Category Archives: Growth and Industry

Bell just got a big military aircraft contract. Will Fort Worth get any new jobs?

Fort Worth-based Bell and its partner Boeing have won a $4.2 billion military contract to deliver 58 tiltrotor aircraft over the next six years.

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V-22 Osprey Bell (Star-Telegram)

Company officials say it’s too early to speak about whether the deal will lead to the creation of new jobs at the Fort Worth helicopter manufacturing facility. But the news certainly bodes well for the roughly 4,200 North Texans who already work there.

Read more from Star-Telegram…

Hooters coming to Pearland

570e9f79c834f.imageWest Pearland will soon be home to a new Hooters restaurant.

To be located in front of Sam’s Club along State Highway 288, the new restaurant is currently under construction with plans for a July opening, company officials recently confirmed.

“Hooters will open a fresh new prototype restaurant in Pearland including more comfortable seating with revamped high back chairs and booths to sleek finishes and top-of-the-line AV packages designed to enhance the guest dining experience from the moment they walk through the doors,” Mark Whittle, senior vice president of global development at Hooters of America said when contacted by The Journal.

The west Pearland Hooters will also feature large flat-screen TVs for sports fans, patio seating and a menu to include burgers, salads, seafood and of course, chicken wings.

“It will also feature a centrally located bar area, offering a wider selection of cocktails and craft beers,” Whittle said.

Company officials contracted with Belisle Construction to build the new restaurant, which is valued at $1.25 million according to a report by the City of Pearland Community Development Department.

“The building is 6,000 square feet with a 400 square-foot patio. It will be built at 15838 S Hwy 288 on a 1.62 acre lot,” Whittle said. “Hooters Girls will begin warmly welcoming fans in July 2016.”

Hooters of America, LLC is the Atlanta-based operator and franchiser of over 430 Hooters locations in 28 countries. The privately-held corporation owns 160 units.

Regency Park Ribbon Cutting March 31

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As part of Pearland’s strategic priority of ensuring sustainable infrastructure, work to systematically replace all of Regency Park Subdivision streets, improve drainage and replace the aged waterline in the Regency Park Neighborhood (located east of Old Alvin Rd. and north of Broadway St.) is substantially complete.
The construction project was originally slated to be a 12-month project completed in phases, however, the project will be complete later this month – three months ahead of schedule. The Regency Park Neighborhood paving and drainage project consisted of the phased demolition of all existing streets and the reconstruction of approximately a mile of concrete pavement, improvements to the drainage system and the addition of curb inlets.

Orange Street Service Center renovations enter design phase

PRESS RELEASE

56e72c6ac2c64.imageThe design phase of the renovation of the Orange Street Service Center, which is home to Public Works Administration, Fire Station 1 and the Parks Maintenance Division, is fifty percent complete. The design contract, which was approved last December, includes design development, construction documents, geotechnical investigation and bid phase and construction administration.

The Orange Street Service Center in its current state consists of multiple buildings, built at different times, for different purposes. The renovation project will accommodate current and future facility needs of both the Public Works Department and the Engineering & Capital Projects Department, which will be relocated to the new facility. The Animal Services Department to the north and Parks Maintenance Division to the west on the property will not be altered. The Fire Station will be relocated to City-owned land at the northeast corner of McHard Road and Old Alvin Rd. over the next year. The proposed site review for the Fire Station is nearly complete and construction of a new, modern fire station will begin in fiscal year 2017.

For the significant City assets at Orange Street that remain, design plans will focus on the remodel of existing structures, wherever possible, and the consolidation or elimination of space that is not conducive to divisional collaboration and service efficiencies.

Public Works and Parks Maintenance are significant service components of what the City provides every day to Pearland residents and businesses. Public Works includes water and sewer utilities, road and sidewalk maintenance, contract management, fleet services, City facilities management and more.

This project is in line with the City Council Strategic Priority of Fiscal Responsibility. In early 2015, an informal cost benefit analysis was performed by City of Pearland stakeholders to evaluate the cost of building renovations versus construction of a new Administration Building. The analysis confirmed that the required facility renovations were not cost effective and a new building was the fiscally sound alternative.

