Longview had a banner year for important business news in 2021. Here’s a look back at some of the top highlights.
1. No doubt the biggest economic development announcement of the year was Gap. Inc.’s decision to build an e-commerce fulfillment and distribution center in Longview’s North Business Park, in the Judson and George Richey roads area.
Construction is underway on the 850,000-square-foot facility on 142 acres, with Gap expected to ultimately invest $140 million in the project by 2023. The facility will employ 1,200 full-time workers when it’s fully operational and create 1,000 part-time seasonal jobs.
Longview Mayor Andy Mack described the announcement earlier this year as likely the largest project to come to Longview since Eastman announced in 1949 that it would locate a plant here. The Longview Economic Development Corp. worked to secure the project with the help of a package of incentives approved by the LEDC board of directors, city and county leaders.
2. Longview’s hospitals made major investments in health care in Longview in 2021.
Christus Good Shepherd Health System started construction on a $35 million project to expand the NorthPark campus off of Hawkins Parkway and create an integrated orthopedics and sports medicine institute. The existing Institute for Health Living will become the Christus Good Shepherd Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute. NorthPark will grow by 27,000 square feet, which includes operating rooms for orthopedic procedures. The Institute for Healthy Living will continue to operate as a gym while increasing operations to 24 hours a day.
Longview Regional Medical Center and Christus Good Shepherd also completed expansions and renovations to their individual cardiac care facilities.
Longview Regional invested more than $4.4 million to add an electrophysiology lab and make other renovations to the hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute and Regional Clinics Cardiology, inside the hospital’s 709 Medical Park Plaza building.
Christus also opened its $8.5 million, 21,500-square-foot Cardiovascular Center of Excellence next to the hospital.
3. Gap’s announcement in February was quickly followed by Aviagen North America’s decision in May to build a genetics lab that incubates and hatches breeder chicks that are shipped all over the world when they are a day old.
LEDCO secured the deal with incentives to help bring the approximately 60,000 square foot facility to the Longview Business Park off Eastman Road.
Aviagen will invest more than $24 million in the building on 15.7 acres and create at least 69 jobs. Aviagen is expected to be operational in early 2023.
4. AAON Heating and Cooling Products in Longview opened its $40 million, 220,000-square-foot expansion, with the assistance of incentives from LEDCO, the city of Longview and Gregg County that were tied to investment of $28 million and the creation of at least 125 jobs.
5. A variety of businesses, from a coffee shop to an expanded Jack’s Natural Foods and a business offering shared work space, are locating inside The Crossing at Main and Main, at Loop 281 and U.S. 259. At 42 acres, it’s the largest retail and commercial development in Longview in recent years. Additional announcements are expected in the coming months about other businesses locating in the development.