The United States’ largest producer of Twin Pops, Monster Pops, and other seasonal popsicles, the Ziegenfelder Company, will soon call Lockhart home. On its September 6 City Council meeting, the City approved a Chapter 380 agreement with the Ziegenfelder Co. providing a partial five-year City property tax rebate.
“It’s a refreshing addition to Lockhart’s growing economic landscape,” exclaimed Lockhart Mayor Lew White. “For a city of Lockhart’s size, this represents a substantial investment and employment opportunities for our residents. What a treat!”
The Ziegenfelder Company fits one of Lockhart’s target industries as a food and beverage manufacturer. The company’s proposed investment includes a 100,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Lockhart’s new SH 130 Industrial Park, 91 well-paying jobs, and a $29 million investment in the community.
“We started this process about a year ago and we wanted a location in Texas,” said Ziegenfelder Co. President Kevin Heller. “An existing building brought us to Lockhart, and it didn’t work out, but what led us to ultimately choose Lockhart is the people here.”
To further cement the company’s expansion to the Barbecue Capital of Texas, Caldwell County Commissioners approved a Chapter 381 agreement in its September 13 meeting. Similar to the City’s Chapter 380 agreement, it provides Ziegenfelder Co. a partial five-year County property tax rebate. The County’s support for Lockhart’s SH 130 Industrial Park also helped give the city a competitive edge in attracting companies, like Ziegenfelder.
“Lockhart has a strong economic development base to build from. However, we needed to be more proactive in building the assets and infrastructure needed to attract our target companies,” said Steve Lewis, LEDC President and Lockhart City Manager. “The new SH 130 Industrial Park has allowed Lockhart to overcome a limited inventory of available sites for targeted industries, like the Ziegenfelder Company, to call our city home.”
The Ziegenfelder Company was also awarded $525,000 by the Office of the Governor’s Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF). To qualify for TEF funding, a prospective company must be well-established, demonstrate significant levels of planned capital investment, offer at least 25 full-time jobs for rural areas, and must be supported by the city and county in which the project would be located. The TEF awards “deal-closing” grants to companies considering a new project for which one Texas site is competing with other out-of-state sites.
“The Lockhart Economic Development Corporation’s efforts to welcome the Ziegenfelder Company received incredible support from all aspects of the Central Texas community,” said Mayor White. “On top of the City of Lockhart’s backing, Caldwell County’s, our State legislative delegation, and, now, Gov. Greg Abbott’s reinforcement ensured our success.”
A performance agreement between the LEDC and Ziegenfelder Co. will go before the Lockhart City Council on its September 20 Council meeting. The agreement’s approval will finalize Ziegenfelder’s expansion to Lockhart.
As Caldwell County’s seat, only 30 minutes south of Austin, Lockhart’s growth has accelerated in recent years and is expected to continue. The City of Lockhart is doing all it can to keep up with its growth by investing in new infrastructure, bolstering economic development efforts, while maintaining its character.