Industrial projects emerge on growing U.S. 290 corridor

Developers have lined up land for two significant industrial projects along the U.S. 290 corridor in far northwest Houston.

Houston-based Hines purchased 78 acres in Beacon Hill along U.S. 290 in Waller, for a build-to-suit industrial development. The deal marks the first industrial sale in the master planned community which is a 564-acre development of Wolff Cos. Beacon Hill consists of a business park along U.S. 290 and a residential development on the northern 270 acres near Owens Road.

A few miles closer in, Avera, a Houston-based real estate development, construction and investment company, announced the acquisition of 68 acres at the northeast corner of U.S. 290 and Kermier Road for the development of 290 Grand Logistics. The build-to-suit project, located near the expansive campus of air conditioning manufacturer Daikin, is planned to contain up to 1.3 million square feet. Avera is marketing the site to national tenants and targets completion in the first quarter 2023.

David Wolff, president of Wolff Cos., said the completion of the reconstruction of U.S. 290 puts his Beacon Hill development in the path of growth where new residential communities, such as Dunham Pointe, are opening and businesses are expanding. Since buying former farm land for the development in 2018, Wolff Cos. has created a business park with development-ready sites to meet demand.

“The reconstruction of U.S. 290, which took about 10 years to complete, held back what would have been the natural growth in that area,” Wolff said. “Now, the growth is coming to fruition.”

The Hines site, located west of Beacon Hill Boulevard along U.S. 290 about 45 miles northwest of downtown Houston, can accommodate up to 1.3 million square feet of distribution, manufacturing or logistics space. Utilities, drainage and streets are in place so development could begin whenever Hines is ready.

“We are currently marketing the site as a build-to-suit site so the groundbreaking date is contingent on future tenant needs,” said Laura Denkler, managing director at Hines.

NAI Partners is marketing the project to potential tenants for Hines. John Simons, Gray Gilbert and Chris Haro of NAI Partners represented Wolff Cos. in the land sale.

Wolff Cos. is developing the business park with sites that could accommodate industrial, office, retail, multifamily and hospitality uses. Similar to Wolff’s developments along Interstate 10 in the Energy Corridor and other areas of Houston over the last 50 years, the park is designed in a way that various types of buildings are compatible.

Beacon Hill’s residential portion opened last year. Long Lake is developing the community planned for 870 homes, with prices starting in the mid $200,000s.

Bringing jobs to Baytown

Reich Brothers, a privately owned industrial real estate investment group based in White Plains, N.Y. and Los Angeles, has reentered the Houston market with the acquisition of the former DHL Intermodal Campus in Baytown.

The campus, located near FM 1405 and the Grand Parkway, consists of more than 1.2 million square feet across four buildings on 67 acres within Cedar Port Industrial Park. The property is served by both the BNSF and Union Pacific rail lines and an on-site barge dock.

The plan is to “bring the site back to life, bring new tenants in and ultimately bring more jobs back to Baytown,” said Matt Reich, vice president of acquisitions for Reich Brothers. The property was vacated by global shipping and logistics company DHL last summer.

The deal comes as the pandemic has spurred a surge in demand for industrial space as companies increase their delivery and logistics operations. Tenants occupied 30.5 million square feet more industrial space in the Houston region last year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Reich Brothers, which buys underused assets such as vacant properties or buildings that need to be redeveloped, aims to double its existing portfolio of 17 million square feet over the next 12 to 18 months.

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