By the BF Staff
From the May/June 2021 Issue
Industries post-COVID-19 will look for production sites, including industrial parks, that offer resilience and risk-mitigating measures which enable rapid recovery of production capacity and fix the value chain, according to a report from the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership.
The eco-industrial park (EIP) concept calls for resource-efficient and cost-effective industrial parks that are more competitive, attractive for investment and risk resilient. Collaboration between industrial park stakeholders—including companies, government agencies, local communities, financial institutions, service providers and R&D institutions—is the key to the EIP concept.
The EIP approach allows production risks to be managed while assuring sustainable industrial development opportunities to be maximized. The pandemic has demonstrated that social, health and environmental risks are truly economic risks.
EIPs can assist with increasing the resilience of manufacturing production sites, the report states. EIPs can provide this for many types of operations, including small-and-medium-sized manufacturing companies that are part of local and global value chains. By integrating resource efficiency, circular business practices and benefits of shared services which enhance competitiveness through cost savings and better risk management, EIP practices would assist industrial parks and their tenant companies with catching-up and meeting the demands of the post-COVID-19 world.
TEXAMERICAS CENTER: BIG AND GETTING BIGGER
Business is booming at TexAmericas Center, an industrial park where thousands of acres of land are primed for growth and leaders know exactly how to make that happen.
Nestled along the Interstate 30 corridor, TexAmericas Center services the Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas markets with its massive mixed-use location. TexAmericas Center is a State of Texas-sanctioned Local Redevelopment Authority, managing former military property as part of an effort to redevelop that land while boosting employment and economic opportunities for the region.
With easy interstate, rail, water and air access from the industrial park, the location truly offers rural pricing with urban benefits. Labor, utilities and taxes remain low in Texarkana, but the workforce is robust, and transportation is accessible. TexAmericas Center has a 500-mile reach of 53.8 million people, which is 10 million more than the 500-mile reach of Dallas.
That combination has proven to be a winning formula, as evidenced by TexAmericas Center’s growing footprint in the industrial development arena. Since May 2014, TexAmericas Center has increased its total leased square footage by more than 85 percent to more than 1 million square feet. Just last year, TexAmericas Center welcomed global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin to its array of tenants.
TexAmericas Center is currently the 8th ranked industrial park in the country, according to the Business Facilities Metro and Global Rankings Report. It is a designated US Opportunity Zone, HUBZone and Foreign Trade Zone. Current tenants include transportation equipment, oil and gas pipe, warehousing, construction and supplement manufacturing industries. TexAmericas Center also is equipped to serve a range of industries such as primary and fabricated metals, alternative energy, paper and wood products, chemicals, rubber products, defense, cement and heavy equipment.
Among the 12,000 acres and 3.5 million square feet of commercial and industrial product at TexAmericas Center are custom industrial real estate solutions, including purchase, lease, build-to-suit (purchase, lease and reverse), and retrofit or build-out-to-suit options. This summer, TexAmericas Center will open a new, 150,000-square-foot speculative building for new tenants. The first new building in the industrial park in 15 years, the facility is representative of the growth momentum ongoing in Texarkana. It is designed as a multi-tenant, mixed-use facility with 32-foot clear height ceilings, one dock door per 5,000 square feet and two drive-in doors. It can subdivide down to 13,000-square-foot units as needed. This new spec building is indeed the ideal location for companies looking for immediate occupancy, key required features and limited upfront investment costs.
And there’s opportunity for plenty more where that came from. Just this year, TexAmericas Center opened more than 6,800 acres of additional ground for development. The land represents a portion of the former Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant property, which required environmental remediation before development could move forward. Such work began in 2010, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently deemed it safe for redevelopment. This new, large tract of land —the size of 5,142 football fields—is big enough to accommodate the biggest projects in nearly any industry.
“This is a major milestone in the history of this organization and our region. It paves the way to advance opportunities that generate investments, create quality jobs and diversify the region’s tax base,” said Scott Norton, Executive Director/CEO, TexAmericas Center. “Removing this RCRA permit has been a long, but critical, process to ensure the availability of quality sites for our current and future tenants.”
