News Column

Pflugerville Community Development Corp. scorecard: hits and misses

August 24, 2014

By Andra Lim, Austin American-Statesman

Aug. 24--

It's too soon to say how the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. will fare with some of its latest deals, such as its $23.5 million loan to build the Hawaiian Falls water and adventure park. But the deals struck before the start of 2013 have had enough time to pan out -- or not. Here's how those earlier deals turned out:

SUCCESS STORIES

One of the largest completed deals by the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. was $568,500 for Avant Technology, which manufactures computer memory products. Avant Technology, which moved from Miami to Pflugerville, had to employ at least 130 people in its first year, per the 2009 agreement.

The company now employs about 250 people with an average salary of $50,000, CEO Tim Peddecord said.

EVS Metal, which expanded its facility several years ago with a $140,000 boost from the development corporation, had to employ at least 62 people, per its 2009 deal.

Now, the custom sheet metal manufacturer has 87 employees who make at least $40,000 a year on average, including overtime, general manager Robert Evans said.

The following companies also completed the terms of their incentive agreements. Under those agreements, here's what they got -- and what Pflugerville got in return:

Advanced Integration Technologies (now Ultra Clean Technology), developer and supplier of semiconductor equipment

What it received: $164,000 in payments for job creation and reimbursements for equipment purchases

What it returned: 53 jobs

Year of deal: 2010

Community Impact and MRS Holdings, news organization

What it received: $229,500 in a grant for constructing company headquarters and payments for job creation, plus land and assets valued at $671,000

What it returned: 108 jobs, $5 million in new construction

Year of deals: 2009, 2012

DPS MegaCenter 2000, developer of the Texas Department of Public Safety's driver's license center

What it received: $112,000 in a grant for building the center and operating it for at least a decade, and in payments for impact fees

What it returned: $2.8 million in new construction

Year of deal: 2011

Huffman Builders of Central Texas, developer and contractor

What it received: $100,000 as a loan for constructing an office building and condominium units

What it returned: $1.3 million in new construction

Year of deal: 2010

P.T. Products & Services, provider of welding and other services

What it received: $97,500 in reimbursements for development and moving expenses, as well as payments per job created

What it returned: 15 jobs and $750,000 in new construction

Year of deal: 2012

Spirit of Texas, distillery for Pecan Street Rum

What it received: $60,000 in grants for marketing and promotion of the rum

What it returned: Promoting Pflugerville by putting the city's name on bottle labels

Year of deals: 2011, 2012

MISSES

These are Pflugerville Community Development Corp. deals that didn't work out:

Laser Manufacturing

In exchange for spending $800,000 on constructing facilities in Pflugerville and buying $800,000 worth of equipment, the company would be able to buy the land at a reduced price from the development corporation, per a 2006 agreement. The project never happened, in part because of the downturn in the economy.

National Scooter Co.

Under a 2010 agreement, the development corporation paid $165,000 before the scooter company went bankrupt. A Travis County judge ruled the corporation could recover the amount it paid from National Scooter plus fees and interest, but the corporation wasn't able to get its money back.

WindData

The company, a subsidiary of Austin-based Baryonyx Corp., planned to build a data campus involving $210 million in investment and was to receive up to $2.4 million in incentives over 10 years. The 2011 agreement was dropped after the company, which was backed by British investors, couldn't get financing in a rocky European economy, said Floyd Akers, executive director of the Pflugerville Community Development Corp.

The development corporation never made any incentive payments to WindData but did spend $2,000 on a drainage study that later helped a nearby apartment development, Akers said.

WORKS IN PROGRESS

These deals have been in effect for more than a year and a half but for various reasons aren't yet complete:

Community Cars

The electric car manufacturer has received $127,548 in payments for rent, equipment and other items, per a 2011 deal. In return, the company is supposed to employ 30 people -- and has until 2016 to do -- as well as place an "Assembled in Pflugerville, Texas" sticker on each vehicle.

Complete Energy Systems

The green energy products company, which secured a deal in 2011 worth $825,000, was supposed to hire at least 200 full-time employees by the start of 2014 -- and would receive $3,000 for each one.

Instead, the company has created roughly 40 jobs, CEO Harvey Katz said.

When the fledgling company moved to Pflugerville from Boca Raton, it had made product prototypes but didn't have any sales under its belt, Katz said.

"We were more optimistic and hopeful that we would be up and running faster than we have ramped up at this point," Katz said. "But our work is starting to pay off now."

The development corporation gave the company about an extra year to comply with the terms of the agreement, Katz said.

Dimension MCF

The company plans to build a $210 million data campus in Pflugerville and, under the terms of the 2012 incentive deal, has until 2016 to begin construction. The development corporation will provide $350,000 for the extension of fiber optic lines, as well as up to $510,000 for creating jobs.

Directed MFG

The plastics and metals manufacturing company satisfied a 2009 deal worth $75,000 by creating at least 10 jobs. The development corporation decided in 2011 to amend the deal, throwing in another $100,000 for new equipment if the company agreed to employ 40 more people and purchase $7 million in new equipment by 2015.

EIEIO

The coffee and creamer manufacturer from Austin signed a deal in 2012, amended in 2013, to move its headquarters to Pflugerville by 2014 and operate there for five years. The company would receive a maximum of $105,000 in payments for jobs created or retained.

Progressive Manufacturing Technology

In 2008, the development corporation granted the company $60,000 for moving expenses and a $100,000 loan for construction work, and it was supposed to be paid back by the end of 2012. Progressive Manufacturing Technology still has one payment of $6,794.46 left.

George P. Fuller, the company president, declined to give details but said he intends to repay the loan.

Progressive Manufacturing Technology was supposed to have 25 full-time employees per the agreement, though the company wasn't slated to receive a payment per job created or retained. Progressive Manufacturing Technology has about 14 employees, Fuller said.

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Source: Austin American-Statesman (TX)


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