By Roneshia Thomas
From the March/April 2023 Issue
For companies with operations that would be most efficient in a business or industrial park, there are many choices across markets. The textbook definition of an industrial park is “an area of a town or city that is designed especially for factories or offices.” Meanwhile, the more office-centric business parks look very different from those built in the 1980s and early 1990s. For both of these settings, the trend is increasing densities, improving space utilization, and adding new uses and amenities.
There is a move for locations and developers to create business and industrial parks that will meet the various needs of companies that are looking to expand or relocate to a particular area of the country. As business decision-makers seek leading logistics, space amenities, and more there are a growing number of properties with a variety of choices for companies.
TexAmericas Center Offers A Business-Friendly Environment
Since 1998, TexAmericas Center has dedicated itself to helping businesses succeed. A winning combination of logistics, transportation, and workforce amenities has put TexAmericas Center on the map. Innovation, leadership, and solution-driven service are keeping it there.
Real Estate. TexAmericas Center knows what businesses need to succeed—and they are quick to make that happen. The organization has 3.5 million square feet of existing space and has invested more than $40 million in its property, giving tenants top-of-the-line features.
In 2022, the organization sold its first-of-its-kind speculative building, which was designed to be flexible across a variety of industries, and scalable to meet a host of needs. The organization now focuses on build-to-suit solutions that deliver state-of-the-art facilities on time and on budget. Speed to market and speed to profit are priorities TexAmericas Center ensures for new tenants.
The organization also qualifies sites so prospective tenants know what kind of development specific land is suited for. The several hundred acres of certified property once again saves time and money throughout the expansion process.
Logistics And Infrastructure. TexAmericas Center has a growing third-party logistics service line, TAC 3PL, for the advantage of its tenants.
Companies at TexAmericas Center have the option of offloading logistical troubles so they can better focus on company growth and business success. Whether it’s a small company that enjoys the benefit of an industry expert or a large operation boosting efficiency to maximize profitability, third-party logistics are intended to grow and shrink with business demands.
Additionally, Texarkana’s growing transportation corridor includes an interstate loop made up of I-30, I-49, and I-369 that provides improved access to Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Beyond the region, that highway system links Gulf of Mexico ports to markets in the Midwest, Eastern seaboard, and north into Canada.
The region provides abundant rail, with seven rail lines running through Texarkana and 38 miles located on-site for tenants. The recent acquisition of Lone Star Railcar Storage Co. allows TexAmericas Center to provide railcar storage and movement services.
Reliable infrastructure is a priority for the organization. Tenants take advantage of an enhanced fiber optics line, plans for an on-site $200 million water treatment plant, and have access to a reliable energy grid through the Southwest Power Pool, not ERCOT. TexAmericas Center offers low-cost, quality power to its tenants.
Labor. There are clear reasons why companies find TexAmericas Center appealing. Texarkana employers draw from a labor shed of more than 1.1 million residents, because existing employment centers, to the west, north, and east, are over 160 miles away. Nearly 25% of the area’s workforce is made up of commuters, coming from four states, who travel between 50 and 75 miles one way to work. Many have been trained at any one of 23 colleges, universities, or vocational schools within driving distance of the industrial park.
Visit TexAmericasCenter.com for more information.
Kilgore, TX: Idyllic Setting For Thriving Commerce
They built it, and the companies came—Kilgore’s Synergy Park was developed through years of careful cultivation, and it’s poised for still more growth as new companies discover the opportunity to set up shop in this thriving corner of East Texas.
It’s hard to beat a spot like Synergy Park, says Lisa Denton, Executive Director of Kilgore Economic Development Corporation (KEDC), a firsthand witness to the growth of the operation’s flagship property.
All it takes is a site visit to effectively seal the deal for many prospects.
“They want to be in a park of this level,” Denton said. “There’s not another spot like Synergy Park, for sure in this region, and there’s not many in Texas that can match what we have.
When we pitch to CEOs and site consultants, we’re always emphasizing our product, our people, and our property.”
At 672 acres, the Class A, campus-style business park is located just two miles from Interstate 20 and nationwide access for efficient distribution. With the central location and proximity to major markets, companies based in Synergy Park can reach more than 20 million people within 250 miles. Likewise, the park is situated nine miles from East Texas Regional Airport and regional jet service through American Airlines to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.
The park’s most visible amenities include a 10-acre lake surrounded by lush trees and nature trails. That curb appeal draws the best and brightest of the surrounding workforce—according to Denton, Kilgore’s proximity to neighboring MSAs makes attracting talent easy with more than 317,000 workers in the labor shed. Workers putting down their first roots in the area find the best of both worlds with easy commutes between micropolitan cities and rural living.
