TAC Duke East Site Development-Ready

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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TexAmericas Center – Texarkana MSA – Hooks, Tex.

TexAmericas Center’s (TAC) rail-served Duke East Site is “shovel-ready and well-suited for mid-to-large scale industrial development,” the company announced on Jan. 23.

Located on the Texas side of the Texarkana metropolitan region where seven rail lines converge, TAC is host to an on-site rail yard and has an internal rail network TAC Rail, consisting of more than 30 miles of rail running through its properties. TAC Rail services include transload as well as rail car storage and movement.

The 22-acre Duke East Site (download details below) is a Union Pacific-served greenfield development situated on the TexAmericas Center East Campus (TAC East). Located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Cass Street and the east end of Elm Circle, both of which are 80,000-pound truck routes, it’s adjacent to a rail spur and served by utilities equipped with industrial capacities. A portion of the TAC Rail system runs along the north boundary, which can provide rail access for prospective tenants. Additional switches and spurs can be added along this line, if needed, for rail-served activities.

The Duke East Site site was previously a wooded buffer area separating a former industrial tract from adjacent roadways and other land uses on the former U.S. Army facility. The site can accommodate a rail-served 250,000 to 350,000 square-foot building with hundreds of employees.

TAC on Nov. 28 reported that its 250-acre UP-served industrial park in Hooks, Tex., is “shovel-ready.” On Jan. 16, TAC received a $1.5 million portion of $15.4 million in grant funding for infrastructure projects in military communities from the Texas Military Preparedness Commission’s (TMPC) Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG) program. The new Brazos Site, like the Duke East Site, is on the TAC East Campus, which is two hours east of Dallas and two hours southwest of Little Rock, Ark.

TAC in 2023 launched its Qualified Sites Program (QSP, download below), which the company said “is intended to improve on our brand promise of Speed-to-Market and Speed-to-Profit for companies interested in locating on our 12,000-acre industrial park in Northeast Texas. We intend to prequalify all our property through this standardized process to ensure the sites can meet the requirements of industry. We already offer tools such as expedited permitting and fast-track construction programs. Working with a qualified site that is shovel-ready can shave months off of development schedule. The timesavings is a valuable commodity.”

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 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.

QSP, TAC said, “become an important part of the site selection process, and because we are self-certifying our sites, we’re calling its product a “qualified” site,” meaning we 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 broader goals 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.”

TAC Executive Vice President/Chief Operations Officer Jeff Whitten, P.E. is responsible for day-to-day operations, property maintenance and procurement and management of all real and personal property. He is also involved with planning and management of existing building retrofits and development of new facilities for the purpose of transaction or lease for job creation. Having worked with an engineering firm in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, been a municipal public works director, and operated his own engineering firm, Whitten brings nearly 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors.

“The Duke East Site is an ideal location for industrial development for companies that require a mid- to large sized rail-served site as part of their logistical needs,” said TAC CEO Scott Norton. “Additionally, the site provides suitable soil for all sizes of construction as well as easy access to multiple utilities and transportation options, including Union Pacific and major interstates.”

“Our due diligence in providing everything prospective tenants, commercial real estate agents and site search consultants are looking for when researching a site is not only cost effective but also saves valuable time in the long run,” said TAC Executive Vice President and Chief Economic Development Office Eric Voyles. “This gives companies the necessary information to more-easily be able to make an informed decision so operations can be up and running more quickly, which can lead to greater profitability.”

Texarkana rail network. OpenRailwayMap.org

TAC owns and operates one of the largest mixed-use industrial parks in the U.S. With roughly 12,000 development-ready acres of land and approximately 3.5 million square feet of commercial and industrial product, TAC services four states—Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. It is a designated U.S. Opportunity Zone, New Market Tax Credit Census Tract, Foreign Trade Zone #258, and a Texas Enterprise Zone. TAC also offers 3PL (third-party logistics) services to assist companies with inventory management, warehousing and fulfillment needs. The organization recently completed construction on a 150,000-square-foot, state-of the-art speculative building “and has the capability to lease, build-to-suit, or facilitate greenfield owner-constructed projects in a timely efficient manner,” the company noted. “Tenants appreciate an impressive transportation corridor that uses multiple state highways, interstates, air freight, and rail lines to disperse from a central U.S. location. We have the operating capabilities of a municipality but function like a traditional real estate development company, offering customized real estate solutions.”

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