Economic Development

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Organization & Structure
  3. Services and Levels

Mission Statement

To facilitate, through the use of appropriate resources, the creation of a sustainable business environment that promotes a consistent, quality economy that enhances the standard of living for our residents and to provide the necessary financial resources for the City of Sugar Land through an expanded and diversified tax base.

Executive Summary

The City of Sugar Land’s Economic Development Department oversees four divisions including Primary Industries, Public/Private Partnerships, Tourism & Destination Services, and Cultural Arts. The department has a total of 13.5 full time employees with a fiscal year 2020 budget of and is comprised of three funds (SLDC, SL4B and HOT) totaling $3,179,860. This figure includes personnel costs that are budgeted in the general fund as well as the operating budgets listed below.

  • The Sugar Land 4B Corporation (SL4B) and Sugar Land Development Corporation (SLDC) includes 8.5 FTEs with a fiscal year 2020 operating budget of $1,158,637; and
  • The Tourism Fund includes 6 FTEs with a fiscal year 2020 operating budget of $1,231,091.

Business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.

The Heritage Museum & Visitor Center hours are the following:

  • Tuesday through Saturday – 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.; and
  • Closed Sundays.

The Economic Development Department’s main responsibilities include:

  • creating a regional business center of excellence;
  • sustaining a strong local economy;
  • creating destination activity centers;
  • attracting tourists and special events; and
  • creating a beautiful community.

Some current projects include but are not limited to the following:

  • Economic Development Strategic Plan
    • This project will update the City’s existing 2011 – 2016 Economic Development Strategic Plan. The project will define the strategic vision of the City’s economic future and will be focused on three main objectives: Workforce Analysis, Target Industry Analysis, and an update to the Strategic Plan.
  • Cultural Arts – Public Art Plan
    • Annual development and implementation of utilizing restricted revenue sources to create, maintain various art forms throughout the City.
  • Reserve for Opportunities Projects:
    • Imperial Market (private sector led)
    • Sugar Land Hotel & Convention Center
    • Tract 5 Development (private sector led)
    • Central Unit Land Planning and Development
    • Redevelopment Reserve
    • Sugar Land Auditorium
    • The Crown Festival Park Venue Operations & Incentivizing Program

The Department of Economic Development benefits the City and its residents by attracting and retaining businesses in the community which helps maintain one of the lowest property tax rates among cities our size in Texas.

Department Programs

The Economic Development Department includes a total of four divisions:

Primary Industries: Enhance the City’s competitive factors and competitive positioning when it comes to primary industry recruitment, cultivate existing industry growth, encourage the retention and expansion of existing businesses and industries within the City, provide assistance to the private sector in retail recruitment, ensure compliance with existing agreements, and provide administration of the Sugar Land Development Corporation and Sugar Land 4B Corporation.

Public/Private Partnerships: Plan, coordinate, implement, and evaluate various strategic projects and initiatives that involve private stakeholders but deliver a public benefit, including enhanced quality of life, increased employment opportunities, and expansion to the tax base.  In addition, this division coordinates and interfaces with private entities to ensure that both public and private goals are achieved. Regular activities and functions of those projects can involve bidding and managing contracts, negotiating and implementing development agreements, reporting and updating to City Council and executive leadership, and tracking revenues, expenditures, and deliverables. This position also manages the three active Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone boards and project plans.

Tourism & Destination Services: To increase the number of visitors and their length of stay in Sugar Land in support of hotel businesses and retail to ensure the success of Sugar Land’s existing and planned destination activity centers.  Additionally, special events are recognized as vehicles that help define the City’s image, drive economic activity and enhance the overall quality of life.

Cultural Arts: The Cultural Arts program researches and develops opportunities to build partnerships with local businesses, cultural arts organizations and nonprofits to increase economic return to the City through business involvement as co-presenters, sponsors, partners and providers of venues and spaces for art installments, events and cultural activities. 

Awards and Accolades

The Economic Development Department has many awards and accolades associated with their department from the past two years. These include:

2019:

  • Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) Certificate of Achievement for SLDC
  • Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) Certificate of Achievement for SL4B
  • Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau’s (TACVB) Annual Idea Fair
    • First Place – Cooperative Marketing
    • Second Place – New website development
    • Second Place – National Travel and Tourism Week video and campaign

2018:

  • Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) Certificate of Achievement for SLDC
  • Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) Certificate of Achievement for SL4B Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) Economic Excellence Award 2018
    • For the creation and opening of the Sugar Land Heritage Museum and Visitor Center
  • International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
    • IEDC Partnership Award
      • In recognition of the Sugar Land Heritage Museum & Visitors Center as a Public Private Partnership.
  • Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau (TACVB) Annual Idea Fair
    • First place - Cooperative Marketing Category, Sugar Packets Online Marketplace
    • Second place - Website, Visit Sugar Land
    • Second place - National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), Video Campaign

2017:

  • Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) Certificate of Achievement for SLDC
  • Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) Certificate of Achievement for SL4B
  • Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) Community Economic Development Award  
    • For Outstanding Achievement in Community Economic Development
  • Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau (TACVB) Annual Idea Fair
    • First place – Cooperative Marketing, Summer is Sweeter in Sugar Land savings punch card
    • First place – National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), Rally and “Sweet – A Tasty Journey” ribbon cutting
    • First place – Video, Viral video with Trips to Discover Texas

The department is affiliated with the following organizations:

  • Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC);
  • Greater Houston Partnership (GHP);
  • Governor’s Office of Economic Development;
  • Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC);
  • Texas Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (TACVB);
  • Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA);
  • Texas Hotel & Lodging Association (THLA);
  • Houston Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA Houston);
  • International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM); and
  • Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GHCVB).