That remediation, plus improved infrastructure efforts at TexAmericas Center, have totaled more than $40 million in recent years. It is an investment, however, that has been well worth it. Tenants now can enjoy enhanced fiberoptic lines, plans for a $200 million onsite water treatment plant, training options at seven area universities and colleges and a new airport terminal with pending flight expansions.
TexAmericas Center also features special services intended to help incoming companies, such as its new third party logistics program. In late 2020, TexAmericas Center brought in industry leader John Sesler to help companies with inventory management, warehousing and fulfillment needs. Third party logistics can be a game changer for companies whose warehousing and fulfillment challenges prevent them from experiencing growth.
By utilizing TexAmericas Center’s services, its tenants have been able to experience both increased business and profitability. Perhaps a key benefit is that third party logistics flex and wane to fit companies of all sizes. Small businesses can save time and money by offloading logistics to an expert. Meanwhile, large companies enjoy the quick turnaround and revenue boost they experience from a third-party provider.
There’s little doubt that TexAmericas Center and the Texarkana region’s features are attractive—and that they have built a time-tested recipe for business success. With the authority of a government agency but the flexibility of a private developer, TexAmericas Center has been in the business of helping companies succeed for more than 20 years.
For the companies already settled in Texarkana, and for those who have yet to arrive, TexAmericas Center is committed to setting the stage for bright homes and a solid future.
LUBBOCK BUSINESS PARK IS SHOVEL-READY
Since its inception, the Lubbock Business Park, a 586-acre tract of land, located just five minutes from Lubbock’s downtown, has experienced significant growth, occupancy and development. With ready real estate and 10 shovel-ready lots available for new construction, Lubbock boasts attractive and vibrant opportunities to companies looking to move or expand into the “Hub City”. To date, $25 million have been committed for public infrastructure at the Park.
Over the past year, major corporations like Amazon broke ground and began construction in the Park. With a completion date of fall 2021, the 278,000-square-foot, centrally located Amazon sorting facility will open for business, hiring over 200 full-time positions as well as up to 150 part-time employees. This facility will primarily be utilized as a location for sorting packages which will then be taken to the delivery station, which is located just minutes away.
Like the Amazon expansion, recent announcements have driven further economic growth, whether it is additional facilities to complement the existing developments, new companies looking to take part in the growth or Park upgrades including the construction of new roads and additional entrances.
Lubbock offers competitive amenities within the Business Park that are conducive for all industries. Feeding directly to Interstate 27, this allows delivery trucks immediate north/south access and quick accessibility to five major U.S. highways. Additionally, Lubbock’s central United States location is a notable benefit to seamlessly conduct commerce.
From its close proximity to the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport and BNSF Railway, to the ease of access onto a major interstate highway and the continued investments in infrastructure, companies find locating in the Lubbock Business Park is a benefit for future expansion.
At least, this is what Bandera Ventures believes. A commercial real estate developer based out of Dallas, TX, the team at Bandera saw great potential and an investment that couldn’t be beat in Lubbock, Texas. Named as a top 10 best city in the nation for high-projected economic growth potential, Bandera quickly recognized that Lubbock is primed to respond to the needs of growing businesses.
“As the hub of agriculture, manufacturing, retail, medical, technology and distribution in West Texas, Lubbock is well-equipped to meet the needs of businesses looking to relocate or expand,” said Pryor Blackwell, co-founder of the development company. “The city can welcome businesses in need of real estate, specifically research, manufacturing and distribution companies that are looking for move-in-ready buildings.”
In 2019, the developer partnered with the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) to open its first speculative building in the “Hub City”, the Lubbock Logistics Center (LLC). An advantageous location, the LLC is a 161,555-square-foot high-tech distribution warehouse and service center with 56 cross-dock configured trailer parking positions that clear a height of 32 feet located on the east end of the Business Park. By offering prospective companies the option of real estate that is move-in ready, Lubbock positioned itself to remain a competitive location.
Not long after the completion of the LLC, MTBC, Ltd., a local distributor of hair and beauty products, acquired the building.
“Lubbock provides the environment our company needs to remain competitive, and its location allows us to distribute to our customers easily,” said Preston Madden, president of MTBC, Ltd.
