Top 20th Annual Metro Rankings Report

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Business Facilities has revealed the top cities and metro regions for a select number of categories in its 20th Annual Rankings Report. Focused on more than 60 factors pertinent to site selection teams for business relocation and expansion investments, these rankings serve as a valuable resource for corporate site selectors and site selection consultants. Comprised of State, Metro, and Global rankings, the 20th Annual Rankings Report will be published in the July/August 2024 issue of Business Facilities.


“The annual Metro Rankings Report recognizes the strengths of metros and cities across North America, and our evaluations take into account a broad range of site selection factors. As companies seek the ideal location for their relocation and expansion projects, the 2024 rankings will provide valuable insight for site selection teams,” says Business Facilities Editorial Director Anne Cosgrove.

The Right Stuff: Tech Talent Leaders

The Business Facilities Tech Talent Leaders rankings showcase the availability of a tech-centric workforce in cities and metro areas across the United States. In this category, size and growth of the talent pool were primary factors, which led to three rankings, divided by size of labor pool.

The top 5 Tech Talent Leaders with large labor tech pools (100,000 and more) are: San Francisco Bay Area, CA; New York Metro, NY; Washington, DC; Los Angeles/Orange County, CA; and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. Also ranked in the top 10 are: Seattle, WA; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; Atlanta, GA; and Denver, CO.

The Tech Talent Leaders in the mid-sized labor pool (50,000 to 100,000) is topped by: Detroit, MI; Austin, TX; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; San Diego, CA; and Baltimore, MD. Rounding out the list are: Raleigh-Durham, NC; Portland, OR; Charlotte, NC; Salt Lake City, UT; St. Louis, MO; and Tampa, FL.

Home Base Wins & Space To Make: Corporate Headquarters, Industrial Parks

Based on the number of Corporate Headquarters gains and total number along with the factors that business leaders take into account for a home base, the 10 locations ranked this year represent a wide swath across the U.S.

Taking the top spot in the magazine’s latest ranking is Austin/Round Rock, TX with 66 new headquarters between 2018-23. The Top 5 ranked also include San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, CA; New York City/Jersey City, NJ/White Plains, NY; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; and Houston/The Woodlands/Sugar Land, TX.

Rounding out the Corporate Headquarters category: Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Alpharetta, GA; Chicago/Naperville/Evanston, IL; Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington, MN; Nashville/Davidson/Murfreesboro, TN; and Denver/Aurora/Lakewood, CO.

This year’s Business Facilities’ Industrial Parks ranking focused on size in terms of acreage, then honed in on locations that excel in strategic location, transportation and infrastructure, and amenities. Ranging from 100,000+ acres to close to 2,000, the top ranked parks this year showcase the breadth of options for companies of all sizes. The Top 3 are: Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (Reno/Sparks, NV); AllianceTexas (Fort Worth, TX); and TexAmericas Center (Bowie County, TX).

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First Multi-Aircraft AAM Flight Test at the AllianceTexas Flight Test Center

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After an extensive 18-month research and development effort, team members from Unmanned Experts Inc., AAMTEX LLC, and the University of North Texas (known as the ‘North Texas Cohort’) successfully executed a two-day, live flight exercise at the AllianceTexas Flight Test Center (FTC). The research project, called DIOXIDE, created hardware/software infrastructure for future electric cargo and passenger aircraft (eVTOLs) to fly safely across North Texas skies with minimal human interaction.

The complex flight profile, which was part of a joint NASA/U.S. Air Force (USAF) Agility Prime program, linked together two manned helicopters from the Helicopter Institute and one unmanned airship/dirigible from Galaxy Unmanned Systems as part of a mesh network of ground and air ‘nodes’ that could autonomously communicate between themselves and their operators. Each aircraft and ground station contained a software-defined radio (SDR) and a computer package that included secure command and control, flight planning, weather, warnings, and vehicle-to-vehicle messages to pass across the network.

This test event provided a series of firsts for both the NASA and USAF Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) programs — the first multi-aircraft, vehicle-to-vehicle coordinated flight, the first integration of an unmanned airship, the first inter-PSU (the software backbone) strategic and operational deconfliction of flights, and the first use of autonomous tactical vehicle-to-vehicle conflict management.

This is the second stage of an ongoing program for these technologies to come to daily utilization across the DFW airspace. The next phase is sponsored by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and NASA to expand the mesh network, increase data collection, and design more complex scenarios with the goal of making North Texas the hub for this next-generation aircraft capability. 



Gage Zero and Hillwood Announce Plans to Develop State’s First EV Fleet Charging Hub in Texas

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FORT WORTH, TX – April 2, 2024 – Gage Zero LLC (Gage Zero), an Austin-based fleet electrification solutions company that deploys and operates reliable electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, and Hillwood, known for its forward-thinking approach to development, are proud to announce plans to develop Texas’ first public commercial EV charging facility, catering to trucks and last-mile fleets. Nestled within the 27,000-acre master-planned, mixed-use development of AllianceTexas, this project signifies a significant leap forward in sustainable infrastructure.

The EV fleet charging hub marks Hillwood’s commitment to future-focused development, addressing both today’s transportation needs and tomorrow’s resiliency challenges.