For Freedom Communication Technologies, “The CEO of that company wanted that base in Synergy Park specifically for the amenities it offered because it would attract the engineers he wanted,” Denton said. Employees have a vibrant natural environment to escape to for a breather, for lunch, for a walk to reenergize themselves while, around them, commerce flourishes. “That is so attractive to a higher-skilled workforce that it’s attractive to the companies that need those employees.”
The park’s mindful restrictions feed back into its quality, maintaining the property and protecting tenants’ investment long-term.
“Each one of the companies, when they locate on a lot within the park, becomes a member of the Synergy Park property owners’ association so they have ownership in it and the ability to steer it and maintain it on the level they want and need it to be,” explains Denton.
KEDC’s virtual building program has crafted two pre-designed facilities to help prospects easily visualize how they’ll get products to customers faster. Either option enables a company to build according to its own efficiencies while reducing construction time.
“We’ve done that twice and well,” Denton said. Streamlining even more through pre-permitting with the City of Kilgore, “It saves companies at least 3-4 months in their process to get under construction and completed so they can start operating in Synergy Park.”
Visit kilgore-edc.com for more information.
Alabama Boosting Logistics In Mobile County
Alabama sits at the heart of the fastest-growing region in the United States, and Mobile has unmatched logistical and geographic advantages to keep business moving. Major rail, air, and highway transportation systems converge along the Mobile River at the Port of Mobile, connecting Mobile businesses with the nation and the world. With no inventory tax, Mobile’s location and infrastructure network make it a clear choice for some of the nation’s top manufacturing and distribution operations.
The South Alabama Logistics Park is a 1,300-acre master-planned, curb and gutter industrial park located along Interstate 10. With more than six million square feet of warehouse space planned for Phase One of the development, the South Alabama Logistics Park has the space and location businesses need to strengthen their supply chains. New York-based, first-aid kit manufacturer DC Safety relocated its operations and became one of the first tenants at the park, followed by the expansion and relocation of Averitt Express, a third-party logistics provider that has called Mobile home since the 1980s.
In 2017, following the announcement of Walmart’s 2.5 million-square-foot Import Distribution Center, Amazon built a sortation center located at Port City Commerce Park, a Class A industrial park also home to FedEx Ground. A 65-acre parcel remains at the park for development, with access to Interstate 10 and a 12-mile commute to the Port of Mobile.
Just minutes from Interstate 10 is a 500-acre industrial park with direct access to CSX rail and the ability to handle manufacturing or distribution operations. Plans for this park include more than four million square feet of space at full build-out.
In 2025, the Port of Mobile will complete its deepening and widening project making it the deepest Port on the Gulf Coast at 50’ draft, with a wider channel to accommodate two-way vessel traffic and some of the largest ships in the world. APM Terminals continues to set records as the fastest-growing container terminal in the country and is making continued investments in rail and dock infrastructure, all while doubling its terminal capacity for future growth to be more than one million TEUs once the deepening and widening project is complete.
Mobile is positioned for continued growth and is ready to accommodate companies looking to locate in the area. With five Class I railroads all converging at the Port of Mobile, an intermodal container transfer facility which will soon provide on dock rail service, two interstate systems, and 15,000 miles of inland waterways, Mobile remains the preferred logistics corridor on the Gulf Coast.
Visit MobileChamber.com for more information.
Fulton County, NY Offers Build-To-Suit Sites
The last large-scale site available for development—with 1.3 million square feet available—is located in Fulton County, New York.
“There is not another site in New York or New England at this point that is available that can offer a building of that scale,” said James Panczykowski, Senior Managing Director with JLL, a commercial real estate services company. “That is incredibly unique to that project.”
Panczykowski is referring to the Tryon Technology Park, a property that the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the county have worked on for the past several years preparing for development. Not only is there room for a 1.3 million-square-foot building, but also two to three others.
When then-Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to close a host of juvenile facilities across the state in 2011—including the Tryon Residential Center—it turned out to be a bounty for Fulton County. The IDA acquired the over-500-acre site at no charge, and in partnership with Fulton County, has made substantial upgrades to the site. They built a new access road that runs around the park and demolished several existing buildings. They upgraded the electrical system to provide three-phase power and multiple points of connection and reconfigured the sewer system, installing new pumps. They also constructed a new water pumping station and installed a 300,000-gallon elevated water tank. Already existing was a six-inch, high-pressure gas transmission main.
“The site has all the infrastructure necessary for projects,” said Jim Mraz, IDA’s Executive Director.
