Matagorda County is building on its power generation, chemical, tourism and agricultural bases. We are growing an energy cluster. Opportunities abound as the county seeks retail, residential and apartment developers to meet our coming construction and new permanent worker demands. We also want new tourism businesses for our under-served beach, bay and waterfront areas.
The Matagorda County EDC has free industrial lots from 2-12 acres for qualified companies that establish new businesses and create new jobs here.
The Port of Bay City Authority has over 100 acres for industrial development at its commercial barge port on the Colorado River. Access to rail by two carriers, large gas pipelines, redundant electrical power and commercial barge service is there. The Authority has residential and retail sites around its recreational boat harbor at Matagorda and a 150-acre commercial barge harbor on the Intracoastal Waterway is in the permitting process.
Navigation District No. 1 has prime sites around the Port of Palacios for marine-related industries and for fish and shrimp processing. It has a recreational boat marina with covered and open slips and small parcels that could lend themselves to condo-hotel, motel, and waterfront restaurant, residential or retail development. The Navigation District has a 100-acre business and light industry park near the Port of Palacios and a 620-acre waterfront tract on Turtle Bay.
The City of Palacios has industrial use sites on the Palacios Municipal Airport.
Economic Development Designations
Enterprise Zone (parts of county)
Foreign Trade Sub-Zone agreement
Strategic Investment Area
Clean air attainment county
Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone
No county or city zoning (except in Palacios)
Employee recruitment & employee training
Tailored services to help locate or expand
Tax abatement policies for qualifying firms
Tax-free industrial/environmental bonds
Free industrial sites for qualified businesses
Commercial Barge Opportunities
The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW) runs behind the county's barrier islands for 67 miles. Dredged channels run from the ICWW to the Port of Palacios and to the Port of Bay City on the Colorado River. The ICWW provides barge access to the Texas coast, the Gulf Coast states and to the Mississippi River Basin.
Shallow Draft Ports
The Port of Bay City has a barge dock and turning basin, 5,000 SF warehouse, and petroleum loading/unloading facility 15 miles up the navigable Colorado River. The Port Authority has land at the port for industrial development. It has an Industrial Development Authority to assist with new business financing. The Port Authority also operates a 200 slip recreational boat marina on the ICWW at Matagorda. It is in the process of permitting a commercial barge harbor on the ICWW at Matagorda.
Navigation District No. 1 owns the Port of Palacios. The port is home to over 133 commercial shrimp boats. The port has four turning basins, a boat repair facility, a barge and tug production facility, shrimp processing facilities, recreational marina, and a small RV park. The District has parcels for commercial, retail, industrial and residential development. It owns a 100-acre business park for commercial, office and industrial sites and a 620-acre waterfront tract on Turtle Bay. The Port of Palacios is navigable by barge from the ICWW. It also offers recreational covered boat slips with slings and open boat slips.
The nearest deep water port is at Point Comfort/Port Lavaca. It is 33 miles away by barge
North-south rail service is provided by Burlington Northern/Santa Fe. East-west service is by Union Pacific. The two rail companies share joint use of the main lines through Matagorda County. BNSF has local service lines branching off in Bay City that serve several rural industrial plants. The two companies provide excellent rail presence.
Texas Highway 35 runs east/west to Highway 288, a 4- to 6-lane highway into downtown Houston. Texas Highway 60 runs north/south and joins 4-lane Highway 59 30 miles to the north. Highway 59 connects Houston with Laredo on the Mexican border and via Highway 77 to Brownsville. Highway 50 has been designated to become I-69, the Trans-Canada/Mexico Interstate. Interstate 10 is 55 miles from Bay City.