LUFKIN, TX - Businesses eyeballing Lufkin now have increased incentives to set up shop in North Lufkin. City Council has expanded the incentives available in the downtown Main Street District within the Enterprise Zone to include the Kurth Drive area in North Lufkin. This means companies that locate on property with direct access onto Kurth Drive will be able to take advantage of incentives and tax abatements that are designated for development.
Why the expansion? Lufkin Mayor Jack Gordon says, "The Kurth Drive area has already proven to be a 'sweet spot' for manufacturing concerns. Our intention is to make it even more attractive to potential businesses that are already impressed by its close proximity to the Loop and the availability of land at a reasonable price. The tax abatements and expedited permitting will make this location even more desirable to companies interested in doing business in Lufkin." Economic Director Jim Wehmeier adds, "Although the Kurth drive area has always provided industrial incentives via the standard incentive policy, this addition will add more flexibility regarding the types of businesses that will qualify for these incentives such as retail and service sector businesses that residents living in the area have wanted. It is going to be exciting working with companies that are interested in investing in the Kurth Drive area. Not only will their investments reinvigorate this historic area, they will also create new jobs for Lufkin residents."
The incentive policy includes tax abatements on new value created by the business for up to 10 years on a sliding scale from 100% down to 10% with value coming onto the tax rolls incrementally over the period. Additionally, businesses within the Zone will get priority when it comes to the permitting process. All projects that are interested in the Enterprise Zone are considered on a case by case basis and must be approved by the taxing entities. Companies must get the "green light" before permitting or construction can start.
Council Member R.L. Kuykendall represents Ward 1 which includes the Kurth Drive area. He's thrilled at the prospect of seeing new businesses "take root" in his neighborhood. Kuykendall says, "This change could provide the stimulus the area needs to bring in a grocery store, gas station or other service-oriented businesses to the area. There's already residential construction underway and additional businesses would make great sense. Plus, it's a great location linking Timberland Drive to North 96/Loop 287." Council Member Rose Faine Boyd lives in Ward 2 - across from Kurth Drive. She adds, "The City Council has a strong desire to promote and enhance both retail and economic development in north Lufkin, especially on Kurth Drive, which is the gateway to Lufkin."