WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — An empty building off Burkburnett Road in Wichita Falls may finally be full again, bringing yet another manufacturing company to the city.
The 4A Board has been working with Clayton Homes for four years trying to get a deal done and a vote today is pushing the project forward.
The gates of the old ATCO building will soon open again for the first time since 2016.
“I have never worked on a project for so long that finally came through,” Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce CEO & President Henry Florsheim said. “Sometimes you work on projects and they never happen.”
The old ATCO building will be Clayton Homes’ new home after it was left vacant nearly five years ago.
The building is almost cleared by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of any environmental issues, with a final affidavit expected sometime next week.
It’s now out of the hands, and pockets, of the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation Board and the taxpayer.
“The EDC has had to pay for insurance and maintenance and upkeep and repairs on that building,” Florsheim said. “Property taxes on that building ever since they acquired it.”
A prime time for the WFEDC to approve an incentive package worth a little more than $1.7 million in exchange for the creation of 181 jobs.
It’ll also bring in a new annual payroll of close to $9 million.
Clayton homes is putting $15 to $18 million dollars into repairs for the building which they’ll purchase for $1 million from the EDC.
This is a cash for jobs incentive package.
“This is what we do is to get more jobs in Wichita Falls and with the right kinda companies that pay benefits and good solid companies,” WFEDC President Leo Lane said. “Clayton Homes is a Berkshire Hathaway, very solid company for our community.”
“This agreement includes incentives that protect the taxpayer because Clayton Homes won’t recieve any funding until they’ve already hired people and had them on the job for at least six months,” Florsheim said.
Florsheim and Lane have watched this project evolve for four years, with a front row seat.
“It is an incredible feeling, should have our final notice from TCEQ next week and we’re gonna celebrate,” Lane said.
“We’re just relieved, it’s been thousands of hours working on this project and so to be able to say it’s finally going to happen,” Florsheim said. “To go out there and break ground, to eventually cut a ribbon is just the icing on the cake.”
The incentive they call a win-win for taxpayers is now bringing an old building back to life.
The incentive package goes before Wichita Falls City Council June 1st.