Cannabis products manufacturer Vireo Health, Inc. built its facilities at Tryon in 2015 and recently expanded its facility by 300,000 square feet. The company finds Tryon Technology Park a good place to operate its expanding New York operations.
Concord, MA.-based real estate development and investment firm Winstanley Enterprises, Inc. became aware of the site when it worked on a property in a neighboring county. Now, with a purchase of sale agreement in place for the remaining 239 acres, Winstanley is preparing to transform the former juvenile detention center into a thriving industrial park with three to four build-to-suit facilities. “It is definitely ready for redevelopment,” said Winstanley Asset Manager Linda Costanzo.
Now, in addition to the 1.3 million-square-foot building, Winstanley intends to construct two to three other buildings of 500,000, 350,000, and possibly 150,000 square feet, all with ample loading docks and trailer and car parking. For example, the proposed facility has parking spaces for 685 trailers and 261 cars, in addition to 274 loading docks.
“All of these sites could be distribution or manufacturing,” Panczykowski said. “That’s the benefit and attractiveness of the build-to-suit option. There is a whole host of industrial operators that can fit under the Tryon umbrella here.”
Tryon’s close proximity to the New York State Thruway provides easy, quick access to numerous northeast and mid-Atlantic metropolitan areas, airports, and ports.
In addition, Panczykowski points out that Fulton County also offers a large pool of reliable labor and a business-friendly community. “These are big-ticket items to buyers and really appealing to Winstanley and ultimately the end users,” he said, noting that there is “unprecedented demand” for what Tryon can offer across the industrial markets.
Visit www.tryontechnologypark.com for more information.
New Industrial Site Opportunities in the Bay of Quinte, Ontario, Canada
Located between Toronto and Montreal and just an hour from the U.S. border, the Bay of Quinte region has established itself as a prime destination for advanced manufacturing, food processing, and logistics projects. The region has prioritized industrial investment with the regional economic development organization and its three communities working in step to attract investment in the sector. The Quinte Economic Development Commission represents the cities of Belleville, Quinte West, and the Municipality of Brighton. All three are located along Canada’s most active transportation route Highway 401, separated by only a 15-minute drive. It is one regional economy with a shared workforce. Quinte Economic Development’s mandate is prioritized in the industrial and technology sectors providing one-stop concierge investment services to clients considering the region.
Recent Investment Wins Open Up New Industrial Lands. The region is already home to major industrial players like Magna, Kellogg, Procter & Gamble, Lactalis, Pepsico-Quaker, and more. The continued and growing interest meant developing new industrial sites is a top regional priority.
The City of Belleville’s most recent 110-acre sale has opened up an opportunity for the development of an adjacent 400-acre site. These new lands are located in the city’s Northeast Industrial Park which is home to a diverse cross-section of the industry. The site has also received approval from the Ontario Government for an additional interchange on Highway 401, providing even faster access to transportation routes. Along with the most recent 110-acre site sold to a large industrial user, other recent investments include German plastics manufacturer Schütz and expansions to the Procter & Gamble and Kellogg’s facilities. This industrial park is also located approximately 40 minutes from the recently announced Umicore $1.5 billion investment providing an opportunity for companies in the supply chain to take advantage of the proximity to this mammoth EV battery materials plant.
Life Sciences Manufacturing Facility Now Available. Also located in the City of Belleville is a unique investment opportunity in the Life Sciences sector. Just listed for sale in February, this manufacturing facility with vaccine production capabilities provides opportunities not only in pharmaceutical categories but also in functional foods, ingredients, and nutraceuticals. Synergies with local post-secondary institutions are attractive through research and development opportunities and accessible labor through health sciences graduates from local Loyalist College and nearby Queen’s University.
Additional Greenfield Opportunities and Tax Incentive Programs. Also answering the call for new industrial sites is the City of Quinte West which has just brought on a new 52-acre industrial park. With only 12 acres remaining in their busy North Murray Industrial Park, one of the first Certified Sites by the Province of Ontario, the new lands in the Carrying Place industrial park provide customizable lot sizes, centralized stormwater management, and no industrial development charges. Quinte West has also implemented an Industrial Community Improvement Plan meaning they can offer tax incentives for projects investing in their parks.
Increasing Interest in the Bay of Quinte. “The recent investments in the region have added to the rich history of manufacturing in the Bay of Quinte. With the prioritizing of the sector and new industrial lands coming available the interest in the area will only continue to grow,” said Chris King, CEO, Quinte Economic Development Commission.
The Quinte Economic Development’s experienced investment team offers a customized site selection approach with support at every stage of a client’s project.
Visit www.quintedevelopment.com for more information. ♦