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Posts from February 2014

Fort Bend an ‘economic miracle,’ says secretary of state

Posted on February 05, 2014 in

By Erin Mulvaney

Texas’ recently sworn-in Secretary of State Nandita Berry returned to the Houston area on Monday to tout Fort Bend County as an “economic miracle” with a strong future.

Berry, a Houston lawyer appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, chose Fort Bend as the first stop in her tour of the state to promote economic hot spots. She met with local business, development and government leaders and toured the area in a red helicopter.

In comments afterward at Sugar Land Regional Airport, Berry cited Fort Bend’s success attracting commercial and residential development and its consistent ranking among the nation’s fastest growing and most diverse counties.

“It was exciting to see a tract of land and be told that will be a new business’ headquarters or to see the framework of land under development,” Berry said of the aerial tour. “I’m astounded by the amount of development in this area.”

Fort Bend has registered several successes in recent years, from the rebound of large residential projects such as Telfair in Sugar Land to the announcement last summer that German discount grocer Aldi had chosen a site in Rosenberg for a new distribution center and regional headquarters.

The next step will be to continue to attract more international and national companies to the area, county leaders said.

The county is working to attract foreign investors to build in the area.

“We have reached a critical mass with residential, retail and office developments,” said Jack Belt with the Fort Bend Economic Development Council. “It’s taken us 30 years to become an overnight success.”

Joe Esch, economic development director for Missouri City, said the county has kept pace with the growth and has several public transportation projects in the works to sustain new development.

He also credited local government with creating a strong business climate that does not impose excessive regulations and keeps taxes low.

“We focus on the private sector,” Esch said. “This is where you see the government and the business community coming together.”