The project is included in the 2016-2020 Capital Improvement Program and funding was approved in the 2007 bond referendum. Phase one includes the design and construction of a 12,000 square foot Administrative Building to replace the existing 8,600 square foot facility and the remodel of the Operations Support Facility, formerly the Emergency Medical Services building. Construction begins later this year and completion is anticipated at the end of 2017. The future second phase includes planned renovations to operational aspects of the service center.

Pearland’s new winery opens with red carpet treatment

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Owner Jimmy Aranda with Kelly Kronfeld and Pamela McDowell

Dionisio Winery, which recently moved from downtown Houston to its new location at 3526 Miller Ranch Rd. #103, held its Grand Opening on Saturday (Feb. 27).

The Winery was transformed into an indoor/outdoor showcase with vehicles provided by Porsche of North Houston. A runway was cleared down the middle of the Tasting Room for a fashion show by Ronica Marie Couture, which is the official sponsor for the Miss Texas Belleza Latina 2016 pageant. Guests walked up the red carpet when they arrived, and had the opportunity to have their photos taken in front of a traditional “opening night” background.

Approximately 300 attendees purchased handsome Dionisio Winery glasses, and the staff filled them with Black Cherry Pinot Noir, Green Apple Riesling, Peach Chardonnay, Cranberry Malbec, Pomegranate Zinfandel, Strawberry White Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tres Hermanos, Tres Hermanas and Sauvignon Blanc.

“I couldn’t be happier with the turnout,” said owner Jimmy Aranda. “[Wife] Clarice and I are so honored and humbled by the support from the City of Pearland, as well as ‘older’ friends from Houston, have given us. We’ve had a great welcome!”

The Winery is now open, with the Tasting Room open from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. on Fridays, from noon until 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon until 5:00 on Sundays.

Patrons will be able to purchase tastings by the glass, by the bottle or even by the case. Per glass tastings feature either four different fruit wines or two red and two white wines for $12 and the customer keeps the glass. Meats and cheeses by Boar’s Head are provided to cleanse the palate in between wines.

Dionisio Winery is also available for parties. For pricing information, email DionisioWinery@gmail.com or call (713) 906-2499.

For more information, visit DionisioWinery.com.

Dionisio Winery plans for Grand Opening

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The Winery’s logo has been painted on the floor of the new location.

Jimmy and Clarice Aranda, owners of Pearland’s new winery, have worked hard to make the transition from Dionisio Winery’s downtown Houston location to their new address at 2635 Miller Ranch Rd. #103.

All city inspections have been done and now the Arandas are focusing on getting the winery ready for its Grand Opening celebration on Feb. 27.

“We have been working all hours of the day and night,” Jimmy Aranda said. “It’s exciting for us to have the winery in our ‘hometown.’”

Aranda is hosting an event for Valentine’s Day, which has already sold out. “This will be a soft opening for us,” he said. “It’ll give us a chance to see how things go and what we may need to improve upon.”

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Elegant lighting gives the Tasting Room an upscale atmosphere.

The Grand Opening will feature Dionisio Wines, such as Black Cherry Pinot Noir, Green Apple Riesling, Peach Chardonnay, Cranberry Malbec, Pomegranate Zinfandel, Strawberry White Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. There will also be a fashion show for attendees to enjoy, featuring Ronica Marie Couture, the official sponsor of the Miss Texas Belleza Latina 2016 pageant.

To RSVP for the Grand Opening, which will take place from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., email DionisioWinery@gmail.com or call (713) 906-2499.

For more information about Dionisio Winery, visit DionisioWinery.com.

Jimmy Changa’s slated to open in Pearland in July

JCSignJimmy Changa’s, which specializes in “Authentic Mexican Food,” is coming to Pearland this summer.

The chain, which currently has locations in Katy, League City and Pasadena, will be located at 3515 Business Center Dr. The site is marked by a sign with “Jimmy Changa,” a little, brown monkey, smiling at passers-by.

The franchise, which is already five years old, is part of the Gringo’s family, which celebrated 23 years in business in January.