The positive feedback from both TBC Enterprises and the Lubbock business community warranted a second speculative building, and Bandera Ventures was eager to break ground. In November 2020, LEDA announced the Lubbock Logistic Center Building II (LLC II), a 201,913-square-foot high-tech speculative building that sits on 13.9 acres of land located on the south side of the Park. Similar to its sister building across the street, this building is cross dock configured but boasts 100 trailer parking positions with 56 dock doors that clear a height of 36 feet. Built to serve the needs of the occupant, the LLC II is available for lease.
By investing in ready-made property for future occupants, the LEDA team recognizes the significance of offering the resources needed for companies who are looking to bring their business to Lubbock. Currently, 12 businesses reside in the Park, including the international parts manufacturing headquarters for Lummus Corporation, the Texas Department of Public Safety regional headquarters, Bayer Crop Science, O’Reilly Auto Parts and a Verizon Wireless data center, among others.
With 1.6 million people within a 200-mile radius and close proximity to other major markets, including Dallas and Denver, Lubbock’s central location in the United States provides easy access across the region and country as well as to international markets. Just as the “Hub City” reflects a spectrum of industries from technology and healthcare to manufacturing and agriculture, the Lubbock Business Park is equipped to service companies of any industry.
QUONSET BUSINESS PARK: SMALL STATE, BIG IMPACT
Since its creation in 2005, Quonset Development Corporation has created an environment for businesses to succeed. Once home to a naval base, the park has been transformed into the leading engine of economic development in Rhode Island that supports over 200 companies and 12,200 jobs. The Park has been a leader in job creation and economic growth in the state, attracting over $2 billion in private investment. The Park is also home to 17 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island. So what is it about Quonset that creates a climate for success?
The remaining available land at Quonset can accommodate up to 3.6 million square feet of new construction, and it is easy to become Quonset’s newest company. Quonset’s “Site Readiness” program makes pre-permitted and pre-engineered parcels available that allow businesses to get shovels in the ground within 90 days of site control.
Quonset’s greatest strength has always been in the variety of facilities and world-class infrastructure available to companies. The industrial spaces have the capacity to support large, high-tech operations like Electric Boat and Toray Plastics, while the Commerce Park section accommodates some of the state’s most successful corporations like Ocean State Job Lot. Quonset’s state-of-the-art Flex Industrial Campus gives new and expanding companies room to grow in a move-in ready and affordable space, adaptable to the needs of their business. This includes flexible manufacturing, or warehouse space between 10,000 square feet and 40,000 square feet. These are equipped with office spaces, restroom facilities and high bay space for manufacturing, assembly or warehouse use, with ceilings up to 24 feet.
Quonset also offers modern, customizable, state-of-the-art office space for start-ups, small businesses and professional service companies in the Gateway Office Complex. With the four existing office buildings fully leased, the fifth building is now accepting new tenants. The Gateway Offices provide companies with affordable rates and the option of flexible shorter-term leases. Each facility includes wireless high-speed Internet, a shared kitchen and break areas (including an outdoor courtyard), a conference room, an abundance of natural light and multiple restrooms.
Quonset’s location in North Kingstown, Rhode Island places businesses in the heart of the Northeast, giving them broad access to the East Coast’s largest customer markets. Situated halfway between Boston and New York, companies can have a stake in both of the region’s densest population centers. The Business Park is also minutes from major highways such as I-95; manages the Port of Davisville, Rhode Island’s only public port; and is adjacent to Amtrak’s New England Connector.
Quonset’s location places companies at the heart of major shipping and travel routes in the region. The onsite Port of Davisville provides public access to a world-class port facility. Quonset also affords access to 14 miles of freight rail lines through the Park and both RI Rte. 4 and I-95 highways. With additional proximity to three airports—T.F. Green (RI), Logan International (MA) and Bradley International (CT)—and train routes like the MBTA and Amtrak, businesses and employees alike have the options they need to access new markets.
To attract the best talent, it’s essential to be a place where people want to work. The Park is home to an 18-hole golf course, four public beaches, a bike path, a daycare facility and a free express bus shuttle service that connects to Providence in partnership with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. The Gateway Plaza also includes shopping options like Dave’s Marketplace grocery store and Kohls. These amenities create an environment for success for employees and are a benefit to Quonset’s neighbors, as well.
Access to the Port of Davisville has made Quonset a magnet for clean energy development. The park has hosted the construction of some of the nation’s most ambitious wind energy projects, including the nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island. Quonset Business Park looks forward to serving as a hub for the growing industry. The Quonset Development Corporation’s offices are also run 100 percent on clean energy generated by solar power.
