HOUSTON – Cedar Crossing, a 10,897-acre industrial park near Baytown, has been sold to TGS Cedar Port Partners in one of the largest land sales in Houston’s history.
Cedar Crossing is considered the fifth largest industrial park in the world and it is equal to three-fourths that of New York’s Manhattan Island, according to the Cushman & Wakefield realty firm, which represented the seller.
The site was formerly the location of U.S. Steel’s Texas Works factory and the steel company land that surrounded it.
The buyer is an affiliate of Texas-based Trans-Global Solutions, a railroad and logistics firm. Cedar Crossing offers dual rail service (Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF) with considerable rail infrastructure – 57 miles of rail within the park, with existing storage for over 2,000 railcars.
TGS Cedar Port Partners were advised by Evercore Partners, Inc., Craig Cavalier Attorney At Law and BoyarMiller led by Bill Boyar and Cassie Stinson. NAI of Houston provided TGS assistance on real estate due diligence.
Cedar Crossing also has water access for barges and docking facilities. It is not far from the Port of Houston, Bayport and Barbour’s Cut, which are major shipping outlets. The site is a few miles from the Exxon Mobil Baytown Refinery, which is the largest refinery in America.
TGS will have approximately 1,500 plastic pellet railcars committed to the facility. The many chemical plants on the Gulf Coast produce plastic pellets which are shipped around the world for manufacturing consumer products and other plastic goods.
TGS said it will to expand the industrial park’s rail capacity to 3,000 railcars by 2018 to accommodate increasing petrochemical and refining demand.
Prior to the acquisition, Trans-Global Solutions (TGS) executed a ten year extension of a railcar storage agreement with Union Pacific Railroad that originally dates back to the 1990s. Trans-Global Solutions will continue to operate the railroad and assume operations and development of the industrial park.
“TGS has been an integral part of Cedar Crossing Industrial Park since Dick Scott negotiated a twenty year railroad lease with USX in 1999,” said Bill Scott, Chairman and CEO of TGS. “After fifteen years and two unsuccessful purchase attempts, we are pleased to complete this transaction. TGS and our partners look forward to unlocking the potential of this exceptional dual rail served real estate asset.”
TGS Cedar Port Partners is controlled by William F. (Bill) Scott and Richard R (Dick) Scott. Bill’s sons, Will and James Scott will manage operation and development of the railroad and park. IBC Bank provided financing for the project.
TGS is a port/industrial developer and transportation services provider. The company owns and/or operates ports and terminals in refineries, chemical plants, industrial parks, and crude by rail facilities in North America. TGS Development and Valero Terminal & Distribution Co. are currently completing construction of a Suez Max deep water crude receiving terminal, P.I. Dock Facilities, LLC. The jointly owned crude terminal is located in Port Arthur, TX.
The Cushman & Wakefield team of Kelley Parker, John Littman, Coe Parker and Tim Thomas handled the marketing and sale of the site. About 25 years ago, Kelley Parker handled the sale of the property when it being marketed by USX Realty and Kelley gave me a tour of the site at that time.
“This significant transaction is a convincing testament to the Park’s capabilities and infrastructural importance and a ringing endorsement of the Baytown/Chambers County area as an economic powerhouse,” said Kelley Parker. “It’s amazing to have witnessed firsthand the growth of the Park, in 24 years, from simple pastureland to what it is today.”
The property was sold in 1990 to a group led by Charles Iupe, who has developed the project over the years and landed some major firms.
With a total expanse of 15,000 acres, Cedar Crossing Industrial Park is considered the largest industrial park on the Gulf Coast. The Park is located 20 miles east of Houston in Chambers County is appropriate for light or heavy industrial, manufacturing of all types, waterfront operations and warehouse/distribution facilities. Approximately 65% of the park remains undeveloped and is available for future expansion.
“This transaction comes at a time when low natural gas prices are driving manufacturing expansions and relocations across the U.S.,” said John Morris, C&W’s Industrial Services Lead for the Americas. “We see trade between South America, Asia and the U.S. poised for dynamic growth due to the completion of the Panama Canal expansion in 2015.”
To date, Cedar Crossing has attracted many top-tier companies with significant operations: Home Depot’s 755,000-square-foot distribution hub, Walmart’s 4.2 million-square-foot import center (their largest in the U.S.), JSW Steel’s plate and pipe manufacturing facilities, and Borusan Mannesmann’s $148 million steel pipe manufacturing facility. Other occupants include Exel, S&B Engineers, National Oilwell, GE Water, TMK-IPSCO, Century Asphalt, Samson Controls, and LS Energy Fabrication.
Also included in the transaction, was a 312,000-square-foot on-site warehouse that TGS acquired from Iupe’s organization.
The industrial park has benefitted from the construction of the Fred Hartman Bridge, the completion of the Grand Parkway, and a $50 million investment of public funds by the Chambers County Improvement District I for infrastructure improvements including the Public Barge Dock and its recent expansion.