AllianceTexas is a global logistics hub consisting of the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ), BNSF Alliance Intermodal Facility, one of the largest intermodal hubs in the nation, Perot Field Fort Worth Alliance Airport (AFW) and direct access to I-35W and State Highway 170.

“This groundbreaking initiative exemplifies our unwavering commitment to advancing sustainable infrastructure solutions that prioritize our customers’ needs,” said Russell Laughlin, Executive Vice President of Hillwood. “Through the deployment of innovative technologies, we expect to significantly enhance transportation efficiency, particularly in the crucial first and last mile segments of the logistics supply chain. Our vision is to enhance AllianceTexas’ forward-thinking infrastructure ecosystem, further empowering businesses to thrive while enabling them to take steps toward meeting tomorrow’s supply chain resiliency and reliability challenges.”

The Gage Zero team, led by Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Zeina El-Azzi, has $10 billion in combined experience deploying innovative, utility-scale clean energy projects around the globe. The company will develop, own and operate the AllianceTexas EV charging hub as part of its network of sites planned throughout the U.S. 

“Hillwood is exactly the type of collaborator Gage Zero wants to work with to fulfill our mission,” El-Azzi said. “As innovators and leaders in our industries, together we can solve the complexity of both land development and electrification for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in a convenient location for fleet customers. Projects like this serve as a blueprint for how fleets across the country can partner with land and clean energy developers to reduce their carbon footprint and meet sustainability goals.”

Last year, Gage Zero announced a commitment of $300 million from ARC Financial Corp. to develop charging infrastructure sites for medium- and heavy-duty (M/HD) electric fleets because of the scale of impact these vehicles have on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), though they make up less than 5% of vehicles on the road in the United States today, M/HD fleets account for almost 25% of the transportation sector’s emissions with most of that impact on local communities where those trucks operate.

About Gage Zero LLC

Gage Zero is a fleet electrification solutions company based in Austin, Texas building a zero-emission future for people and the planet. Our women-led team of clean energy and transportation experts deploys capital, builds reliable infrastructure and provides comprehensive, cost-effective electrification services that benefit commercial transportation operators, enrich communities, and support local economies. We believe industries working together can empower everyone to participate in a cleaner future. Learn more at

About AllianceTexas

Developed by Hillwood, AllianceTexas is an unparalleled regional success story that has transformed the North Texas economy and connected the area to global industry. Consisting of 27,000 acres, the development is anchored by the world’s first dedicated industrial airport, Perot Field Fort Worth Alliance Airport (AFW), and hosts one of the nation’s premier intermodal hubs. Today, AllianceTexas is home to 575 companies that have created more than 66,000 direct jobs and have approximately 58 million square feet of developed commercial real estate assets. The development’s cumulative impact since 1989 is an estimated $120 billion for the North Texas region. For additional information, please visit

The AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ) spans the 27,000-acre industrial-focused, public-private ecosystem that brings policymakers and industry innovators together to propel surface and air mobility forward. By leveraging its one-of-a-kind infrastructure, the MIZ offers unparalleled resources to comprehensively scale and commercialize the latest logistics and mobility technologies. For more information on the AllianceTexas MIZ and how your organization can be part of this industry-shaping environment, visit

Over $58M Awarded to Advance Fort Worth Rare Earth Magnet Manufacturing Plant

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A rare earth magnet manufacturing plant being built in Fort Worth just got a financial boost to advance its planned delivery of products for General Motors electric vehicles. 

Las Vegas-based MP Materials—which began building the plant in Hillwood’s AllianceTexas development in April 2022—has received a $58.5 million award in the form of a 48C Advanced Energy Project tax credit allocation issued by the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department. The award followed “a competitive, oversubscribed process administered by the Department of Energy that evaluated the technical and commercial viability and environmental and community impact of approximately 250 projects,” MP Materials said.

The 200,000-square-foot facility will produce neodymium-iron-boron (NdPr) magnets—”the world’s most powerful and efficient permanent magnets,” according to MP Materials. They’re an “indispensable component” used in electric motors and generators in hybrid and electric vehicles, robots, wind turbines, drones, electronics, and defense systems.

As the world moves further toward electrification, global demand for the magnets is expected to triple by 2035, according to an Adamas Intelligence report.


Finished magnets to be produced by late 2025

MP Materials said it’s currently producing “magnet precursor materials” in a North American pilot facility. The company expects to begin commercial production of “precursor materials” at the Fort Worth plant this summer and begin producing “finished magnets” by late 2025. Both products will be delivered to General Motors, MP Materials’ “foundational customer,” to support its North American EV production.

The Fort Worth plant could ultimately power some 500,000 EV motors every year, the company said in 2021.

MP said it will source the factory’s raw materials from Mountain Pass, California, where the company owns and operates “America’s only scaled and operational rare earth mine and separations facility.” At the factory, NdPr oxide from Mountain Pass will be reduced to NdPr metal and converted to NdFeB alloy and finished magnets—”delivering an end-to-end supply chain with integrated recycling and world-class sustainability,” the company said.


Addressing a ‘serious national security risk’ with $700M investment

More than 90% of the world’s NdFeB magnets are produced in China, MP Materials noted.

