Taylor Has Annexed 1,200-plus Acres for Samsung Site

The massive plot of land in Taylor that is set to become Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s $17 billion chipmaking plant is now officially inside city limits, potentially adding more than $50 million to the city’s general fund over the next three decades.

During a pair of Jan. 13 meetings, Taylor City Council unanimously approved the annexation and established the base zoning for the 1,268-acre plot near the former intersection of County Roads 401 and 404.

The move marks the latest step in South Korea-based Samsung’s construction of the plant, which is the largest foreign development in Texas on record. The company announced late last year that it will build a 6-million-square-foot factory west of Taylor High School, where the company plans to produce its most advanced computer chips.

Construction on the facility will start early this year, and Samsung expects to commence operations by the second half of 2024. Samsung also has a large chipmaking campus in Austin where it has operated for 25 years.

As part of the project, the company was approved for a slew of incentives, including from Taylor Independent School District, Williamson County and the city of Taylor, the latter of which required the company to annex the land into city limits. Samsung purchased the land following the official factory announcement and filed an annexation petition Dec. 9, city documents show.

The city’s incentives included a property tax abatement, but officials have noted that despite the 30-year abatement — which starts at 92.5% during the first 10 years, then falls to 85% in the final 10 years — the city is projected to receive $52 million into its general fund over that period. The company’s investment includes $6 million in buildings and $11 million in machinery.

The heavy industrial zoning sets forth a number of development standards for the site, including the allowance of a private commissary, a maximum of 25 residences for employees, and a maximum of two helicopter landing sites. The standards also cap the maximum building height at 250 feet, with the building allowed to exceed 50 feet at a rate of two feet from every one foot the building is away from a perimeter buffer, which was set at 50 feet. The property is also not allowed to exceed 70 weighted decibels in sound.

While the company has not detailed what the plant will look like specifically, officials noted in documents that the chipmaking plant will be located at the northeast side of the property.

The development has attracted some pushback from neighbors, due to the fact that the county has vacated portions of County Roads 401 and 404 for the company. Williamson County officials announced last month a $22 million road project — with $2.9 million funded by Samsung — for a new four-lane county-maintained road south of the site that will connect FM 3349 and FM 973.

Officials in Taylor and Williamson County worked behind the scenes for roughly 10 months to land the project, which will be transformative for the relatively rural enclave northeast of Austin. Taylor’s population was just 16,267 in 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Officials have noted at least 2,000 direct jobs are expected, and the company has estimated the project will call for roughly 6,500 construction workers. A wave of indirect employment is also expected across Central Texas as a result of the impact to the local semiconductor sector.

The Taylor Economic Development Corp. recently was honored with the 2021 Deal of the Year Silver Award by Business Facilities magazine for its help in landing the project.

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