Jimmy Changa’s began in 2011 because Gringo’s owner, Russell Ybarra, had so many ideas that he wanted to try, but didn’t want to mess up Gringo’s “well-oiled machine,” said VP of Marketing Heather McKeon.

“A restaurant location came up for sale in Pasadena at a good price,” said McKeon. “It was the right time for us to explore what else we could do, so the first Jimmy Changa’s opened that year, and it has grown and flourished ever since.”

Jimmy Changa’s uses tried-and-true recipes from Gringo’s, but offers a different menu and adds a little difference to some of the old favorites, such as the Mexican rice. They also make their tortilla chips in-house and offer rotisserie chicken cooked all day on Jimmy Changa’s giant rotisserie. A larger salad menu, such as the Shrimp and Mango Tostada Salad, is offered.

Jimmy Changa’s will keep some old favorites, such as free ice cream, but will add new amenities, such as a kids’ playground and Jimmy Changa’s merchandise.

“The guest is the backbone of our business,” said McKeon. “We want to keep what our customer base loves about Gringo’s, but make it different enough so that you know you’re not eating at Gringo’s.”

The Pearland Jimmy Changa’s location is expected to open in July. To view the menu, merchandise or to download a Jimmy Changa’s coloring book, visit FreshMexFun.com.

BAKFISH Brewing Co Set to Open in Pearland

Pearland will soon be home to its first microbrewery with the anticipated January opening of BAKFISH Brewing Company located at 1231 Broadway Street. Two years ago, a casual conversation over beers between co-owners Brian Allen and Kris Szecsy about brewpub law changes emerged as a full-fledged effort to open their new business.

bakfish ownersLeaving their full time careers – a chemist in the oil and gas industry for Kris and business development in aviation for Brian, the BAKFISH name derived simply from their initials “B” and “K” with “fish” added as an homage to Kris’ background in marine biology plus the emphasis of being located on the Gulf Coast.

Brian, a native Pearlander, conducted a bit of research only to find the Houston area south of Loop 610 is underserved for brewpubs and soon after their Pearland location was born.

With over 8,000 square feet, BAKFISH Brewing Company will offer 5 core beers including a blonde, wit, brown porter, single IPA and double IPA plus seasonals. A 20-gallon pilot system will allow Head Brewer Kris an opportunity to test new products.

While Kris focuses on perfecting brews and testing new products, Brian manages the front of the house including the 3,200+ square feet of space available fbakfish beer kegor private events, 2,000 square foot tap room plus 1,200+ square feet in the actual brewery. With a seating capacity of 200, the duo plans to offer a variety of events to draw visitors including food trucks, game night, partnerships with biking and fitness enthusiasts and more.  BAKFISH is pet-friendly and kid-friendly.

The duo says right now they have verbal commitments from various local dining and drinking establishments to carry their product.

“We’re very excited to be part of the Pearland community and look forward to rolling out a few events to celebrate including two soft openings before our official ribbon cutting ceremony,” says Brian Allen co-owner of BAKFISH Brewing Company.

Source: Pearland CVB

Watercrest at Shadow Creek senior living community coming to Pearland

WatercrestPRESS RELEASE

Watercrest at Shadow Creek Ranch, a luxurious independent senior living community, with continuum of care available on site, is located at 11745 Broadway Street, Pearland, 77584. It is less than half of a mile from Pearland Town Center, and is scheduled to open for residents during Fall 2016. Pre-sales for future residents begins with the onsite leasing trailer early spring 2016. The retirement living community will feature 213 apartment homes available in one, two and three- bedroom floor plans, and eight villas featuring three- bedroom floor plans.

As the first and only independent living community within a 10-mile radius, Watercrest at Shadow Creek Ranch is redefining what it means to retire in the 21st century. The community offers residents the highest level of independence through customizable lifestyle packages alongside the community’s upscale country club-style clubhouse, benefits and amenity offerings. Residents at Watercrest can bring their lifestyle with them, providing them the opportunity to individually tailor their perfect retirement.

“We are thrilled to open our doors and offer the Pearland area a unique and vibrant retirement living community,” says Mireya Scanlin, Executive Director of Watercrest at Shadow Creek Ranch. “Watercrest at Shadow Creek Ranch features amenities found only at the finest Five Star resorts: A country club-style clubhouse and unmatched personalized and attentive services, focused on a healthy lifestyle environment.”

