WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — To help lure in potential industrial businesses to Wichita Falls, in a time when a slumping economy needs an infusion of new jobs, the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce is partnering with a local architect company to create virtual concepts of buildings.
Working from home brought challenges to how several businesses operate but it also gave officials with the Chamber an idea to work out.
“We developed a virtual spec building because we are almost out of good size industrial buildings to put a manufacturing prospect in,” Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Henry Florsheim said.
Industrial companies also bring in a different type of money to Wichita Falls.
“Those companies, those types of jobs, that bring in money from out of town and so you got a manufacture here that sells to somewhere else, right,” Florsheim said. “So, the customer money is coming from elsewhere and that funds payroll here, and the companies spend money here, they buy equipment and supplies from local companies and so there’s this spin-off effect.”
The Chamber partnered with BYSP Architects to come up with these virtual concepts and CEO Dick Bundy said having these concepts will save them time.
“Back in the ’80s to do a project like Washex and Wichita Clutch back in those days, it would take two years to get design and construction complete,” Bundy said. “Now we can show them how that can be done in about half the time.”
Bundy and his team then got to work to come up with designs for different businesses.
“Given two different building sizes a 30,000-sqft. building that can be doubled in size, it can actually be expanded further than that but immediately it can be doubled in size or a 60,000 that could expand up to 120,000-sqft,” Bundy said.
This is just another way for the Wichita Falls community to rise above the rest.
“In our job, the goal is to not get eliminated from a list,” Florsheim said. “A prospect might start off with 10 communities or 50 communities, and if we can prove to them, even if we don’t have everything they want, if they say Wichita Falls a pretty innovative place those guys are helping me make my decision in a way that nobody else is, we can stay on that list as the whittle it down.”
Finding a new way, with the same goal, of bringing jobs to Wichita Falls.
Florsheim also said there has been a positive response from potential businesses to the virtual concepts and the savings in construction and time.