A Commerce Department investigation found that sintered NdFeB magnets are “required for critical infrastructure” and “irreplaceable in key defense applications,” while noting that the U.S. is “essentially 100% dependent on imports,” leading to what MP Materials summarized as a “serious national security risk.”

“We’ll bring the supply chain home,” MP Materials CEO James Litinsky said at the plant’s 2022 groundbreaking event. “This is actually the corner of Independence and Liberty, which is very fitting for us to be building a new foundation right here.”

At that time, MP Materials said it was investing about $700 million over the next two years to fully restore the rare earth magnetics supply chain to the United States. 

“Magnets are synonymous with modern life,” Litinsky said in 2022. “Rare earth magnets are really what will power motion—electric vehicles, wind turbines, drones, robots, air taxis, whatever.”

The company announced a $35 million DOD heavy rare earth elements contract in February 2022. About that award, Litinsky said that “a multibillion dollar supply chain is not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take capital, it’s going to take perseverance. It requires a real coordination between our upstream and downstream industries.”

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NCTCOG plans for 2 hydrogen stations in North Texas

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The AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone and Southern Dallas County Inland Port were identified as sites for two proposed hydrogen fueling stations in North Texas during a March 11 presentation.

What’s happening?

The North Central Texas Council of Governments was awarded $70 million in January to build five hydrogen fueling stations in Texas near DFW, Houston, San Antonio and Waco. The stations will create a hydrogen fueling network for medium- to heavy-duty freight trucks.

Stations are planned for the innovation zone and inland port areas, Air Quality Planner Joslyn Billings said during the NCTCOG meeting. Seven other potential sites have been identified throughout the Texas Triangle, according to the presentation.

“We’ll be selecting the rest of the stations from the potential ones near Houston, San Antonio and Waco to complete and fill in that triangle,” Billings said.

Staff have already begun coordinating with local governments in the project areas, but they are at the beginning of the contracting process, she said.

What they’re saying

Laura Freeland, executive director of the Southern Dallas County Inland Port Transportation Management Association, said in an email they were excited to have one of the fueling stations built at the port.

“The location of a hydrogen fueling station in the DCIP will help transition freight transport from conventional diesel fuel to zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell technology,” she said.

Freeland said the grant was particularly impactful because it was secured for refueling stations across the triangle.

“Given the amount of truck traffic that passes through the Texas Triangle, securing fueling stations for the entire area helps trucking companies make the investment to convert to hydrogen,” she said.

Also of note

The NCTCOG was also awarded $15 million to build up to 100 electric vehicle charging ports across the region. At least half of those chargers will be built in disadvantaged communities known as Justice40 areas. Staff will also emphasize adding charging ports to rural communities excluded from other funding opportunities, Billings said.

Other grant projects include:

Partnering with Oncor and DFW Airport to develop an electric vehicle charging plan for the region focused on power failure: awarded $1.5 million

Repairing or replacing existing nonoperational charging stations in the region: awarded $3.6 million

Clean Energy Turns DFW Area into a Renewable Natural Gas Hub

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HASLET & DALLAS, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) announced the opening of two new fueling stations that offer heavy-duty truck and other fleet vehicles renewable natural gas (RNG), one of the only fuels that receives a carbon-negative rating. A station in North Fort Worth, near Alliance and DFW airports, and another in South Dallas close to I-45, I-35 and I-20, are strategically located near dozens of distribution centers and allow trucks to take advantage of a fuel that provides similar convenience as diesel, yet is rated as one of the cleanest in the world.

The two stations expand Clean Energy’s fueling network of over 600 stations, and open at a time when RNG is becoming a fuel that many fleets are embracing to meet their carbon emissions reduction goals. A new 15-liter natural gas engine for heavy-duty trucks, the Cummins’ X15N, is anticipated to be commercially available later in 2024 and is currently being tested by some of the largest and most demanding fleets in the country, including Walmart, Werner, Knight Swift, FedEx Freight and UPS. The early reaction to the X15N has been positive at a time when the heavy-duty truck market continues to struggle to find affordable and reliable alternatives to decarbonize their fleets.

In addition to heavy-duty truck fleets, there are seven hundred Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) buses, hundreds of sanitation trucks, airport shuttles and other vehicles that support DFW and Austin-Bergstrom airports, all of which operate on ultra-clean RNG.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth area is already one of the biggest transportation hubs in the country and it is only getting bigger. These two new stations will provide heavy-duty truck fleets with the ease of fueling with RNG, which is becoming more recognized as the cleanest, most affordable, and readily available alternative fuel for the transportation market,” said Chad Lindholm, senior vice president of sales at Clean Energy.

The North Fort Worth station is located at 895 Railhead Drive, Haslet, TX 76177, adjacent to Alliance airport. It sits on almost 8 acres and is equipped with multiple fast-fill fuel dispensers allowing heavy-duty vehicles to easily get in-and-out within 10-15 minutes with a full tank of RNG. It also offers 82 private overnight fueling posts for heavy-duty trucks, allowing for cost-effective fueling, as well as 54 parking bays for box trucks and 140 for drivers’ personal vehicles.

