ODESSA - The oil boom meant another flourishing year for Odessa’s economy, with low unemployment and a surge of new homes and businesses.
“If you are just looking back at the year, it has been, frankly, a great year for the Odessa economy, and it will continue,” said Karr Ingham, an economist who studies Odessa and Midland.
H-E-B announced plans to build a westside grocery store and in October confirmed intentions to build another off Hwy. 191.
Large projects were started, with some in the south industrial park of JBS Pkwy. The area grew rapidly in 2014.
In December, Air Products began building a $32 million liquid nitrogen production facility.
Executives at Saulsbury Industries announced plans for the coming year to begin an expansion that will increase their local employment count by about 200 and add 40,000 sf of office space.
Only housing construction remained lower than in 2013, which developers including Larry Lee of Leeco attributed to less availability of developed land slowing down new projects.
Surging hotel building could start to catch up with a demand that supports average nightly rates at more than $200. Odessa added six hotels in 2013. In 2014, another eight began construction.
The 65-acre Parks Legado development was one of a few large retail and mixed-use projects that continued to grow. The 237-acre Dorado Center also grew, closing on a deal with Cinergy Cinemas for a $25 million entertainment complex of about 90,000 sf.