The 2023 Year in Review: Midland Development Corporation
30 Jan 2024
As we bid farewell to 2023, the Midland Development Corporation (MDC) reflects on a year marked by growth, collaboration and transformative initiatives. Lourcey Sams, Chairman of the MDC Board of Directors, says, "2023 has been a remarkable year for Midland's economic development. We appreciate the support of our community in embracing all of these wonderful projects and initiatives promoting economic growth and vibrancy.”
MDC is dedicated to community development and has fostered several promotional agreements in that regard. The organization supplied $1 million toward the construction of the Bush ACE (Advise, Counsel and Encourage) Center, an addition to the Bush Tennis Center. Construction is underway on the 8,000-square-foot high-performance training facility, with indoor tennis, basketball, pickleball, space for youth camps and more. The project intends to provide families with options to stay in Midland for recreation instead of taking their kids and financial support outside the community.
Another project agreed to by MDC was to provide $700,000 to COM Aquatics to replace its competition pool liner. As one of the premier aquatic centers in the nation, COM Aquatics is an invaluable link in promoting new and expanded businesses in Midland, considering the number of visitors coming to the area for numerous national swimming and diving championships.
Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge
The Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge reached new heights in 2023. The Midland Development Corporation collaborates with the UT Permian Basin on the annual business challenge competition. Entrepreneurs and business owners participate in classes and one-on-one coaching in marketing, small business finance, strategic planning and more. With over 50 participants, this record-breaking year showcased the entrepreneurial spirit within the Midland community. Sams acknowledges the success, stating, “The Challenge has grown significantly since its launch in 2017, and the 2022-2023 edition was particularly impactful.”
The winners of this year's Challenge include:
- Central Bites (Community commercial kitchen facility for local businesses)
- Midland Athletic Company
- The Tailgate
- Toya’s Precious Jewels
Businesses received substantial funding, with Central Bites securing $150K and Midland Athletic Co, The Tailgate and Toya’s Precious Jewels each receiving $100K.
Excitingly, the MDC Board approved the 2023-2024 Entrepreneurial Challenge at the August Board meeting. The challenge will continue to operate under the stewardship of UT Permian Basin, ensuring ongoing support for budding entrepreneurs.
Demolition of the Western United Life Building
March 2023 marked the end of an era with the demolition of the Western United Life Building, a fixture in Downtown Midland for over 60 years. The City of Midland issued an RFP for development in its place that would align with the aesthetics and growth of the downtown area. Sams notes, "This demolition signifies progress and paves the way for new opportunities in Downtown Midland. With the new downtown masterplan underway in 2024, we’ll have a blueprint for growth for our area."
A master development agreement with the City of Midland and the Midland Development Corporation includes $45 million from the MDC for infrastructure and construction costs. The City of Midland will provide property tax and hotel occupancy tax rebates for ten years.
Founders Blend Midland
Initiated in April 2023, Founders Blend Midland has emerged as a hub for entrepreneurial collaboration. Through free monthly gatherings, Founders Blend has brought nearly 100 entrepreneurs and small business owners together, fostering exposure and valuable insights. Over 15 local businesses participated in presentations on their operations to gain exposure and valuable insights. The collaboration of seven community partners echoes Midland’s continuous spirit of working together for success.
Fly Into Fall Event
The second annual Fly Into Fall event, a free aviation experience hosted by the City of Midland Airports Department, attracted participants of all ages, promoting appreciation and education of the aviation field. It also showcases the Midland Executive Airpark and its vital part in the area’s economy.
The Midland Development Corporation staff participated in this event with a table sharing about the local presence of the aerospace industry. Through the spaceport component of the Midland International Air and Spaceport, Midland is home to several aerospace companies that use the wide, open space of West Texas to their benefit.
New Board Members
In 2023, Zack Deck and Elvie Brown joined the Midland Development Corporation Board of Directors. Deck was sworn in at the January Board Meeting, while Brown joined in November. Zack and Elvie will bring a long list of expertise to the community, and we look forward to working with them.
A Peek at 2024
Looking ahead, Sams provides a glimpse into the future.
"In 2024, we embark on the Downtown Master Plan, a pivotal development in shaping Midland's future. Plans are set to commence in January, focusing on key aspects that will drive our city's growth and prosperity,” said Sams. “As we enter the new year, the Midland Development Corporation remains committed to fostering economic growth, supporting local businesses, and shaping a vibrant future for Midland.”
The Midland Development Corporation is a resource for local businesses and businesses looking to find a home in West Texas. Connect with us to make 2024 the year to experience Midland, TX!