5 Big Things That Almost Happened in San Angelo
With all the economic expansion in San Angelo over the years, the city has continued its steady population growth. San Angelo continues to be an excellent place for business.
San Angelo has recently received news of new projects like the SMC Global Chemical plant on Dan Hanks Lane; the completion of the $164 million Concho Valley Solar Plant on Ratliff Road is scheduled. The opening of the ATL transportation new US headquarters on Gas Plant Road, the expansion of the San Angelo Rail Port, and the recruitment of an international biomedical and life sciences manufacturer are more recent triumphs for San Angelo.
It hasn't always been a triumph, however. The Road to economic growth is paved with disappointments.
Over the years, though, some great projects were announced for San Angelo that fell through. Some of these economic expansions could have meant enormous gains for the city. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, they fell through.
Here are five big announcements that didn't quite pan out.
1) Proposed Hotel and Convention Center
In 2013, a developer named Robert Payne proposed a 200-room hotel and convention center in downtown San Angelo. It was expected to be a boon for tourism and the convention business in San Angelo. The project was expected to cost $65 million and was intended to be a full-service Marriott Hotel. The Convention Center was expected to have a capacity of 1,200 people, more than the 900 at the McNease Convention Center.
Unfortunately, the project was scrapped after many issues with the proposed site. San Angelo City Council tried to save the project with tax rebates. Unfortunately, Payne said he could not locate the financing for the project, and it was canceled.
2. China Petroleum Oil Refinery
This could have been the most significant economic boom ever for San Angelo.
In 2007, China Petroleum Corporation announced plans to build a $1.2 billion oil refinery in San Angelo. The facility was expected to process 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day. This would have created thousands of good-paying jobs in the community.
The refinery was estimated to pump $9.2 billion in economic output over its first ten years. The project was canceled in 2009 due to a lack of financing. This was the fallout from the continuing market turmoil beginning in 2008. Once again, San Angelo came up a dollar short.
3. Convergent Energy Wind Turbine Manufacturing Plant
In 2013, Convergent Energy announced plans to build a manufacturing facility for wind turbines in San Angelo. The facility was expected to create hundreds of jobs in the area and contribute to the rapid-fire increase of the wind energy industry here in West Texas.
Ultimately, again, San Angelo came up a dollar short. Convergent Energy experienced financial difficulties. The company could not find the funding to complete the project and had to abandon it.
4) Proposed $200 million Ethanol Plant
Pacific Ethanol announced plans in 2007 to build a $200 million ethanol plant in San Angelo. The plant would have had the capacity to create 60 million gallons of fuel per year, creating hundreds of good-paying jobs in the area. The facility was also expected to generate $250 million in annual economic output.
Again financing became the problem. Due to decreased demand for ethanol and the economic downtown in 2008, ultimately, the company abandoned plans to complete the project.
5. Medical School For San Angelo
In 2011, there were serious discussions about bringing a medical school to San Angelo. The proposed medical school was intended to be a partnership between Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The school was expected to offer medical education and training for doctors and other healthcare professionals in the region.
The school was part of a larger plan to expand healthcare education in the West Texas region. It was hoped the school would alleviate the shortage of healthcare providers in the area by providing more opportunities for students to train and work there.
On this project, ultimately, the political clout in El Paso was able to shift the proposed facility to El Paso. In 2014, the Texas legislature gave the go-ahead for the school but rejected San Angelo as the location.
Many political leaders in San Angelo have advocated for creating a Medical School in our area following the decision in 2014. Unfortunately, they just haven't had the clout to make it happen.
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