When a city’s residents are asked to vote on a proposed tax hike, they often give a resounding no. But last November Arlington voters said yes—agreeing to fund the Arlington Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) with a quarter-cent sales tax.
That investment has paid off for the first time with the news that Fort Worth-based aerospace manufacturer Bell Textron will build a new house systems integration lab in Arlington with the help of $2.5 million from the AEDC.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, city officials say the deal could create up to 230 full-time jobs with a median pay of $74,500, with Bell Textron expected to invest $22 million in the lab itself.
AEDC board members approved the proposal unanimously June 22, the article said. The Arlington City Council then voted its own approval of the deal, which requires the 50,000 square-foot facility to be constructed by the end of 2023.
The AEDC’s first agreement
The Star-Telegram says the deal is the first agreement struck by the AEDC, and requires the facility to hold a taxable value of at least $15 million.
Former Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, who left office Tuesday after being term-limited and succeeded by Jim Ross, was effusive in his praise of the deal. .
“This is the kind of thing that every city dreams about, and we’re very excited about what’s taking place,” he told the paper, which noted that Bell Textron already has a footprint in Arlington—a Flight Research Center on the west side of Arlington Municipal Airport.
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