ANDREWS A grant from the Economic Development Administration through the U.S. Department of Commerce will help fund infrastructure for a new industrial park in Andrews.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced May 24 that the Department’s Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1.5 million grant to Andrews Economic Development Corporation for critical infrastructure to support a new business park. The grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
The funding will provide road and water infrastructure for the Northwest Business Park, supporting business development and growth, according to a press release.
The EDA grant will be matched by $2.4 million in local funds and is expected to create 50 jobs and leverage $62 million in private investment, according to recipient estimates.
The infrastructure will include water, sewer and streets for a new industrial park that will be on the northwest side of town, Andrews Development Corporation executive director Morse Haynes said.
The park comprises an expanse of 44 acres. Haynes said they would begin the process of securing the land.
The Economic Development Corporation purchased the land about a year ago.
“We thought we had a pretty good chance of getting the grant, so we actually hired a grant writer to set this up for us,” Haynes said.
He added that there are no specific plans yet for what will go to the park, but they want to let people know that there will be lots available.
Haynes said he would likely come up with seven lots and if there was a big project they could be combined.
There are currently two industrial parks in Andrews – Business Park West and Business Park South. Most of the land in each park is already home to businesses.
“…Business parks have been a great way to get businesses to locate here and grow,” Haynes said.
If there is a good project, he said the entities will work together.
“…Sometimes there will be a tax abatement, and that’s where all the entities except the school, the hospital district and the county and the city all go together on a tax abatement. We do this to encourage people to come here too,” Haynes added.
He said the school district is a good map to draw.
“You get a bit more of a rural feel and sometimes some people want their kids to go to a bit smaller school. I grew up in a city, graduating class of 28, so I myself am a proponent of small schools,” Haynes said.
He grew up in McLean, about 70 miles east of Amarillo.
Haynes said he will seek qualifications from certain engineering firms to select an engineer to lay the ground.
“Once we have laid it, we will put out tenders to lay the water, sewer and roads,” he said.
Haynes said he estimates it will take about two years before businesses start popping up in the park.
“You really don’t have anything to promote unless you have all the infrastructure there. It’s not a site until you have everything. Otherwise, you just have a pitch,” Haynes said.
When businesses come to town, they ask if there is water, sewer, fiber and internet.
“And when you can tick yes to all of those boxes, they’ll give you more serious consideration,” Haynes said.
The business park is in an area of town that is growing with new houses and apartments and potential for more.
Haynes served as executive director of Andrews Economic Development Corporation for three and a half years. He did the same job at Monahans for 13 years.
Haynes said he moved to Andrews to be closer to his family. His son is director of economic development in Denver City.
“He did a great job. He likes that. He starts at a younger age than me,” Haynes said.
He worked for Oncor for 21 years before moving into economic development.
Haynes added that being in a company that serves the region is a huge contributor to economic development.
Working with the electric company, he made easements and learned a lot about utilities. Then in Monahans, he learned more about the city’s utilities such as water and sewer.
“We actually watered down some streets on the east side of Monahans,” Haynes said.
The Economic Development Corporation developed the land there where the Ward County Event Center now stands. There is also a restaurant and a hotel nearby.
“We owned this land and the county was awesome,” Haynes said.
US Department of Commerce invests in Andrews Business Park