The address of the South Dallas station is 4480 Logistics Drive, Dallas, TX 75241 and occupies 5.7 acres near Lancaster, bordered by I-35 to the east, I-20 to the north and I-45 to the west. It is equipped with multiple fast-fill dispensers, 80 private overnight fuel posts for heavy-duty trucks, 120 parking places for drivers’ vehicles and 41 for box trucks.

Clean Energy is also investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the production of RNG at dairy farms in the U.S., including a facility at Del Rio Dairy in Friona, TX, which began producing RNG in 2023, and another is expected to begin construction at South Fork Dairy in Dimmitt, TX, soon. Agriculture accounts for nearly 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the transportation sector accounts for another 28%, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Capturing methane from farm waste lowers these emissions. RNG, produced by that captured methane and used as a transportation fuel, significantly lowers GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis when compared to diesel. This allows RNG to be one of the only transportation fuels to receive a negative carbon-intensity score based on the reduction of emissions at the source and at the vehicle.


About Clean Energy

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. is the country’s largest provider of the cleanest fuel for the transportation market. Our mission is to decarbonize transportation through the development and delivery of renewable natural gas (RNG), a sustainable fuel derived by capturing methane from organic waste. Clean Energy allows thousands of vehicles, from airport shuttles to city buses to waste and heavy-duty trucks, to reduce their amount of climate-harming greenhouse gas. We operate a vast network of fueling stations across the U.S. and Canada as well as RNG production facilities at dairy farms. Visit and follow @ce_renewables on X and LinkedIn.


Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including without limitation statements about amounts and timing of natural gas expected to be produced or consumed; characteristics and performance of natural gas engines and trucks; the environmental and other benefits of Clean Energy’s fuels; the timing and scope of construction, maintenance, and other projects; the availability of environmental, tax and other government regulations, programs and incentives; and the impacts of legislative and regulatory developments. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made herein speak only as of the date of this press release and, unless otherwise required by law, Clean Energy undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Additionally, the reports and other documents Clean Energy files with the SEC (available at contain risk factors, which may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this news release.

AllianceTexas Enters 35th Year with $120 Billion in Economic Impact for North Texas

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FORT WORTH, Texas (February 6, 2024) – AllianceTexas, Hillwood’s 27,000-acre master-planned, mixed-use development in north Fort Worth, continues its legacy as one of the nation’s most formidable economic engines, generating an estimated $119.8 billion in regional economic impact over the past 35 years. According to Insight Research Corporation’s annual economic impact report, more than $9.84 billion of the development’s economic impact was created in 2023 alone.

Widely considered one of the country’s most successful public-private partnership endeavors, total investment at AllianceTexas surpassed $15.2 billion in 2023, with a staggering $14.1 billion coming from the private sector. Public investment totaling $1.1 billion has been invested in the project to date, representing more than a 13-to-1 private-to-public-dollar investment multiple. In addition, over the past three decades, AllianceTexas has produced over $3.8 billion in total taxes paid to local public entities.

See the full AllianceTexas Annual Economic Impact Report here.

A leading driver for regional success, AllianceTexas is now home to 574 companies, with 58 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space built since 1989.

From the newest homeowner to the most well-known Fortune 500 companies, opportunity thrives at AllianceTexas. It boasts corporate headquarters, healthcare providers, higher education centers, shopping and entertainment destinations and vibrant residential communities.

 “We’re just as forward-thinking today as when we created AllianceTexas 35 years ago, and that transformative philosophy — anchored by the collaborative partnership between public and private sectors — has brought nearly $120 billion in economic impact for the North Texas region,” said Mike Berry, president of Hillwood. “AllianceTexas continues to be a sustainable economic engine for the State of Texas, creating thousands of jobs while serving as a corporate base to some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Amazon, FedEx, BNSF Railway, Meta, Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, Deloitte and UPS, among dozens of others.”

Economic impact at AllianceTexas is also created through access to multiple modes of transportation combined with the latest, most innovative technologies that ensure uninterrupted supply chains and on-time deliveries. For example, the Alliance Westport sector offers a one-of-a-kind location across from the entrance to the BNSF Intermodal Facility with over 15 million square feet of developable next-generation distribution facility space designed and master planned to be fully integrated with a smart-infrastructure platform featuring remote and autonomous freight optimization capabilities.

Recently, Southwire, one of the leading manufacturers of wire and cable used in the transmission and distribution of electricity, chose to expand its operations within AllianceTexas, leasing 1.18 million square feet at Alliance Westport 25. Further underscoring North Texas’ prominence as a premier job center, Southwire’s expansion includes job creation for 250 new team members.

Hillwood continues to look to integrate the next-generation movement of goods across the supply chain, convening visionaries in logistics innovation at the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ). To name a few, Manna, Europe’s leading delivery operator, announced its last-mile delivery services entry into the U.S. at the MIZ. On the surface side, mile-middle leader Gatik continues using the platform to further commercialize its autonomous technology.

Perot Field Fort Worth Alliance Airport (AFW) serves as the catalyst for the 27,000-acre AllianceTexas development. Designated in 1989 as the world’s first industrial airport, AFW enters its 35th year as the regional cargo hub for Amazon and FedEx, and the only non-passenger airport ranked in the Top 20 U.S cargo airports, moving 2.5 billion pounds of cargo. Alliance Aviation Services, the fixed-base operator (FBO) at AFW, was also ranked among the top 20 percent of service providers in the 2023 AIN FBO Survey: The Americas.

