California-based, technology-driven manufacturing company wants to bring 542 new jobs to San Marcos

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At its Oct. 16 meeting, the San Marcos City Council authorized an incentive agreement with Silicon Valley-based manufacturing company Katerra that will bring a $109 million capital investment to the city along with a minimum of 542 full-time jobs paying at least $15 per hour.

“Katerra is a technology company redefining the construction industry,” said Adriana Cruz, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership, speaking to the council. “The company is focused on optimizing the ways in which buildings are designed and built.”

The site for the 600,000-square-foot facility is within San Marcos city limits—on SH 80 east of SH 21—but is part of Caldwell County, which also has to vote to authorize the incentive agreement.

“I know they’re going to do the right thing,” San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides said.

The agreement promises the company an annual refund of a portion of the new property taxes generated by the facility for the first 10 years and waives some development standards for the building.

If Caldwell County approves the incentives, Katerra plans to begin construction in June 2019 and complete it by the end of March 2020. According to the agreement, the company will have the 542 jobs in place by March 2021 and can receive its first return from the city in 2022.

“We appreciate the Greater San Marcos Partnership’s support to advance this economic development incentive agreement,” JZ Rigney, a senior manager at Katerra, wrote in an email. “Katerra is looking to establish a building components manufacturing facility to serve the South-Central U.S. market,”

Katerra was founded in 2015 with the goal of using technology to disrupt the construction industry and now has 3,500 employees, according to the company. Earlier this year its founders raised $865 million in venture capital.

“I just want to say again on behalf of the council how thrilled we are with everyone who’s been involved: with the company, with the partnership, with the council and our colleagues and our city staff for really making a difference and bringing great-paying jobs to our city,” Thomaides said.

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