by BRAD ROLLINS
A new Best Buy internet retail sales operation center will start with 25 employees and add more in coming years under an economic development incentive agreement approved today by San Marcos and Hays County officials.
It will be on the only facility of its type in Texas and company officials expect it to generate $240 million to $300 million in annual sales. Under terms of the agreement, employees will be paid a minimum of $15 per hour plus benefits.
“Not only will it provide local jobs, but this partnership will also benefit the city, county and Best Buy,” said Shane Kitzman, a Best Buy spokesperson.
The center will be located in a vacant 20,000 square foot building at 900 Bugg Lane where Grande Communications briefly relocated its corporate headquarters after the Memorial Day weekend flood last year. Technological upgrades completed at Grande’s former temporary headquarters made the site attractive to Rochester, Minn.-based Best Buy, officials said.
“This is a big win and I am excited at the possibilities that will be open to our community with these good jobs and revenue,” Mayor Daniel Guerrero said.
Hays County Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe said, “diligent economic development efforts and cohesive collaboration from the community have made a difference in our job creation efforts. We are honored to be selected by this well-known brand name and look forward to the benefits it will bring to our existing businesses as well.”
More from the press release issued by the Greater San Marcos Partnership:
The project came directly to GSMP staff from the company’s site selection consultant in early March 2016. GSMP supported the process through site tours and assisting with the incentive process. Key factors to the success of the project were the central location, workforce availability and the presence of Texas State University, incentive opportunities, and an available turnkey facility.
“Having a brand-name, Fortune 500 company, select the City of San Marcos and Hays County for its sole e-commerce sales operation in Texas speaks loudly to the assets of the community,” said Adriana Cruz, President of the Greater San Marcos Partnership. “The Best Buy e-commerce sales operation will have a tremendous economic impact on San Marcos and Hays County, not only through primary jobs but also as a significant sales tax generator. We appreciate the investment that Best Buy is making in our community and look forward to a long-lasting relationship with the company. I commend the City of San Marcos and Hays County for their work to secure this opportunity for our residents.”
Today, the City of San Marcos and Hays County voted in favor of entering into performance-based Chapter 380/381 Agreements with Best Buy that include a ten-year sales tax rebate at 75 percent with two ten-year automatic renewals upon the meeting of the terms of the agreement and a ten-year personal property tax rebate at 50 percent. The economic impact of the deal is an expected $43 million and $14.4 million to the City of San Marcos and Hays County, respectively, at the expiration of the 30-year agreement.
Best Buy is the latest employer to expand their footprint in the Greater San Marcos region. Since its formation in October 2010, the GSMP staff has worked 325 projects or requests for information (RFI) resulting in 25 announcements, 2,402 jobs announced and more than $246 million in capital investment.
CORRECTION 9:32 a.m. AUG. 18: This story originally misstated the surname of a company spokesperson for Best Buy. He is Shane Kitzman, not Kitzer.MIKE MOZART
COVER: PHOTO by MIKE MOZART