a Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant of $1,826,400 has been extended to Wesco Aircraft Hardware Corp.

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“Texas has cultivated a strong economic climate with low taxes, reasonable regulations, and a high-caliber workforce, which allows companies like Wesco to innovate and prosper,” said Abbott in a news release. “As a thriving aviation and aerospace hub, Fort Worth is the ideal location for Wesco to continue to grow its operations and serve its customers. I am proud to welcome Wesco to Texas, along with the more than 200 jobs it is bringing to the region and look forward to working together to keep Texas the number one economy in the nation.”

In a news release from the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said the relocation will be good for the area and the company.

“Wesco Aircraft’s new location not only will bring more jobs to Fort Worth, but it also positions the company for continued success and future growth,” she said.

The deal will be pending a City Council vote on Sept. 22.

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