Business growth took center stage at the Fort Worth City Council’s meeting and work session Tuesday.
At its regular meeting, the council voted to authorize the execution of interlocal agreements with Tarrant County, approving the county’s nomination of Higginbotham Insurance Agency, Inc., and Alcon Research Ltd., as enterprise projects.
The Texas Enterprise Zone Program allows local communities to partner with the state to encourage job creation and capital investments in economically distressed areas. Communities can nominate new or expanding businesses as an enterprise project, and if approved they are eligible to apply for state sales and use tax refunds on qualified expenses.
The level and amount of refund depends on the capital investment and jobs created at the qualified site.
The Higginbotham expansion, located at 901 Lake St., qualifies with a projected capital investment of $6.2 million. The new facility will serve as an extension to their corporate campus located at 500 W. 13th St. The company will retain 243 jobs and 60 new jobs will be created, with wages averaging $110,000.
Alcon, a company specializing in eye care, located at 6201 S. Freeway, qualifies with a projected capital investment of $153 million in a production capacity expansion and compliance initiative. This investment consists of new purchases to upgrade or replace aging production equipment and bridge gaps between internal and external quality control measures. They will retain 1,387 jobs with wages averaging $98,000.00.
“The expansions just continue to show the attractiveness of our community and our ability to help business growth without impacting our local property tax base,” Fort Worth Economic Development Director Robert Sturns said.