Business booms in Industrial Park
Six companies begin, commit to construction
By LPR Staff
What was once thought by some in Lockhart to be an empty field and a waste of resources has recently become a hive of activity marking what may be a beginning of an industrial boom in Lockhart.
At least six businesses have committed to development in Phase II of the Lock
hart Industrial Park on Martin Luther King Industrial Boulevard, and other prospects are examining possibilities in the development, according to Sandra Mauldin, Economic Development Director for the City of Lockhart.
“These developments leave around 14.5 acres available for development in the Industrial Park,” Mauldin said. “At this time, there are two tracts under consideration, but contracts have not been written on the properties.”
The new businesses, Mauldin said, are expected to bring some $4 million in initial taxable investment and create around 60 new jobs within the city.
The first business to commit to the Lockhart Industrial Park was Margarita”s Tortilla Factory, which broke ground last year. However, the company hit some snags in construction and funding, and do not have an estimated completion date at this time.
More recently, the Lockhart Industrial Foundation, in cooperation with the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation, began construction on a “spec building,” which will be home to Northern Video Systems upon its completion.
“Lockhart and the area is losing out on some 40 prospects each year from companies looking at this area,” Mauldin said. “The leads come through Office of the Governor”s Economic Development Department, but they require existing buildings, and communities that do not have buildings are never considered.”
The wetter-than-average spring and summer have slowed construction to some degree, but Mauldin said the project is moving quickly now, and should be completed by September.
Northern Video will bring 10 -15 jobs to the community immediately, with a total of 30 new jobs created within its first three years.
Last month, just across the street from the spec building, American Pew and Bench broke ground with plans for a furniture manufacturing facility.
Mauldin said American Pew offers between 12 and 15 jobs by the end of the first two years of business, and hopes to create up to 50 new jobs in five years. Their initial investment into the project was $1.5 million, with a total expected expenditure of $3.5 million.
Southern Powdercoat has also committed to construct a 6,000-square-foot facility in the Industrial Park, with an initial investment of $350,000. However, according to the company”s representatives, construction is moving “at a snail”s pace,” with no projected groundbreaking or completion date announced.
Finally, Garage Door Services, which now operates out of a facility on Poncho Street, has contracted with the City of Lockhart to purchase five lots in the development. Mauldin said Garage Door Services is in the process of completing a feasibility study on the project, and will move forward later.
Proceeds from the sale of property in the Lockhart Industrial Park will be reinvested into the community, according to Mauldin.
“The Mayor and the council have committed the funds of these sales to use in future economic development activities and expanding the utilities in the Industrial Park facility.”
In addition to the growth at the Lockhart Industrial Park, construction is moving forward quickly on the Lockhart Place commercial building, which will be home to a Walgreen”s drug store later this year. This week, crews completed grading the site and poured the concrete slab.