Quonset Business Park is the premium location for businesses of all sizes and stages of development. The top-notch facilities, centralized location and institutional support not only gives businesses at Quonset an edge in the competitive Northeastern markets but also the resources they need to grow.
MESQUITE, NV: A THRIVING HUB
Located 90 minutes north of Las Vegas you’ll find what at first appears to be the sleepy bedroom community of Mesquite, NV. Further research will expose an economically thriving hub of industrial, resort, recreational and small businesses expanding revenue streams, creating supply chain efficiencies while growing workforce excellence.
The Mesquite Economic Development team is uniquely positioned to assist with your site selection or expansion search. Though the region offers a population base of over 24,000, the Mesquite region boasts a stable workforce demographic, with more than 60 percent having a college or higher education, and 70 percent homeownership.
With a development-friendly city council and executives, Mesquite is poised with over 100 acres of shovel-ready land, incentives, low utility costs and effortless transportation infrastructure. The Mesquite Economic Development department is an advocate voice for all businesses. As such, it promotes an atmosphere that facilitates success, strengthening the economic vitality of the area and enhancing the quality of life in the community.
Mesquite City has a base population of 24,136 with a seasonal population growth of approximately 5,000 “snowbirds.” Mesquite is approximately 32 square miles with an elevation of 1,600 feet, located off of Interstate 15, halfway between Los Angeles (349 miles) and Salt Lake City (340 miles) on the Nevada/Arizona border.
Mesquite Economic Development works with the City of Mesquite to facilitate a local incentive package that includes a generous discount on the cost of properties for sale by the city. These discounts are based on capital investment, the number of employees and average wages. Through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the State of Nevada offers a variety of incentives to help qualifying companies making the decision to do business in the state, including sales tax abatements on capital equipment purchases, sales and use tax deferral on capital equipment purchases, abatements on personal and modified business taxes, real property tax abatements for recycling, assistance with the cost of intellectual property development and employee training grants.
With over 300 days of annual sunshine, the Mesquite region is really just an oasis paradise for business disguised as an active recreational lifestyle. With seven championship golf courses, three casino resorts, a handful of affordable and well-appointed hotels, 16 public parks, nearly 60 miles of all-terrain trails, and within hours of six state and national parks, the Mesquite region serves as a hub for sun-seekers, tourists and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
But, the growing Mesquite labor force is the main attraction for businesses looking to relocate or expand. That growth is not simply in the number of employees, but in the skills they possess. Businesses will find resources available within the Mesquite area labor market to propel them to the next level. Further, in partnerships with the educational institutions, programs are regularly being developed to ensure the workforce continues to match the needs of its businesses.
For businesses in key industries willing to make multi-year commitments to jobs and capital investments, Nevada offers an attractive package of incentives through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
The Mesquite area offers an incomparable lifestyle. Plain and simple, people want to live and work here. When asked, local employees often remark about the benefits of living and working so close to their recreation of choice and on the flip side, employers often comment that the productivity and work ethic of the workforce is a true asset to businesses in the area. The quality of lifestyle and the business climate in Mesquite is a true asset to its ever-growing workforce.
The Mesquite Economic Development team, led by Chief Executive Officer Cody Law, is positioned to assist corporate sight selectors to develop key economic, demographic and location information for customized decision making. Backed by decades of industry knowledge and detailed research, business creation and relocation become a true success.
Mesquite Economic Development was created to alleviate a lot of the background work and logistics that make up a huge portion of research and data gathering. Whether you are in the prerequisite research phase or ready for a tour, Mesquite Economic Development is here to help you navigate the Mesquite area and help you progress to the next level of site selection. Help comes with a variety of tasks from assessing local financing and tax incentives to determining the area’s specific makeup and infrastructures. Services include familiarization tours, in-market events, meetings with government agencies and representatives, facilitating one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders, and generating background data research. [This section was written by Randy Dodson.]
