By Elsa Maxey
You’ve probably seen this water bottling company’s brand at some local stores in this area. It’s Niagara, family-owned, the second-largest bottled water company in the U.S., and in the near future it will have a home in Fort Bend situated in 25.6 acres. Last week, Fort Bend County Commissioners Court voted to approve a tax abatement agreement with Niagara Bottling Company, LLC for its facility planned in Missouri City at Lakeview Business Park.
The bottling company’s facility will be located in the city’s Reinvestment Zone No. 10 and is scheduled to open in less than a year, February 2013. The agreement with Fort Bend County will allow the company to receive tax abatements up to 60 percent of the value of eligible property improvements for 10 years, according to the terms of the agreement, which will go into effect in 2014.
The company will be constructing a 350,000 sq. foot bottling plant with two production lines. The total value of the project, according to the city, is estimated to be $50 million and it will be adding to the workforce in this area.
In May, the Missouri City City Council approved an economic development agreement with Niagara Bottling. It also approved a tax abatement agreement with the bottling company. A city council report indicates that Niagara Bottling Company had been looking for a new site in the Houston area. The reason for coming to Missouri City? Vice President of Operations for Niagara Bottling Brian Hess told city council that one of the things that made a difference “are the personal relationships and from Mayor Owen to City Manager Ed Broussard to Scott Elmer, Bob Graf, Jack Belt, these people took us under their wing from day one.” He said the support from the city and county was very important to the company.