Monday , 6 July 2020
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Mexican Firm Locates at El Campo Industrial Park; Rail Line to Mexico is Key

Rendering of El Campo industrial building.

EL CAMPO, Texas – (Realty News Report) – Vitro Chemicals, a subsidiary of a Mexico-based glass manufacturer, will occupy a new warehouse in the 540-acre Southwest International Gateway Business Park, a new industrial development designed to accommodate cross-border trade.

The rail-served business park, which is “purpose-built for cross-border shippers” is located 60 miles southwest of Houston in El Campo, according to business park developer Stonemont Financial Group, an Atlanta-based  real estate investment firm specializing in industrial development.

The El Campo business park is designed for up to 8 million SF of industrial space. Houston brokers John Simons and Holden Rushing of NAI Partners are marketing the property, which has 1.4 miles of frontage on U.S. Highway 59, at County Road 421. At one time, Highway 59 was called the NAFTA Superhighway.

Rail service is provided by Kansas City Southern/ Kansas City Southern de Mexico. The KCS line connects to the Pacific Ocean seaport Port of Lazaro Cardenas, the largest port in Mexico.

Vitro Chemicals, a subsidiary of Vitro, one of the world’s largest glass manufacturers, chose the park for the cost savings it will realize over its current distribution channel. The company stores product in multiple warehouses in Laredo, Texas and then distributes by truck from there.

“We couldn’t be happier about having Vitro as our first tenant,” said Zack Markwell, CEO and Managing Principal of Stonemont. “Vitro took the time to understand the park’s value proposition to cross-border shippers like themselves, and their lease commitment is a fantastic validation that the new “mousetrap” we’ve created is indeed better.”

John Simons, NAI Partners

The value proposition centers around tenants’ direct access to the Kansas City Southern Railway main line that fronts the park. The KCS rail network spans from the Pacific coast of Mexico to Illinois, and KCS’s Mexico-based affiliate controls a large portion of the rail traffic in the eastern half of Mexico. By connecting the development to the KCS rail line, Mexico-based manufacturers can use KCS for shipping from their factories in Mexico all the way to the park, whereas they currently largely depart the KCS line in Laredo, Texas, approximately 250 miles further from their distribution markets than El Campo. Tenants will also benefit from customs pre-clearance that enables users to bypass rail and highway back-ups at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing, as well as avoid a backlog of truck and rail traffic at existing regional parks and ports closer to the congested Houston metro area.

“To deliver product to the major Texas markets, many of the Mexico-based manufacturers currently switch to another railway in Laredo, pass through San Antonio and then deal with the rail and truck congestion of Houston,” said Markwell.

Ridgeline Property Group, an Atlanta-based commercial real estate development and investment firm, is partnering with Stonemont on development of the park. Watco Companies, one of the leading short line railroads in the country, will operate the short line railroad connecting the buildings to the KCS main line.

In addition to the Vitro facility, a 200,000 spec warehouse will be built soon.

Other key features of the master-planned multi-modal distribution park include:

  • Staging area for more than 200 rail cars

  • Foreign Trade Zone and additional local and state economic incentives

  • Six Texas ports within 250 miles (Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Freeport, Galveston, Houston, and Port Arthur)

  • On-site centralized transload station for items crossing the U.S./Mexico border

  • KCS Certification

  • The ability to deliver build-to-suits within 12 months of executed lease

  • Fully entitled, development ready, rail-served sites available for lease, build-to-suit, and design-build projects.

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