Geographically, AllianceTexas encompasses nine municipalities, five independent school districts and two counties. Since 1990, more than $3.8 billion has been paid in property taxes cumulatively to the Cities of Fort Worth, Haslet, Roanoke, Northlake, Westlake and Corral City; Tarrant and Denton Counties; and Northwest, Keller, and Argyle Independent School Districts (City of Denton, Denton ISD, the City of Justin, and the City of Argyle were not included in the 2023 report, as development is still forthcoming). In 2023 alone, the project contributed nearly $344.6 million in property taxes to these local entities.

“Hillwood’s impact at AllianceTexas and numerous urban developments throughout the region have been immeasurable in their impact on North Texas’ continued leadership and success,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said. “AllianceTexas remains a constant powerhouse and sets the standard in our region and nationally for providing companies with innovative resources and opportunities for growth while also creating an environment that offers an array of outstanding housing options and lifestyle amenities.”

In addition to its industrial, aviation, and office core, AllianceTexas also features an array of shopping, dining, medical, recreational, and entertainment options seamlessly integrated into its diverse and highly sought-after residential options.

Expanding its presence, Hillwood recently acquired a full city block in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. The property is located at the front door of the rapidly growing downtown southern corridor, bounded by 6th and 7th Streets to the north and south and Calhoun and Jones Streets to the east and west. The purchase reinforces Hillwood’s longtime commitment to Fort Worth and marks its first investment downtown.

For a more detailed overview of AllianceTexas’ economic impact report and additional information about the development, including expansive sections covering available asset classes, sector locations, and lifestyle amenities, please visit AllianceTexas’ online resources page at


About AllianceTexas

AllianceTexas is an unparalleled regional success story that has transformed North Texas’s economy and connected the area to global industry. Consisting of 27,000 acres, the Hillwood development is anchored by the world’s first dedicated industrial airport, Perot Field Fort Worth Alliance Airport (AFW), and hosts one of the nation’s premier intermodal hubs. Today, AllianceTexas is home to 575 companies that have created more than 66,000 direct jobs and have approximately 58 million square feet of developed commercial real estate assets. The cumulative impact of the development since 1989 is an estimated $120 billion for the North Texas region. AllianceTexas boasts corporate headquarters, healthcare providers, higher education centers, shopping and entertainment destinations, and vibrant residential communities. From the newest homeowner to the most well-known Fortune 500 companies, opportunity thrives at AllianceTexas. For additional information, please visit


About Hillwood

Hillwood, a Perot company, is a premier industrial, commercial and residential real estate developer and manager with projects throughout North America and Europe. With a diverse portfolio of properties that have become home to many of the world’s leading companies, Hillwood is committed to bringing long-term value to our customers, partners, and the communities we serve. Hillwood also served as the lead developer of marquee projects nationwide, from the Air Force Memorial in Washington, D.C., to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the American Airlines Center in Dallas. For additional information, please visit

All Charged Up: LG Opens Its First U.S. EV Charger Factory in Fort Worth

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LG Electronics sparked a new chapter of North Texas innovation in Fort Worth Friday by opening its first U.S. factory for assembling EV charging stations.

With the opening, LG—based in South Korea with USA headquarters in New Jersey—aims to support the growth of America’s EV charging infrastructure while creating new local jobs.

Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker was among the officials on hand to cut the ribbon at the new plant, joining LG senior executives Alec Jang, president of the LG Electronics Business Solutions Company; H.K. Suh, global head of LG’s EV Charger business; and Nicolas Min, president of LG Business Solutions USA. 

“The EV charger business is a growth engine for LG’s future, supporting the company’s transformation into a smart solutions company,” Jang said in a statement. “LG will leverage the reliability and uncompromising quality of its chargers, maintenance services, and vertical sales capabilities with the goal of becoming a leader in the EV charging business around the world.”


Today’s LG plant opening expands Dallas-Fort Worth’s EV charger manufacturing footprint. Last June, South Korea’s SK Signet opened a new facility in Plano to manufacture ultra-fast chargers for the U.S. market. In September 2022, Plano-based Universal EV Chargers secured nearly $10 million in government green energy grants to help the hospitality industry and other businesses offer EV charging services. 

100,000-SF factory will use ‘100% green power’

LG’s 100,000-square-foot Fort Worth plant will have an annual capacity of 12,000 units, while operating with “100% green power,” the company said, adding that it will bring “dozens of new tech jobs” to North Texas—reinforcing LG’s commitment to the region as an innovation and manufacturing hub of the future.

LG is far from a stranger in the Panther City. Its million-square-foot distribution center for consumer electronics and home appliances in Fort Worth has been active for three decades. The company said its decision to open its EV charger factory in the city reinforces LG’s “commitment to the region as an innovation and manufacturing hub of the future.”

“This is a great day for Fort Worth,” Mayor Parker said in a statement, “with this global leader choosing to establish its U.S. manufacturing base for EV chargers and creating new jobs here. We take pride in knowing that LG’s advanced EV charging stations that will be deployed across the United States will be built right here in Fort Worth.”

