ABILENE- Abilene, a city of 118,000, has everything a company needs for a relocation or expansion: a capable, less expensive labor pool, comfortable living and a strong business support system.
Abilene knows the importance of diversifying its economy from its agriculture, energy and military core.
A South American food giant is building a $30 million plant expansion to add crackers to its product line.
A California plastics company is setting up a $63.2 million facility to turn old water bottles into new for Nestlé Waters’ nearby Ozarka plant.
Tigé Boats is thriving. Its high-end wakesurf and wakeboard inboard motor boats cost $50,000 to $135,000 and are sold around the globe. It just opened a dealership in Dubai.
“Not every company wants to be in a big metropolitan area. Companies that don’t want to come your way, we’re more than happy to take our way,” said Mayor Norm Archibald.
Abilene is giving CarbonLITE, one of the world’s largest recyclers of plastic beverage bottles, a $6.2 million incentive package, paying $11.8 million to finish out an existing 100,000-sf facility and adding 110,000 sf of office and warehouse space.
CarbonLITE will lease the space with an option to buy it. CarbonLITE has promised to spend at least $35 million to equip the plant, which will be worth $63.2 million when it’s up and running.
South American food giant Grupo Nutresa bought out a local cookie maker four years ago and changed its name to AbiMar Foods Inc. When it decided to expand into crackers in 2013, it considered other Texas options but decided to keep everything in Abilene, said Patricia Canal, AbiMar’s CEO.