Updated: Jul 15, 2021
Samsung isn't formally announcing their $17 billion advanced chip manufacturing plant is coming to Taylor, Texas but with Taylor ISD submitting their Chapter 313 Agreement for state property tax reimbursement, it is looking all but a done deal! Expect everyone in Austin to be shocked when formal announcement made.... but should they be?
(Expect this sleepy little downtown to be crawling with real estate brokers real soon)
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravel was noting something bigger than Apple's $1B campus was coming to WilCo at Austin Business Journal's Williamson County Growth Summit back in December 2019 and Wall Street Journal has been listing Williamson County as a potential site alongside Austin since January 22 but no one gave it much thought but the signs have been there.
(Area Samsung facility is expected to be located just outside Taylor, near Taylor High School)
Samsung recently noted they expect to start construction on the factory in the third quarter of this year and open it in 2024. Although signs are now pointing to a Q1 2022 start, we all know even that schedule couldn't be met inside Austin, unless they were building on an old mining quarry apparently. I'm assuming Williamson County can expedite entitlements, permitting and inspections to meet tight project deadlines for special developments and with the full weight of the Federal Government behind them to dramatically ramp up semiconductor production in the US.
(Look for Taylor's legendary Louie Mueller BBQ to get real busy in the coming months!)
Samsung was also reportedly seeking $800M+ in incentives and both City of Austin and Travis County are not in a position to go down that road in their current political environment. Apparently Williamson County does feel the economic development incentives will more than pay for themselves in future growth, taxes, new Samsung suppliers, and more.
The new Samsung plant is expected to bring 1,800+ great paying jobs to Taylor which currently only has a population of around 18,000. And with a new Hutto bypass loop from Hwy 79 to SH130 the access to the facility will be pretty incredible once both are completed.
Samsung is joining Apple and their $1B campus locating huge developments just about as close as they could to the City of Austin and Travis County lines without going over.
("Austin" Apple Campus Site Plan with County Lines shown).
When California #Texodus participants were talking about the business friendly environment, low taxes and clean cities they were searching for, apparently WilCo was listening and now betting bigly to the tune of 6,000,000 square feet worth of next generation chip production.
Besides speedy development permit approval and tremendous incentives, maybe the biggest advantage for Samsung is access to deregulated electricity. Deregulated electricity is interesting considering Austin Energy forced Samsung's Austin plant to shut down during the Valentine's Day Snowpocalypse and lost an estimated $270 million in damages and lost production.
And although the plans were filed last year, based on the electric challenges experienced in February, it is also interesting to factor in Samsung's $637M solar project recently announced in nearby Milam County. Although it is not clear if power could be negotiated to help power the new plant, having access to deregulated electricity provider should help.
Now that the announcement has (sort of) been made, let's give a huge congrats to all those that made this unbelievable deal possible for Taylor, all of Williamson County and even Austin. The region appears ready to continue to explode with no end in sight.
The HQ relocations and ginormous development announcements are exciting but we still have to build them all so let's get to it!
To be fair, the Chapter 313 property tax incentive application noted: Samsung is also considering other locations including Arizona, New York and Korea so stay tuned.....