Watercrest at Shadow Creek Ranch will be the 7th Watercrest community to open in Texas, with other locations in Kingwood, Sugar Land, Katy, Bryan, Mansfield and Alamo Ranch. For more information about Watercrest at Shadow Creek Ranch, visit www.watercrestshadowcreekranch.com or call 877-411-9051.

Pearland son establishes business for first responders, celebrates 13 years

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Rick Fernandez

Former Pearland Police Officer Rick Fernandez felt driven to give back to the community outside the capacity of law enforcement. He felt this calling even during the ten years he served on the force.

“I’ve lived in Pearland all of my life,” said Fernandez, who is a Pearland High School graduate. “I loved my roles at the police department, but I just felt called to do something else, yet still serve my brothers and sisters in law enforcement.”

Fernandez spent five years on patrol and then the last four of his years at the agency as the Public Information Officer (PIO), serving as the “spokesperson” for the Pearland Police Department.

“The PIO position taught me a lot about business. I worked on public speaking, eye contact, posture and the like. I asked for feedback from the news crews that covered our press conferences,” Fernandez said.

His interest in business, law enforcement and the support of the community allowed him to open Cop Stop, which celebrated 13 years of business in May.

Contrary to popular belief, Cop Stop doesn’t sell coffee and donuts.

CSRightCop Stop’s vision and goal is to provide the best service to first responders, “Our everyday heroes.” Catering mainly to Police, Fire, Military and EMS, but also open to the public, Cop Stop offers a variety of products, gear and apparel.

“Cop Stop started out as a vision. I put my thoughts on paper. I didn’t have the money to open a storefront at the time until one day, my grandfather told me, ‘Just do it!’ and loaned me the money I needed! I was standing there in the living room and my ideas went from a vision to reality in an instant! My mother retired early so she could help work the counter. This has been truly a family affair,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez says he’s still a cop at heart. “People ask me if I miss being in law enforcement. I do miss the brotherhood and the camaraderie, but honestly, I still see a lot of the same people. Plus, I get to meet new people in the Greater Houston area. We are blessed to have contracts from all over the state, as well as Louisiana,” he said.

Fernandez says the foundation of his business is relying on God and integrity. “Integrity is a very important word; it’s everything. It’s how we earn and keep customers,” he said.

Fernandez measures all potential employees by how he or she matches up to Fernandez’s vision and standard of integrity. “A company is only successful because of the people that work there. Employees that come in early and stay late are the backbone of good customer service,” he said.

Fernandez said that while he’s looking to open a second location soon, he never considered anywhere but Pearland for his flagship store. “Pearland is home. It’s my community. I wanted to stay local and give back to the people who have given me so much,” he said.

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Fernandez (third from left) presents Officer DaSilva the Above and Beyond Award, along with the 100 Club of Pearland

Cop Stop has teamed with the 100 Club of Pearland to sponsor the quarterly “Above and Beyond” Award given to a Pearland Peace Officer who assists the community during his or her off-duty time. Fernandez provides a gift card to go with the wooden plaque that is presented to each Officer of the Quarter.

“It’s a privilege to co-sponsor the Above and Beyond Award,” said Fernandez. “The 100 Club of Pearland is dear to me because of my background and what it stands for, which is peace of mind.”

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100 Club of Pearland merchandise

Fernandez also stocks 100 Club of Pearland merchandise in Cop Stop.

Fernandez added Scrub Source to the Cop Stop family four years ago. “We offer specialty items for businesses, such as heat transfers, embroidery and alterations,” Fernandez explained. And, of course, they sell scrubs.

Fernandez said that Cop Stop/Scrub Source is now hiring for three salesperson positions and one seamstress. Interested parties can apply in the store, located at 831 Broadway St., Suite F.

As for the future, it looks bright for Fernandez. He hopes to open a gun range that will meet the specific needs of law enforcement officers, as well as a second location, in the next year or two.

To learn more about Cop Stop, visit CopStop.com.

For more information about the Above and Beyond Award, visit 100ClubOfPearland.org.