In mid-January, the retail giant Amazon broke the news: The company plans to go on a “hiring spree,” according to Reuters, adding more than 100,000 jobs to the labor market across the United States. What does this mean for Harris County?
One of Amazon’s new ventures will be a distribution center in the county. This isn’t the first distribution center for Texas, either. Over the past three years, several other Amazon distribution centers have sprouted up in Texas, in places like San Marcos, Fort Worth, Coppell, Dallas and elsewhere.
About the New Fulfillment Center
Amazon’s new distribution center will be in Pinto Business Park in north Houston, directly south of Spring. This comes as Amazon plans a massive expansion across the United States, rolling out jobs for as many as 100,000 workers over 18 months. Right now, Amazon employs over 10,000 people in Texas alone.
In Houston, the distribution center is slated to be finished later in 2017. According to Amazon’s plans, the new facility will be 155,400 square feet, with the Amazon distribution center occupying about 60% to 70% of that space. Amazon plans to hire 1,000 employees from in and around Harris County.
What Does This Mean for the Real Estate Market in Harris County?
There are a couple of reasons why this is a great sign for the Harris County real estate market. First, industry such as this makes an area attractive to potential homeowners and to other businesses. As a city or county becomes more developed, would-be homeowners feel more secure about the area, knowing that a growing job market will keep them employed.
Businesses are more likely to come into an already developed area to take advantage of existing infrastructure, a good labor pool and sometimes even tax incentives offered by local governments to attract those businesses into the area. In fact, a court in Houston approved tax incentives for Amazon in mid-2016, and less than 24 hours later, it was announced that Amazon had decided to build yet another industrial facility in Houston.
This creates something of a cycle: Homeowners flood into the area, attracted by the jobs, and then more businesses decide to develop in the area, and so on, resulting in an upward spiral in the local real estate market.
That leads to the second reason why this is great news for Harris County. Developments like these often spark housing booms as new residents flock to the area and the demand for homes or rental units goes up. In other words, this could be a nice opportunity for developers.
In fact, a similar thing happened in Seattle, which is Amazon’s hometown. In 2014, Amazon announced that they were growing much faster than the local real estate market — so much so that the retailer asked developers to build 6,000 new housing units in Seattle to accommodate the influx of workers. Amazon is not likely to ask Houston developers to build housing units, but all the same, as Amazon and other employers move into the area, more housing will likely be needed.