S. Korean tech biz to build plant in Kyle

A $45 million, 125,000 square-foot technology manufacturing facility that’s expected to generate millions of dollars in sales tax revenue and dozens of jobs is coming to Kyle.

By a unanimous vote with council member Alex Villalobos abstaining, the Kyle City Council Tuesday approved Project Magic Mint, paving the way for ENF Technologies, a South Korean tech manufacturing company, to set up its first U.S. based facility in Plum Creek.

Officials expect ENF Technologies to move to Kyle by 2020; construction on the facility is expected to start after a groundbreaking ceremony in May.

ENF Technologies manufactures tech products for several companies including Samsung, GlobalFoundries, Micron, Intel and Texas Instruments.

The project has been on the Kyle City Council agenda for months and has been in progress for two years. Details of the project were kept under wraps until the big announcement Tuesday. Representatives with ENF Technologies shopped around the Central Texas area for the right location, including Austin, before choosing Kyle as the permanent spot.

WJ Yang, ENF general manager, said in a statement the company selected Kyle for its first U.S. headquarters because of its “business-friendly” environment and “great workforce” near their customers in Austin. 

The facility will be located south of Kohler’s Crossing and west of Interstate 35 and is spread across 25-acres. 

“The Plum Creek community will provide our workers and their families access to affordable housing, high-quality schools and an outstanding quality of life,” Yang said. 

The company will bring a minimum of 45 full-time jobs to the area with a median wage of $85,000 annually, said Kyle Economic Development Director Diana Torres.

The company has the potential to eventually hire up to 80 full-time staff members. Kyle stands to benefit from the facility as the city will collect sales tax revenue from the product made within the facility.

Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said the move represents Kyle’s initiative toward the goal of becoming an economically diverse city for large and small businesses.

“I think any time we have companies and development come to the city of Kyle, that is not only beneficial for now but for the future of Kyle,” said Kyle City Council member Dex Ellison.

Ellison added the company officially puts Kyle “on the map.”

“We’ve announced in the last eight months two very large companies that had choices, and they chose Kyle,” Mitchell said. “That just goes to speak to how much we are evolving as a community.”

Adriana Cruz, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership, said ENF’s decision to locate in Kyle highlights the region’s ability to attract technology “focused on foreign direct investment to the Texas Innovation Corridor.” 

Cruz said securing the company could not have been done without the city of Kyle and it’s Economic Development team, as well as Hays County staff and elected officials. 

They all played a role in a performance-based Chapter 380 and 381 agreement with ENF Technology, which was approved by Kyle and Hays County Commissioners. 

The agreements call for a five-year property tax rebate for ENF beginning at 75 percent of real and personal property taxes and declining 10 percent annually for until the end of the contract term, according to the release.

ENF is expected to generate a “net fiscal benefit” of approximately $598,506 to Kyle, roughly $401,000 to Hays County and more than $747,000 to Hays CISD over the course of the five-year term.

Council members said the company’s choice to move into Kyle is beneficial for the community and said they hope to make the facility and employees feel welcome.

“We have full support across the board for this project in Hays County,” Torres said.

Correction: In an earlier online version of the story, we incorrectly reported the vote for approval of Magic Mint as 7-0. This version reflects the corrected vote of 5-0 with one abstention. We apologize for the error. 

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