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January 5, 2013

Expansions, renovations marked 2012 business

GREENVILLE — Business was good in Hunt County during 2012.

Local industries launched multiple expansions and one North Texas company announced plans to set up shop in Greenville.

There was even some big news on the retail front, with new restaurants coming to town and with existing businesses planning to spend lots of money on renovations.

All of which resulted in a significant dip in local jobless figures by the end of the year.

Some of the highlights of the Hunt County economic scene during 2012:

— L-3 added an $8 million office building and a $4 million hangar during the year.

— Weatherford Artificial Lift Systems completed its $26 million Phase 2 expansion, adding some 100 employees, and immediately began Phase 3, a duplicate of the Phase 2 expansion.

— FSTI doubled the size of its local plant.

— Total Equipment and Service purchased and moved into the former Woodgrain Millwork facility.

— Ground was broken in June on an expansion of the local Cytec plant.

— An $11 million redevelopment of Crossroads Mall was announced, Red Lobster completed a $200,000 renovation and Collin Street Bakery began construction of its $2 million Greenville store.

— The former Texan Theater downtown is in the middle of a multi-million dollar renovation.

— Vacant lots between the Texan Theater and the Blue Armadillo Winery are being renovated into a courtyard/social area.

— Shogun Hibachi and Sushi restaurant opened next to Home Depot and the Jungle Burger restaurant opened on the other side of the interstate.

— The unemployment rate in Hunt County dropped to an even six percent in November. While still relatively high, it marked the fifth straight month of a declining jobless rate in the county. The rate dropped more than three percentage points since summer and it the lowest rate reported in four years. More people were employed in Hunt County in November than at any other November this century.

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