There’s a new bootmaker in Cowtown — Western apparel maker Ariat International, which announced Wednesday it will open a regional headquarters and distribution center in the AllianceTexas area.
The Star-Telegram reported in June the company’s intention to open a 1 million-square-foot hub and corporate office at 15201 Blue Mound Road in Denton County with the help of incentives worth about $2 million. The Fort Worth City Council approved the development agreement on Tuesday.
“It is a privilege to join the thriving community of Fort Worth and to be so close to many of our regional retail partners,” Beth Cross, co-founder and CEO of Ariat, said in a statement.
Ariat will add 75 corporate jobs to the facility north of the BNSF intermodal facility and ramp up to about 450 total jobs in the distribution center by 2024.
The company committed to investing $73 million into the distribution center. That includes a $43 million investment in the property. In addition to the 75 corporate jobs, Robert Sturns, Fort Worth’s economic development director, said in June he expects Ariat to add 125 jobs each year over three years with average salaries around $44,000.
The city agreed to a nine-year tax break worth 40% of the new property taxes and a cash grant of $212,000. That grant is payable only after Ariat demonstrates three years of job growth, Sturns said.
The package is worth just north of $2 million and the city expects to make $2.6 million in new revenue over the same period, he said.
The council approved the package without discussion, though in June Councilwoman Gyna Bivens questioned the salary range, wondering if it was too low to entice job seekers.
A Texas Enterprise Fund grant of $750,000 was also given to Ariat.
Gov. Greg Abbott, in a statement, said the company would be at home in Texas.
“Texas has a long and storied tradition of ranching, farming, and equestrian sports, and we are proud to build upon that legacy by welcoming Ariat to Fort Worth,” he said.
The Union City, California-based company makes boots and clothes for work and outdoor wear. The new regional distribution hub and corporate office in Fort Worth will serve as its western U.S. regional headquarters.
Another California company, Wesco Aircraft, will relocate its headquarters from Valencia, California, to Fort Worth in two phases starting next year thanks to a $1 million incentive package. Unlike the Ariat deal, this relocation does not rely on taxes. It is instead funded through the earnings from the city’s sale of the Pinnacle Bank building.
The company, a supply chain manager that will do business as Incora., will create 500 high-paying, white-collar jobs with an average salary of $75,000.
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