Council Report: Update on Economic Development Strategic Plan

At Tuesday’s work session, the Fort Worth City Council received an 18-month progress update on the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan.

In December 2017, the City of Fort Worth and TIP Strategies completed an Economic Development Strategic Plan with initiatives and actions organized around the themes of competitiveness, creativity, and community vitality. The plan’s vision, which is to compete successfully on the national and international stage for creative, high-growth

businesses and the talented individuals who fuel them, includes three goals and four specific outcomes:

The goals include establishing, Fort Worth’s competitive edge, becoming a hub for creative business, and ensuring community vitality. Outcomes include high wage job growth; a more sustainable tax base, driven less by residential property valuation and more by commercial and industrial investment; an economy that capitalizes on high-growth businesses and the creative individuals who fuel them; and a commitment to quality of place throughout the community.

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“While there are still some opportunities to work on, the overall status is very positive,” Fort Worth Economic Development Director Robert Sturns said.

The report showed that Fort Worth had the third largest population growth in the United States in 2017-18 with an increase of 19,552. Only Phoenix (up 25,288) and San Antonio (up 20,824) had larger increases.

Other highlights included:

*Number of jobs created/retained in 2018: 1,068,300, up 3.6%.

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*Retail sales up 9%.

*Commercial tax base up 9%.

*New office space up 1%.

*New industrial space up 4%.

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*Private sector businesses up 1.6%.

*Median home sales, average cost $249,166, up 6%.

*Median home rentals/apartments, 2 bedrooms, average $1,150, up 0.9%.

*Addition of 10 Fortune 5000 firms.

“We have been encouraged by how the plan has been embraced by the larger business community and the numerous partners that have been engaged in the process,” Sturns said. “As we continue to implement the strategies outlined in the plan, I think the progress we have made to date indicates that we are moving the community forward in a positive way.”