Steve Montgomery, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, called LG’s choice of Fort Worth for its first U.S. factory for advanced EV chargers “a prime example of our city’s commitment to innovation and cutting-edge technology.”

“This exciting announcement further cements our status as a prime location for business and technological growth,” Montgomery added in a statement. 

With many Americans reluctant to buy electric vehicles due to a lack of adequate EV charging options, LG says its new factory is a step in helping to solve that issue.

“Today marks a major step in LG’s roadmap to support the electrification of America by making the EV charging infrastructure smarter, more accessible and more profitable for operators,” said LG Business Solutions USA’s SVP Michael Kosla.

Kosla said the Level 2 and Level 3 EV chargers produced in Fort Worth “will open new opportunities for businesses, municipalities, and other public places to support the electrification of America with independently owned and operated charging stations that create new revenue streams, additional marketing and income opportunities, and differentiation with competing businesses.”

Recognizing that the U.S. needs “hundreds of thousands” of new Level 2 and Level 3 chargers to support the growing number of EVs on the road, Kosla said LG has developed owner-operated EV charging stations so that hotels, restaurants, venues, transit hubs, municipal buildings and other locations “are empowered to set their own rates, keep the profits that are generated and ensure enough capacity to meet local demands.”

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Clevon’s Robot Couriers Push the Frontier of Autonomous Last-Mile Delivery

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The Estonian company’s U.S. headquarters at AllianceTexas is a success story of the development’s Mobility Innovation Zone.

Maneuvering the streets of Northlake nowadays is a driverless electric delivery vehicle powered by a combination of remote drivers and autonomous capabilities. The vehicle, which made its debut earlier this year, is the size of a golf cart and delivers packages for printing and shipping business Postnet Northlake. The company behind the robots is Clevon, an Estonian innovator with its U.S. headquarters at Hillwood’s AllianceTexas. 

Clevon spun off from Cleveron, the first company to get permission for driverless last-mile delivery in Europe. It focuses on ground-based transportation and partners with AllianceTexas to pilot and develop its technology as part of Alliance’s Mobility Innovation Zone, which works with companies pushing the boundaries of transportation and logistics technology. After searching nationwide for an incubator, Clevon viewed Texas’ legislative framework and entrepreneurial mindset as the right fit. “AllianceTexas strives to change the status quo,” says Meelis Anton, Clevon’s U.S. chief operating officer. “The ecosystem and environment provide potential customers, with many large companies based here.”

The vehicles travel within a 10-mile radius of the Postnet hub and are limited to 20 miles per hour. The robots have three driver settings: fully autonomous, partially autonomous with some remote human support, and fully driven by a remote human operator. After proving its concept through pilot programs and a commercial launch with Postnet, Clevon wants to expand. The company sees an opportunity to provide reliable, safe, last-mile delivery for grocers, restaurants, and other retailers. “COVID showed that our supply chain is vulnerable,” says Ian Kinne, Hillwood’s director of logistics. “Clevon is willing to solve the last mile gap, which is hard to automate and where so much of the cost and risk exists in the supply chain.”

Anton sees Clevon’s advantages in the autonomous delivery space as a combination of size and energy efficiency. The electric vehicles have low carbon footprints but are large enough to deliver several sizable parcels. That said, he believes the market is big enough for many providers. “The need is so large, and there are so many use cases, it is about finding the best fit,” Anton says. “There is no silver bullet.”  

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Venture Titans Gather at Circle T Ranch to Power North Texas’ ‘Next-Level’ Growth

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Circle T Ranch in Westlake recently opened its gates to an elite group of more than 200 investors, innovators, and business leaders. The private reception at Ross Perot Jr.’s scenic ranch at AllianceTexas has become an annual tradition for the Venture Dallas franchise—and a coveted invitation for founders and funders alike.

Even a downpour couldn’t dampen spirits. “It was a 10 out of 10,” one guest said. 

“When you put great founders and investors together, magic happens,” said Aaron Pierce, Venture Dallas Chair and a partner at Perot Jain.  The setting—Circle T’s one-of-a-kind development blending business with a working cattle ranch—is part of the alchemy.

Pierce said it’s a draw that brings some of the best investors in the nation to Dallas. The reception—now in its fourth year—at the rustic Texas Barn on Oct. 24 anchored the Venture Dallas conference with “high-impact” conversation and connections the night before the main event in Dallas. “When investors come here from out of town, their eyes are opened to what’s happening in Dallas,” he said. “It sets the stage for partnerships.”

Investors from coast to coast

Getting together in a social setting, especially one as unique as Circle T Ranch, builds relationships that “lead to the exchange of deal flow and co-investment,” said Bryan Chambers, a founding board member of Venture Dallas. Judging by the roster of VCs, angels, family offices, and corporate venture investors at the ranch, that formula is working.

This year’s Circle T Ranch event drew more funders nationwide, including Evan Baehr, managing partner of Austin-based Learn; Kevin King, partner at Boston’s General Catalyst; and Atlanta-based Anant Patel, director at Koch Disruptive Technologies.

