The Texas Innovation Corridor features more than 250 supply chain-related businesses, employing thousands of individuals in Hays and Caldwell Counties. One such leader in this industry is Amazon, one of the most innovative companies in history. As supply chain reshoring and last-mile delivery operations have exponentially grown nationwide, Amazon has selected the Texas Innovation Corridor four times – including three times since 2020.
The process of getting orders from delivery stations to customers’ doorsteps is called the “last mile” for delivery. Amazon Fulfillment Centers and Logistics Centers deliver goods to homes, businesses, Amazon Lockers, and even cars all over the world. This network is powered by hundreds of small businesses and tens of thousands of drivers that leverage state-of-the-art Amazon technology, a variety of building types and sizes to support processing orders, and a vast number of logistics employees.
Amazon has grown substantially nationwide over the last decade, but there are two major factors as to why Amazon has invested four times in the Texas Innovation Corridor.
The first factor is that the region has a diverse and plentiful workforce to keep up with Amazon operations. Sustained by long-term population growth, Hays County is the fastest-growing county of 50,000 or more in the United States. More than 270,000 call Hays or Caldwell County home, and within a 60-minute commute radius, the Texas Innovation Corridor features a workforce of more than 2.4 million people. By 2031, the U.S. Labor Department projects a total population of more than 6 million to live within the 10-county region.
The second factor is that the region is centrally located, offering ease of access to major thoroughfares such as Interstate 35, Interstate 10 and State Highway 130. With quality infrastructure in place for logistics and supply chain management, as well as available land and spec building, Amazon saw a prime opportunity to invest in an emerging supply chain hub.
Unlike other economic development projects, Amazon did not require Chapter 380 or 381 tax codes in order to develop their properties in the region. Instead, local governments worked with Amazon on supporting their development needs, primarily permitting and construction zoning.
Creative support efforts that helped solidify the project included exempting zoning laws and fill permits for the new SAT-6 facility in San Marcos. These changes, designed to allow for more parking and easier land grading at the facility, delivered the first one million square foot industrial facility to the region’s footprint.
Since arriving in 2016, Amazon has become the largest employer in the Texas Innovation Corridor, employing more than 5,000 individuals. The company owns more than 3.5 million total square feet throughout their four locations, also a record by one company in the region.
With the selection of a SAT-6 facility in San Marcos in FY 2021, Amazon became the first industrial site in the Texas Innovation Corridor with an industrial facility of more than one million square feet. Amazon has also established a SAT-2 facility in San Marcos, a sorting facility in Kyle and a fulfillment center in Buda.
With more than 5,000 jobs beginning at $15/hour and benefits on Day 1, Amazon is the region’s largest employer and has found continual success four times over.