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New GM Supply Park To Bring Hundreds Of New Jobs To Arlington

Christopher Connelly
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams stands in front of a rendering of the planned supplier park.

In Arlington, officials broke ground Friday on a new supplier park for companies that make components for the SUVs built at the General Motors Assembly Plant. It’s a move that GM hopes will make it operate more efficiently, and is expected to add jobs.        

Right now, GM makes its biggest SUVs in Arlington, but it gets parts for those vehicles from all over the place. When the supplier park is built, companies will be able to manufacture and warehouse those components within view of the factory.

International Automotive Components will be the main tenant of the 1.2 million-square-foot development. Steve Miller, who runs the company that makes instrument panels, center consoles, overhead systems and other parts that go into GM’s full-sized SUVS that are manufactured in Arlington.

“Basically the entire vehicle interior. And that will be manufactured here,” Miller said.

The new development is estimated to add about 850 new jobs to Arlington, and most of them will be transferred in from Mexico and elsewhere outside of the U.S., according to General Motors. The car maker currently employs more than 4,500 people to build at its Arlington plant, and is in the middle of a $1 billion expansion.

Heaping piles of concrete and metal are all that’s left of the old Six Flags Mall. Big earth-moving machines are hauling away the rubble so that new construction can begin on the two giant buildings that’ll make up the new supplier park.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams called the new supplier park a win.

“It enables us to redevelop a piece of property that was no longer economically viable, transforming an old mall site into a logistics center that is projected to generate $151 million in taxable sales and purchases over the next decade,” Williams said.

Several Arlington officials were on hand for the announcement. Also in attendance was Senator Ted Cruz, who crowed about jobs and the Texas economy.

“You know Texans like to buy SUVs. We buy a lot of them. And it makes Texans very, very happy that those SUVs are built here in Texas by Texans,” Cruz said.

The Arlington City Council approved more than $13 million in tax incentives over 10 years to help get the development built.

Construction is expected to be finished in 2018.

Christopher Connelly is a reporter covering issues related to financial instability and poverty for KERA’s One Crisis Away series. In 2015, he joined KERA to report on Fort Worth and Tarrant County. From Fort Worth, he also focused on politics and criminal justice stories.