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Fort Worth releases Amazon HQ2 incentive package

Posted Nov. 30, 2018

The City of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce released details of a presentation sent to Amazon last fall highlighting the benefits of Fort Worth as a business destination and outlining an incentive proposal worth $443.2 million from the city.

The City of Fort Worth offered a Chapter 380 economic development grant worth up to $438 million based on Amazon’s $750 million in capital investment and at least 10,000 jobs. The city also included $1.5 million in fee waivers and a $3.75 million Enterprise Zone nomination. Through that partnership program of the state and a municipality, approved projects are eligible to apply for state sales and use tax refunds on qualified expenditures at the business site. The level and amount of the refund is related to the capital investment amount and number of jobs created, and the Amazon HQ2 project was offered the maximum amount allowed.

“I think our package was competitive to other communities,” said Brandom Gengelbach, executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. “It’s like the Super Bowl; There are lots of bright lights and extra attention, but it’s the same game you’ve played a thousand times before. You don’t win or lose a project on incentives alone. The criteria and approach businesses use to determine a potential expansion or relocation do not change.”

The city offered to reimburse up to 90 percent of incremental taxes on real and business property for 20 years. Tarrant County offered to abate up to 70 percent of those taxes over 10 years.

Fort Worth partners also offered to help secure discounted airfare and a dedicated service and check-in station for Amazon employees at DFW International Airport, and to work with Amazon on the installation of Smart City and Smart Building technology for HQ2.

Seven qualified sites were proposed in Sundance Square, Panther Island, AllianceTexas, Walsh, Clearfork and Overland. Fort Worth touted access to abundant and diverse talent, STEM education efforts and university partners, effortless logistics and multimodal travel, and a community spirit that “defies expectations.”

Going forward, Gengelbach says the region may be using new ideas generated by the Amazon pitch, such as a split headquarters between Dallas and Fort Worth with the Trinity Railway Express commuter rail connecting the two. This approach would leverage the full strength of the DFW metroplex, allow more efficient use of community resources and maximize the region’s labor force.

“We are currently working with more than 60 potential projects for the Fort Worth area that range in employee count and investment, with 25 percent of the pipeline from existing businesses,” he said. “We are also managing projects and doing deals in communities outside of the Fort Worth city limits, communicating with our regional partners almost daily.”

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Regional Transportation Council : 1 p.m. Dec. 13, 2018; North Central Texas Council of Governments, First Floor, Transportation Council Room, 616 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, TX 76011.
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Community Action Partners Council: 1:30 p.m. Dec. 13, 2018; Fort Worth City Credit Union, First Floor, Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners: 5 p.m. Dec. 13, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Intersection Improvements Basswood at U.S. 377 and Kroger Drive at U.S. 377 Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Dec. 13, 2018; Alliance United Methodist Church, 7904 Park Vista Blvd.

Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 14, 2018; James E. Guinn Building, First Floor, Pharma Fab Conference Room #116, 1150 South Freeway.
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Holiday Movie Night at North Tri Community Center: 6 p.m. Dec. 14, 2018; North Tri-Ethnic Community Center, 2950 Roosevelt Ave.

Code Rangers: 9 a.m. Dec. 15, 2018; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave.

Mayor Betsy’s Jingle Bike & Ball: 10 a.m. Dec. 15, 2018; Chesapeake Plaza, 100 Pier 1 Plaza.

Trinity Metro Board of Directors: 3:30 p.m. Dec. 17, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, Second Floor, Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Disciplinary Appeal of Three-Day Suspension of Roger Ballard: 9 a.m. Dec. 18, 2018; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Classroom #1134, 505 W. Felix Street.
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Deferred Compensation Oversight Committee Special Meeting: 1:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2018; Fort Worth City Credit Union Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Dec. 18, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Civil Service Commission: 6 p.m. Dec. 18, 2018; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Auditorium, 505 W. Felix Street.
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Christmas Social at Hillside Community Center: 6 p.m. Dec. 18, 2018; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Dec. 18, 2018; Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Commercial Board of Adjustment Work Session: 9 a.m. Dec. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.

Holiday Breakfast and Bingo at Southwest Community Center: 10 a.m. Dec. 19, 2018; Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.

Commercial Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Dec. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.

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