Liberty Development Partners has acquired Dayton, Tex.-based CMC (Coastal Materials Company) Railroad and Gulf Inland Logistics Park. Also, the Port of Long Beach (POLB), Calif., reported that second-quarter 2022 was its busiest on record, “boosted by increased consumer demand as retailers stock shelves for back-to-school shopping.”
Liberty Development Partners—comprising Connor Investment Real Estate and Logistics and Development Resources—has closed on the purchase of CMC Railroad and the 1,158-acre Gulf Inland Logistics Park near Houston. To expand park capacity, the company also acquired 200 acres of adjacent land.
Trez Capital provided a $66.5 million loan for the railroad and land acquisitions. Cushman & Wakefield is slated to lead marketing efforts and provide brokerage and advisory services for Gulf Inland Logistics Park, targeting logistics, transportation and manufacturing businesses. The park offers access to BNSF and Union Pacific as well as Grand Parkway and U.S. Highway 90. It is within 100 miles of five Texas ports: Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Galveston and Freeport.
CMC Railroad has worked closely with the city of Dayton and Liberty County to establish a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone for the site, according to Liberty Development Partners. The first phase of park improvements include creation of the Municipal Utility District No. 9, drainage upgrades and regional detention; and the expansion of Stilson Road to 41 feet wide with full concrete to accommodate heavy-haul trucks and to improve the park’s connection to Highway 90. Utilities, including water, sewer, and fiber, have already been connected to Gulf Inland Logistics Park through Stilson Road.
The next phase of development will include expanding rail storage capacity by up to 2,700 storage spaces through CMC Railroad, and widening and improving Rolke Road to the same standards as Stilson Road, providing Gulf Inland Logistics Park a second connection to US Highway 90, according to Liberty Development Partners.
“The goal is to create a world-class master-planned rail-served industrial and transportation park that benefits not only the city of Dayton and Liberty County, but also the entire region, by attracting global corporations that will bring investment and jobs,” said Marcus Goering, Principal of Logistics and Development Resources.
Dockworkers and terminal operators at the POLB moved 835,412 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in June, up 15.3% from the same month last year and surpassing by 11% the previous record set in June 2018 (752,188 TEUs). Imports grew 16.4% to 415,677 TEUs. Exports, however, experienced a 1.4% decrease to 115,303 TEUs. Empty containers moving through the Port increased 21.6% to 304,433 TEUs.
“The cargo influx arrived as pandemic-induced shutdowns were lifted in China, retailers stocked up on back-to-school supplies, and ongoing consumer demand continued to be robust despite inflation and the potential threat of an economic recession in 2023,” the POLB reported on July 13. “Consumer spending is anticipated to remain strong through the end of this year due to the healthy job market, but rising costs for food, gasoline, utilities and other goods are delivering a blow to consumer confidence.”
The Port moved 5,007,778 TEUs during the first half of the year, up 5.3% from the same period in 2021; and 2,547,119 TEUs from April 1 to June 30, up 3.5% from the previous record of 2,460,659 TEUs, set in first-quarter 2022.
“We are anticipating a robust summer season as consumer demand continues to drive cargo to our docks,” POLB Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “We expect to remain moderately busy in the coming months, and we will work to promptly process containers lingering at the Port.”