Files reveal technology company behind $10 billion investment in RELLIS campus

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – Documents filed with the Texas Auditor's Office show that Substrate Inc., a San Francisco-based technology startup, is planning a massive $10 billion investment at Texas A&M's RELLIS campus.

An LLC application filed with the Texas Secretary of State indicates that the proposed facility is an expansion of Substrate Inc., with a registered address at a San Francisco post office.

This project, known as America's Foundry Bryan, LLC/Project Factory One, is expected to be the first of its kind in the United States. It will focus on the production of advanced semiconductors and is expected to bring significant economic benefits to the Brazos Valley.

This company promises a groundbreaking $10 billion investment in the Brazos Valley. According to recently released documents, Substrate Inc. appears to be led by CEO James Proud, known for his work with technology startups such as Hello and Config. According to online records, Hello developed sleep monitoring software but shut down in 2017 when it failed to find a buyer. Config develops software to manage the process of hardware development.

The City of Bryan, Brazos County, Bryan ISD and Texas A&M all approved a number of tax incentives to secure this significant investment, which beat out 15 other states in the competitive site selection process. Since the proposed tax incentives were announced, local agencies and municipalities have remained silent on the deal, citing a nondisclosure agreement, but have not been shy about sharing their thoughts on the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthis company coming to Aggieland.

“I think this is the biggest thing Brazos County will see since A&M was founded here. If it actually happens,” said John Sharp, chancellor of Texas A&M. “At least 1,800 permanent jobs will be created here. Of course, many more during the construction phase. And it's an investment of at least $10 billion.”

“This is a game-changing project for Bryan,” said Mayor Bobby Gutierrez. “We're doing everything we can to bring it here. The economic benefits and potential for job creation are tremendous.”

Construction on the 288-acre RELLIS campus is scheduled to begin later this year and be completed by 2029. The facility is expected to generate more than $100 billion in economic value over the next 40 years, including 800 construction jobs initially and a total of 2,000 jobs after commissioning.

Economic impact and construction schedule

Construction on the 288-acre RELLIS campus is scheduled to begin this year, with completion scheduled for 2029. The facility, called Project Factory One, is expected to generate more than $100 billion in economic benefits over the next 40 years, including 800 construction jobs over the next six years and total employment of 2,000 people.

The economic benefits of the project include a significant increase in local and state GDP as well as significant additional revenue for businesses.

“This will be a game changer not only for Brazos County and the city of Bryan, but for the entire United States. This is an absolutely amazing project,” Sharp added.

Competitive advantage

The project's approval followed a competitive site selection process in which Substrate Inc. evaluated potential sites across the United States. Texas, Oregon and New York were the final contenders, with Texas ultimately winning due to its attractive tax incentives and strategic location.

“They looked at 16 different states and chose Bryan, Texas. They also chose the RELLIS campus and the hypersonic technology, autonomous vehicles, the Pentagon research that's going on there, the defense testing and things like that,” Sharp added.

Online records show that Texas and the RELLIS campus stood out in Substrate Inc.'s site selection process due to several compelling factors. The state's favorable tax environment, robust transportation infrastructure and the strategic location of Texas A&M's RELLIS campus provided a significant advantage. Texas offered significant incentives, including competitive property tax rates under the Joint Enterprise Tax Incentive (JETI) program, making it an attractive option over other states such as Oregon and New York.

The advanced research and development capabilities at the RELLIS campus, as well as a collaborative partnership with Texas A&M University, further strengthened Texas as a preferred location. This partnership, which was captured in a non-binding letter of intent, promised mutual benefits and was consistent with Substrate Inc.'s goals of using state-of-the-art manufacturing methods and employing a skilled workforce. These factors combined to make Texas the preferred choice for Substrate Inc.'s groundbreaking semiconductor manufacturing facility.

Tax incentives

Todd McDaniel, senior economic development advisor for the City of Bryan, highlighted the financial benefits during a recent city council meeting.

“In the first year, the projected guaranteed value is one hundred million dollars. With an 80% tax abatement, that amount will naturally grow over the next ten years as the project develops,” McDaniel said.

According to tax abatement agreements filed in the City of Bryan, the City's projected new ad valorem tax revenues, based on guaranteed value and after annual abatement, are $124,800 in year one and reach $31.2 million annually in years seven through ten. To illustrate, the Brazos Central Appraisal District's estimate for the City's net taxable value for 2024 is $9.9 billion.

“The expected guaranteed value is $100 million with an 80% tax rebate, which of course grows as the project develops over the next 10 years. In year seven, the guaranteed value is estimated to be $10 billion with a 50% tax rebate,” McDaniel added.

America's Foundry Bryan LLC plans to use several funding sources to support its operations, including the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Fund, the Texas Enterprise Fund and the state CHIPS Incentive Program.

Property and investment details

The application for the construction and operation of a state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing facility by American Foundry Bryan includes various ownership and investment details, according to online documents.

  • Land improvements: Extensive improvements and preparation of undeveloped land to enable new construction.
  • 3 million square foot advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility: Includes administrative buildings, central utility buildings, infrastructure, a machine shop, receiving and storage facilities, and site and road infrastructure.
  • Processing equipment and tools: Acquisition of all necessary machines and tools essential for semiconductor manufacturing.
  • Materials and Equipment: Procurement of materials and equipment to support manufacturing operations in ancillary buildings.
  • Property, plant and equipment: Acquisition of any additional assets that are critical to or support the manufacturing process.

What's next

Online records show that if all goes well, construction of Substrate Inc.'s semiconductor manufacturing facility is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2024, with completion expected in 2028. Commercial operations are expected to begin in 2030, the first year of the grant period. This significant development is being closely watched as it promises significant economic growth and job opportunities for the Brazos Valley.

Public online records

Anna Harden

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *