Fort Worth Economic Development Partnership

Fort Worth, Texas – The future of advanced manufacturing and sustainable energy

By City of Fort Worth Economic Development

Many companies are currently working to strengthen their supply chain resiliency by reshoring critical manufacturing operations and Fort Worth, Texas offers a unique business climate for companies eager to relocate or expand their operations into the fourth largest metro area in the United States.

According to the C2ER Cost of Living Index, Fort Worth’s cost of living is 5.8% below the national average compared to larger coastal cities, and when combined with a business-friendly environment with no corporate, state or local income tax, Fort Worth is a particularly attractive option for companies in the manufacturing and energy sectors.

Built in Fort Worth: A legacy of advanced manufacturing

Fort Worth has established itself as a major manufacturing hub across several different industries, building 51 million square feet of warehousing and manufacturing space between 2012 and 2022 alone, according to CoStar.

Fort Worth, Texas – The future of advanced manufacturing and sustainable energy

Bell’s Manufacturing and Technology Center in Fort Worth.

Photo by Jeremy Enlow

Home to two major aerospace and defense companies, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lighting II jets are built in Fort Worth and Bell Textron’s 140,000-square-foot Manufacturing Technology Center serves as a regional hub to test and refine processes for the company’s aircraft. The city’s other major manufacturers include Alcon Laboratories and Wabtec Corporation.

Fort Worth’s centralized location within the U.S. also makes it well-positioned for manufacturing companies with a bi-coastal reach. The world-class intermodal logistics hub at AllianceTexas in north Fort Worth offers easy access to transport goods by rail, air and major highways. Either coast is about four hours away by plane from DFW Airport and reachable by truck within about two days. The city also has direct lines of access to the ports of Los Angeles, Houston and Mexico.

And Fort Worth still has plenty of room to grow. With almost 75,000 acres of undeveloped land available — including two premium locations for mega-site projects at Walsh and Veale Ranches, which contain 8,000 acres between them — the city is poised to see even more manufacturing growth in the years to come.

New frontiers for new forms of energy

Traditionally considered an oil and gas town, several companies are expanding their presence in Fort Worth as the city takes bold steps to build an ecosystem that spans the full energy spectrum — from generation and production, to distribution, storage and other downstream applications.

Most recently, a new manufacturing facility by Siemens will focus on the production of state-of-the-art electrical equipment and low-voltage switchgear, which will power data centers and bolster the adoption of generative AI. Announced in 2023, the facility represents a $150 million investment by Siemens to help power the next generation of critical infrastructure in the U.S.

Additionally, MP Materials’ new fully-integrated rare earth manufacturing factory in north Fort Worth is quickly approaching completion. A first-of-its kind U.S. facility with an ambitious goal of restoring the domestic rare earth magnetics supply chain, MP Materials has partnered with General Motors to produce the vital NdFeB magnets that serve as critical components for GM’s electric vehicle line.

Where the future begins: R&D growth in Fort Worth

When it comes to building a robust ecosystem of innovative companies, one important tool at Fort Worth’s disposal is a unique R&D tax credit program, in which eligible companies can receive grants that are equal to a percentage of their Fort Worth-based research and development costs. While these performance-based grants are limited to the value of new property taxes created by the project, they can also be sold or assigned to other commercial projects.

Fort Worth, Texas – The future of advanced manufacturing and sustainable energy

Linear Labs Inc. in Fort Worth.

Photo by Jeremy Enlow

Linear Labs was the first company to benefit from this R&D tax credit in June 2020 and the homegrown venture-backed company continues to scale its integrated electrification systems and electric motors from their headquarters in Fort Worth — which is expected to produce more than $614 million in new R&D activity, based on the city’s incentive agreement.

More recently, smart building technology company Sinclair Digital partnered with the city of Fort Worth to apply this tool towards a new corporate R&D center in the heart of downtown. This move is expected to support more than $87 million in new R&D over the next decade.

With a business-friendly environment, a robust pool of talent and deep strengths in the manufacturing and energy industries, Fort Worth is a city that’s proven itself as a destination for forward-thinking companies — firmly staking its claim as the center of the modern West.

Content retrieved from: https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2024/05/01/fort-worth-texas-future-of-advanced-manufacturing.html.

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