Pflugerville has been the home of Community Impact Newspaper for seven years, and it appears the city will continue to host the company’s corporate offices for at least another decade.
John Garrett, Community Impact Newspaper co-founder and CEO, agreed to an incentive agreement Dec. 18 with the City of Pflugerville and the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. to construct a $2.5 million, 16,000-square-foot corporate headquarters within the 130 Commerce Center mixed-use development park in east Pflugerville.
“I think the location is a big part of the future of the Central Texas business corridor,” Garrett said. “Ultimately it gives us a home. … It allows us to build a building that meets our needs.”
Garrett said he hopes to have the company’s Austin-area employees moved into the new location before the end of 2013.
“We want a building that reflects the quality of our paper and the quality of our people,” Garrett said. “This building allows us to grow into what is next.”
In exchange for building its new headquarters in Pflugerville, the PCDC agreed to sell Community Impact Newspaper a 5-acre tract for $50 and provide the company $100,000 for capital expenditures such as architecture and design. The city agreed to rebate 50 percent of the company’s property taxes for 10 years and to waive all development fees.
The agreement requires Community Impact Newspaper to keep its headquarters at the new site for 10 years and maintain at least 50 full-time employees in Pflugerville.
Garrett and his wife, Jennifer, are Pflugerville High School graduates who founded Community Impact Newspaper in 2005. The company has grown from one newspaper serving the Pflugerville and Round Rock communities to 13 separate newspapers with 90 employees and a total monthly circulation of more than 850,000 covering the Austin, Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas.
“This is probably one of the biggest business retention projects we’ve ever done,” PCDC Executive Director Floyd Akers said. “We don’t have that many companies with this many employees in the City of Pflugerville.
“The best part of it is this represents a local success story. John and his family went to school in Pflugerville and started a business in Pflugerville. This deal was a no-brainer for us.”
The deal with Community Impact Newspaper represents the third development agreement the PCDC has made for the 130 Commerce Center, which encompasses 160 acres of land at the southwest intersection of Pecan Street and Toll 130. In October, Austin-based coffee manufacturer and distributor EIEIO Inc. announced plans to construct a 40,000-square-foot corporate headquarters and industrial plant at the site, and in November, ground was broken on the first light industrial building within the park.
The Community Impact Newspaper headquarters will be the first Class-A office space location at the 130 Commerce Center, Akers said.
Pflugerville Mayor Jeff Coleman said the deal was a positive for the city and the development of the 130 Commerce Center.
“We are helping support a born-and-bred Pflugerville company,” Coleman said. “So we are building from within.
“We are also supporting the PCDC’s objective of creating prominent day jobs and creating a revenue force within the city.”