Others making the trip to Dallas included Keith Bank of KB Partners in Highland Park, Illinois; Cyrus Sigari of UP.Partners in California; Amy Kruse of Satori Neuro in Washington, D.C.; and representatives from funds like LiveOak Venture Partners, NextCoast Ventures, and more.

EP Golf Fund, golf tech demos  

Earlier in the day, investors and leaders celebrated the launch of the EP Golf Fund, a partnership between the PGA and Elysian Park Ventures aimed at supporting startups in the golf space. The fund’s inaugural portfolio companies were on hand, including Golf+, a VR golf game that allows people to play on real-world courses with “true-to-golf” physics, and Dryvebox, a mobile golf simulator that can be rented.

Pierce said the event focuses on real investment opportunities in the ecosystem. And that translates to more capital for Dallas entrepreneurs. Leaders of million- and billion-dollar businesses said the event hosted a group you can’t find anywhere else in one room. And more than one entrepreneur told us they cleared their calendar for the event.

But Michael Ulwelling, who flew in from Oregon, may have said it best: “If you are a founder, inside or outside of Dallas, who had an invitation to the VIP event and did not attend the event—that was a major mistake.”

Startups from stealth to exit

The event rounded up successful North Texas startup founders, including Scott Harper of Dialexa, who successfully exited to IBM last year. Others were serial entrepreneurs like Mizzen+Main co-founder Kevin LaValle, currently pursuing his next venture in stealth; Linear Labs’ Brad Hunstable; ByteTrails’ Brenda Stoner; and Power To Pitch’s Kat Weaver.

Venture Dallas Startup of the Year winners were also on hand: CollateralEdge’s Joe Beard, a VC-turned-entrepreneur, as well as Firehawk’s Will Edwards, on the cusp of a major test-launch site deal, and Testfit’s Clifton Harness, who compared notes on computer vision with Spacee’s Skip Howard.

Fireside chat: Sizing up the Dallas-Fort Worth ecosystem

Dealmakers and disruptors came for the connection and the conversation. One of the most important conversations focused attention on advancing Dallas-Fort Worth’s venture ecosystem to the next level. In a fireside chat, the spotlight shifted to another C-word—collaboration.

On stage at the Texas Barn, Pierce highlighted the region’s assets—capital, corporations, and talent. “As an ecosystem, Dallas-Fort Worth has a lot going for it,” he said. About a year ago, Anurag Jain and the Perot Jain team saw even more potential: “We did a lot of work around that, talking to leadership in the region and beyond,” Pierce added. “Tonight’s program is sharing a little bit of that.”

Jain, chairman and founding partner of Perot Jain, sat down with Hillwood’s Henry Ross Perot III and McKinsey’s Brendan Gaffey to explore the state of the ecosystem and plot what happens next. 

Jain looked back on progress. “Look around—these are the movers and shakers of Dallas,” he said. “At this event three and a half years ago, we had a [fraction] of the audience in the room today. But we got together and said, ‘We’ve got to make Dallas relevant; we’ve got to put it on the map.’”

And we did, he said. Now he wants all those movers and shakers to help put it even more on the map.

“Dallas is a unique ecosystem”

Working alongside Perot Jain, Gaffey, head of McKinsey’s venture business, saw potential to expand Dallas’ presence. “Dallas is a great spot to do much more than it’s currently doing in the startup and innovation world,” he said. Through extensive interviews with founders and investors, locally and beyond, Gaffey and Perot Jain formed a panoramic view of the ecosystem here.

They heard, “Dallas is a unique ecosystem,” Gaffey said, which is both a challenge and an opportunity. In terms of venture capital, Dallas has a “lot of the components that would make it a tier-one venture city.” He drew comparisons to Los Angeles’ VC growth from tier two status around 15 years ago. Dallas now has the chance to “step up.”

“There are a lot of ways of doing [that],” he said. “Venture is not the only measure of success,” nodding to Dallas’ business diversity and well-noted strengths. 

Jain ticked off a few, highlighting the financial capacity of the city: Dallas has a lot of money, family offices, corporates, capital, and later-stage companies. But, he asked Gaffey, “Where do you see the innovation in the city?”

Logistics, biotech, defense, SaaS strengths

“Where innovation is going, and where it’s coming from … play stronger in Dallas,” Gaffey said.

He sees a strong foundation in B2B innovation like logistics tech, biotech, defense, and enterprise SaaS. “With things that have transpired over the last two years, I’m bullish on the capabilities that reside in Dallas,” he said.

However, the local VC landscape doesn’t yet “fully reinforce” that potential, he said. Gaffey recommended shifting more private capital from real estate toward funding startups and venture.

“There’s a ton of private capital that doesn’t always flow into the VC sector,” Gaffey said, pointing to a key opportunity in the region. We also need more big successful exits to reinforce the “looping” of VC capital and exits, he said.

Not surprisingly, “Dallas has a unique way of building its startups,” he said. Dallas is a pioneering place that celebrates risk, but “the tech founder pathway needs more recognition and support,” similar to what you might find in a Silicon Valley, he said.

Gaffey stressed that real change requires the collective action of the community. “We have to pull at the same time to radically change the trajectory,” he urged.