BARRE, VT: ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT ON CANADA’S DOORSTEP
Barre, Vermont is located in the second largest labor market in a state with a highly skilled workforce with the 5th most workers with a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. Barre is very welcoming to businesses big and small, new and established, with one of the most vibrant business climates in VT. This has led to over $110 million in capital investment into the Barre Area in the last 10 years. Smart business owners are realizing the tremendous value of doing business in Barre. The support network for businesses in Barre is also quite substantial. Organizations such as Barre Area Development and Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation partner with the State of Vermont, with the Vermont Economic Development Authority and commercial lenders, commercial real estate brokers and technical assistance providers to provide the necessary support to existing businesses and new ones, ensuring that their capital, facility, workforce and permitting needs are met.
Wilson Industrial Park (WIP) is a cooperative venture between Barre Area Development Inc. and the Town of Barre. They have worked together with the State of Vermont to provide exceptional, affordable industrial/commercial development sites in the Barre area of Central Vermont. New projects are easy to permit, and Barre Area Development, the Town of Barre and its partners are ready to provide development and financing assistance to potential new tenants to the Industrial Park. The location is wonderful for employees, with the Town Forest recreation trails and Recreation & Athletic Complex right in the neighborhood.
Wilson Industrial Park currently hosts 16 tenants on 155 acres with more than 300 employees, and there are 40 acres of developable land remaining for sale. All of the land and facilities in WIP are zoned Industrial and served curbside by municipal water, wastewater, 3 Phase Power and broadband. There is rail access in the Park and a master development permit is in hand. It is across the street from Barre Town Middle and Elementary School, the Town’s large athletic and outdoor recreation complex and one of many beautiful bike paths. Barre Town is also home to Barre Town Forest, a historic preserved parcel of land with trails, snowmobiling and more. Transportation to and from the Park is easy, as it is conveniently located near I-89, the Berlin Airport and there is future potential for a railroad off-loading site. Last, but not least, WIP is unique in that it offers lovely views of mountains, giving the Park the rare combination of industry and nature.
Wilson Industrial Park is home to Adams Granite, one of the oldest custom stone manufacturers in North America; Spruce Mountain Granites, renowned maker of granite memorials and markers; iDRY vacuum kilns, a manufacturer of state-of-the art lumber drying kilns; Vermont Creamery, an internationally known award winner and producer of artisan dairy products; Highland Sugarworks, a premier maple syrup products manufacturer and distributor; and New England Excess Exchange, a top independent insurance Wholesale Broker and Managing General Agency. Available sites include:
- 29 Pitman Road – Up to 30,000 square feet of space with large overhead doors and loading docks for manufacturing, fabrication, inventory and distribution, with 5,000 square feet of accompanying offices, conference and break rooms located within the facility. For more information contact [email protected]
- 81 Parker Road – 40,000 square feet of office and high bay Industrial space. For more information contact Kevin Lord at [email protected]
- 42 Parker Road – 5,000 feet under construction for lease. For more information contact [email protected]
Multiple incentives and resources are available to companies looking at Wilson Industrial Park, including:
- Municipal tax stabilization: the program stabilizes property taxes against increases in assessed value for up to 10 years on new developments and renovations.
- Research and Development Credit: If you take the federal R&D credit, you may qualify for a state R&D credit on eligible expenditures made in Vermont. The Vermont credit can be taken in an amount equal to 27 percent of the federal tax credit allowed in the taxable year. This credit applies to personal income tax or business or corporate income tax. Any unused credit available may be carried forward up to 10 years.
- Investment tax credit: The purpose of the tax credit is to encourage investment in rehabilitation, energy, qualifying advanced coal projects, qualifying gasification projects and qualifying advanced energy project credits. Your project must be eligible for and receive the federal tax credit to receive the Vermont tax credit.
- Credit Amount: 24 percent of investment tax credit attributable to the Vermont-property portion of the investment.
- Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC): Provides one-on-one support and services through field engineers to Vermont’s small and mid-sized (under 500 employees) manufacturers. VMEC’s goal is to assist Vermont manufacturers to increase productivity, modernize processes and improve competitiveness. Ongoing training opportunities designed specifically for manufacturers are also offered.
- Vermont Technology Alliance: A membership organization with a mission to represent and support the state’s growing number of technology companies that are creating high-skilled, high-paying jobs. Originally established as the Vermont Software Development Alliance, the organization offers networking opportunities and collaboration to help its members promote their products and services. They advocate on behalf of their members and help to organize collective marketing, increasing exposure to potential customers.