By Betsy Dolan
The City of Sugar Land and one of its long-time employers, Fluor Enterprises, Inc., have reached an agreement that will keep the company in Sugar Land indefinitely and paves the way for the company to build a new facility in Telfair in the next few years.
Due to Fluor’s current lease with Sugar Land set to expire in 2021, the company had been in the process of reviewing its long-range facility needs and reviewed numerous options in the greater Houston area before choosing Sugar Land. On July 3, the Sugar Land City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Fluor that outlines the terms of an incentive package including a 10 year, 100 percent tax abatement on the new facility, a sales tax refund on construction sales taxes, and assistance with state incentives such as being included in the Texas Enterprise Zone.
Sugar Land’s Director of Economic Development, Regina Morales, told the City Council that in exchange for those incentives, Fluor has agreed to spend $165 million in capital investments and to maintain a minimum of 2,000 jobs.
Fluor, which has been in Sugar Land for 30 years, is currently in a one million square foot facility at 1 Fluor Drive in the Lake Point Development. The company has targeted a 50 acre site on the southeast corner of University Boulevard and U.S. 59 near the University of Houston Sugar Land campus and adjacent to where the city has purchased land for a future concert venue. Morales told the council that the timeline for construction to begin on the new facility was based on the expiration of their existing lease noting that construction would likely begin in early 2018.
“This is envisioned to be a long term project,” Morales cautioned the council. “This isn’t going to happen tomorrow. There is extensive planning and development that will have to occur.”
The next steps include Fluor’s finalization of a land purchase agreement with Newland Communities and formal applications for the incentives outlined in the memorandum in order to formalize the understanding into binding agreements.
“Fluor has been fortunate to call Sugar Land home since the early 1980’s,” said Richard Messerole, Vice President and General Manager of Fluor’s Sugar Land office. “We look forward to being party of the local economy and community for years to come.”
Fluor Enterprises, Inc., is a subsidiary of Fluor Corporation which employs more than 45,000 employees worldwide and has offices in more than 25 countries. The company’s headquarters are in Irving, Texas.