Jain agreed that Dallas has ingredients like B2B expertise in place. And more big, successful founder exits are a key for success: “We need a few more Scotts.” Jain said, pointing to Dallas-based Dialexa founder Scott Harper, noting his successful exit to IBM last year. The acquisition was IBM Consulting’s first in the digital product engineering services market, which it estimated as a $700 billion market by 2026. Those kinds of success stories cycle resources, talent, experience, and credibility, he said. 

Perot: a “ringside view” of Dallas-Fort Worth

Shifting the focus to Henry Ross Perot III, or Hill, Jain said Perot has had a “ringside view” of the region for about four decades. As the son of Henry Ross Perot Jr. and the grandson of H. Ross Perot Sr., he brings a unique third-generation perspective on the region. And as vice president of Hillwood, Perot has been instrumental in overseeing industrial and warehousing interests within AllianceTexas.

Perot recalled the transformation he’s seen firsthand. “As a native growing up here, it’s amazing what I’ve seen in my lifetime, growing from around 5 million people to about 8 million today.” he said. “Houston and Chicago are ahead of us—depending on how you count it—but in the next 10 to 15 years, we’ll be the third-largest metropolitan area in the United States.”

We “really are all grown up,” Perot said, attributing much of the region’s maturity to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

In comparing Dallas to Austin, he said: “Austin is great, but if you’re going to build your business and you’re traveling around the world or the U.S., it’s not easy to do if you’re flying in and out of Austin.”

“I’m going to say Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas a lot tonight.”

Talking about Dallas, Perot reinforces the regional perspective. “In our business,” Perot said, “We always say Dallas-Fort Worth. And I’m going to say Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas a lot tonight.”

Perot is proud of the economic powerhouse the region has become. “We’ve come a long way since the 1980s with the savings and loan crisis,” Perot said. At the time, “we were really just banks, cattle, real estate, oil, and gas—and they all crashed at the same time.”

Today Perot sees a “diverse DFW,” leading in sectors that play to its strengths. Our current—and future—success owes to the historic foresight of the region’s business leaders, he said. While acknowledging Gaffey’s point that DFW is not necessarily known for its consumer tech, Perot, like Jain, sees advantage in the region’s B2B expertise. And he highlighted a key sector where Dallas excels: logistics tech.

“Our firm is very involved in mobility innovation,” Perot said, noting Hillwood’s strategic AllianceTexas location. The 27,000-acre development has been part of the company’s vision since the ’80s, which took a long view to regional growth, he said. Circle T Ranch itself is part of that vision, with its master plan for multiple corporate campuses surrounding acres of lakes, parkland, and range land.

Perot pointed to innovative endeavors happening at AllianceTexas, which recently hosted the invitation-only UP.Summit on rethinking the future of transportation, which brought more than 250 of “the world’s most innovative minds” in the sector to North Texas. Those visionaries represent over $1 trillion worth of investable capital, according to the UP.Partners group.

Perot is working to “position North Texas to be the mobility innovation zone in the entire world,” he said. Alliance Airport’s own Mobility Innovation Zone makes the region a frontrunner already. “We’re testing drone delivery, autonomous trucks, drone delivery to people’s front doors,” Perot said.

He emphasized the region’s advantage in supporting new businesses, particularly through proactive efforts and resources. “We’re getting regulatory approval and political resources people need right now here in North Texas,” he said.

Comparing Texas to California, Perot highlighted the Lone Star State’s low-tax, low-regulation, pro-business environment. “There’s no reason Texas should beat California in business development,” he said, “but we do it because of our culture, because of our people.”

“As I look at the population growth, the economic growth, the political and regulatory environment,” Perot said, “whether you’re a fund or a founder, this is a really good place to do business.”

“No silver bullet,” but models of success

Jain shifted the spotlight to how other cities are progressing and what Dallas can learn from their strategies. As Gaffey put it, “There’s no silver bullet.” But he sees interesting models for success around the country:

Chicago, for example, has “a great network” and a solid startup ecosystem supported by families and individuals with the “means and the will” to invest, both politically and financially, he said.

In Houston, the city is embracing a “fund the funds” strategy and has initiated a “reverse pitch” concept to galvanize local investment, encouraging venture capitalists to bring their money and expertise to the table.

Miami is utilizing the clout of “two or three very high-profile investors,” creating a buzz that could potentially transform its business landscape, he said. Its PR efforts have been turning heads and shifting perspectives about Miami’s role in the tech and entrepreneurial landscape, he said, adding that “fundamentally, the PR … was pretty transformational.”

And in Atlanta, Gaffey sees some “great things” in startup mentoring and incubation.

Boosting the Dallas’ “metabolic rate”

To accelerate Dallas’ “metabolic rate,” it needs to pursue multiple strategies simultaneously, Gaffey said. Dallas can do “four or five of those things” at the same time,” he said.

The key is compounding efforts, rather than operating in isolation. Collaboration can “stitch them together in parallel.” He described the flywheel effect, where enough synchronized components reach critical mass and feed ongoing growth.

We have a lot to work with. Dallas, he said, is an “unbelievable and vibrant ecosystem.” Among our innovation advantages are its strength in B2B tech, calling out logistics and biotech as key sectors, noting the rise of life science hub Pegasus Park in Dallas.

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