TexAmericas Center (TAC) on Feb. 7 announced that its rail-served Alamo Site has been qualified as “shovel-ready.”
The 67-acre greenfield development site (download details below), which is situated on TAC’s East Campus, is located at the west side of Cass Street at the intersection of Oak and Cass streets, adjacent to a rail spur. This industrial portion of the site requires the extension of all utilities and road improvements, a distance of about 0.25 miles from the existing right-of-way on Cass Avenue. All utilities have excess industrial capacities. The commercial mixed-use portion of the site, TAC says, is “prepared to be certified and is well-suited for industrial development.”
Previously, this property was a wooded buffer area separating a former industrial tract from adjacent roadways and other land uses on the former U.S. Army facility. It can accommodate an up to a 750,000-square-foot building with hundreds of employees while the commercial area can accommodate more 200,000 square feet of flex product.
A rail siding currently runs along the north and west boundary of the Alamo Site, which connects with a 350-railcar classification yard and provides the ability to receive or deliver unit trains to the Union Pacific (UP) line that serves the site. Additional switches can be added, if needed, for rail-served activities within the site. The north and south rail lines could be connected to form a loop tack.
“The Alamo Site provides not only convenient rail access, spotting and storage for companies that need it, but also easy access to multiple utilities and logistics options—both UP rail and major interstates —as well as suitable soil for construction with the capacity to accommodate larger industrial development projects,” said TexAmericas CEO Scott Norton.
Last year, TAC launched its Qualified Sites Program (QSP) that is intended to “improve on its brand promise of Speed-to-Market and Speed-to-Profit” for companies interested in locating on its 12,000-acre industrial park in Northeast Texas. TAC says it intends to pre-qualify all of its property through this standardized process to “ensure the sites can meet the requirements of industry.” The organization already offers tools, such as expedited permitting and fast-track construction programs. “Working with a qualified site that is ‘shovel-ready’ can shave months off of a development schedule; the time-savings is a valuable commodity,” TAC said.
Through the QSP, an on-staff Professional Engineer (PE) and economic development professional, each with exceptional knowledge of company needs, grades a specific site for how well suited it is for industrial or commercial development based upon various site selection characteristics. Those characteristics, TAC says, include proximity to transportation infrastructure; access to utilities including electrical, natural gas, fiber, water and sewer; soil testing for condition and characteristics; title oversight; and other site selection due diligence standards.
“We aim to make the site selection process as smooth as possible, and TAC’s Qualified Sites Program is becoming an integral part of providing prospective tenants with the necessary information to make an informed decision,” said TAC Executive Vice President and Chief Economic Development Officer Eric Voyles. “Through this program, our team provides all of the information prospective tenants, commercial real estate agents and site search consultants need when looking for their ideal site—all free of charge.”
Certified Sites have become an important part of the site selection process, and because TAC is self-certifying its sites the organization is calling its product a “qualified” site,” meaning that they have assembled all the information on the site, and it is capable of being certified.
The QSP serves as an “honest, realistic assessment of the developability, quality, and type of shovel-ready sites available today at TAC,” the organization said. The broader goals, TAC adds, “are to create a high standard for the inventory of available sites, filling an identified market gap, in the greater Texarkana industrial and commercial marketplace.”
The program is spearheaded by TAC Executive Vice President/Chief Operations Officer Jeff Whitten, P.E. at TAC. Whitten is responsible for day-to-day operations, property maintenance, and procurement and management of all real and personal property. He is also heavily involved with the planning and management of the retrofit of existing buildings and development of new facilities for the purpose of transaction or lease for job creation.
Whitten brings nearly 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, having worked with a growing engineering firm in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, served as a municipal public works director, and operated his own engineering firm.