One number, followed by a very short word, pretty much says it all: 589 jobs.
General Motors, although not ready to make an official announcement, says it is “developing a business case for a potential future investment” at its assembly plant in Arlington, which already employs about 3,500 people.
The potential expansion, according to city documents reported by Star-Telegram writer Susan Schrock, could bring 589 more permanent jobs.
The $1.2 billion expansion would add 1.2 million square feet of work area to the plant over three years, a city staff report shows.
Mayor Robert Cluck told Schrock that the company is looking at spending $307 million on physical improvements and $986 million on new equipment.
GM produces all of its full-size sport utility vehicles in Arlington, including the Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.
This is great news for Arlington. So, what can the city do to make it happen?
Fortunately, after luring GM to the city, opening the plant in 1954, and through many developments over the years, Arlington’s city staff and its elected leaders have developed strong relationships with the automaker.
GM, of course, would like some help with the expansion.
On Tuesday, the City Council will consider the first step in providing that help, holding a public hearing and taking an initial vote on creating a reinvestment zone through which the city can offer tax incentives.
The city proposes a 10-year, 80 percent abatement of real and business personal property taxes and would waive permit and development fees, Schrock reported.
That’s in line with — perhaps even more favorable to the city — deals Arlington has struck with GM in the past.
Last fall, GM opened a stamping facility for which Arlington gave a 10-year, 90 percent tax abatement, bringing about 180 jobs and saving the company more than $1 million a year in taxes.
Before that, the city struck a deal with the same terms for a body shop expansion and about 110 jobs. It saved GM about $1.2 million a year in taxes.
There’s no reason why the city shouldn’t push this latest, significantly larger expansion. GM is jewel in Arlington’s crown, well worth the effort.