A Houston economic development group will receive a $1 million grant from the U.S Department of Commerce to spur property development for a prospective manufacturer off North U.S. 63.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said last Tuesday the Economic Development Administration (EDA) will award the grant to support development of a manufacturing facility. No details have been released, and negotiations continue with the prospect, said Economic Development Director Ron Reed and City Administrator Larry Sutton upon learning the news.

According to the grant application, the project would create 45 jobs and generate $4 million in private investment.

EDA’s investment would support the purchase of a five-acre parcel, the development of the building site and construction of a 40,000 square foot building with office areas and multiple docks should the project move forward. According to the Industrial Development Authority of Houston in its application, the project will help attract higher paying jobs in a region that was hit hard more than two decades ago when the shoe and apparel industry folded.

Brown Shoe Co.  and the Lee Co., a jeans manufacturer, both left the area.

“The Obama Administration is committed to investing in American manufacturing,” said Pritzker. “The EDA investment announced will help the South Central Ozark region attract higher-paying jobs and economic opportunity.”

Northeast Houston Industrial Park

March 2010 — 57-acre tract will be developed for sewer, electric, water and road improvements.

March 2012 — A $65,844 bid for needed water pipe and hydrants is accepted. City crews will do the work — running the line from a north water tower to the park.

June 2012 — The City of Houston accepts a $428,555 bid from a Nixa firm for sewer work. The dollars are from the federal stimulus program and were remaining after finalization of the town’s new wastewater treatment plant.

October 2012 — Randy Kell Excavation of Raymondville is hired to create an entrance to the site from North U.S. 63. It is runs east from the highway.

August 2015 — The City of Houston will seek federal funding for a 40,000 square foot building at the industrial park.

September 2015 — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announces a $1 million grant for the City of Houston’s Industrial Development Authority.

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