By Karen Daniels
When the announcement was first made back in January about Texas Instruments closing it’s manufacturing plant after 45 years in Stafford, this was a phone call Mayor Scarcella never wanted to receive. Now with the announcement that T.I. will build and relocate their facility in Sugar Land, five miles down the road, this is another disappointment for the City of Stafford. From the viewpoint of the Mayor, T.I. has historically “saved millions of dollars” in city property taxes and school taxes by being in Stafford. The Mayor understands that it’s Texas Instruments’ property and that this long term relationship has been mutually beneficial, but he does wish that T.I. had been able to redevelop on their own site.
Jeff Wiley, president of the GFBEDC, has said. “T.I. leaving is a good news, bad news story. The bad news is, after 45 years, T.I. will not be a presence in Stafford. The good news is, the land is valuable, and long term, Stafford will be best served.” He explained the possibilities for the Stafford site are “significant to attract and develop multi-use sites with the potential to have higher taxable assets.” Wiley compared the opportunity for the Texas Instruments land in Stafford to the Lake Point development area further down Highway 59 which is roughly the same size. “We are now at a point where T.I. can start to move forward with plans for future development of the land (in Stafford).”
Kim Morgan, a representative at T.I, said the decision to relocate to Sugar Land had to do with “cost analysis versus promised commute” and that “we looked into building, buying, and leasing” in Stafford. T.I. has selected a future site at the northeast corner of Highway 59 and University Blvd in the Telfair commercial development area. Texas Instruments will construct a 160,000-square-foot office facility to be completed by early 2014. The facility will be constructed on a seven-acre site. Ms. Morgan stated that the employee number T.I. has guaranteed is 375.