Developer behind new Walmart fulfillment center plans next big project in Houston area


The developer behind a new local Walmart distribution center is planning its next big project in one of Houston’s hottest neighborhoods for industrial real estate.

Dallas-based Hunt Southwest unveiled plans Thursday for a new 1 million square foot distribution center in the Brookshire area west of Katy and north of Fulshear.

Called I-10 West Trade Center, the project is planned south of Interstate 10 at 31270 Kingsland Boulevard. The site is just north of a major distribution center for Ross Inc. and south of major facilities for Rooms-to-Go. Directly on I-10 are large distribution centers for Igloo, Amazon, Goya and Medline.

“We really like the West Side because of the growing population, job growth, and housing growth in that area and the ability to service Texas regionally from that location. You can get to Houston, but also to San Antonio and Austin easily. It’s just a great regional or local distribution point,” Preston Herold of Hunt Southwest said in an interview.

Contractors are expected to begin construction on the new project later this month and finish in early 2023.

Designed by architectural firm Powers Brown, the new 1.05 million square foot transshipment facility will feature 40 feet of headroom, an ESFR sprinkler system, LED lighting with motion sensors and skylights. The site offers great truck accessibility, including dedicated truck lanes, 206 dock-height gates, four overhead gates with ramps, 190-foot-deep truck lots and parking for 330 trucks and 354 cars.

RELATED: Walmart is planning a large distribution center in southeast Houston

Hunt Southwest purchased the 68-acre site in the summer of 2021 from the Louis A. Tsakiris family partnership, Herold said.

The developer is seeking a single-tenant lease for the project, but Herold said the project is flexible enough to split into multiple smaller parts or even house light manufacturing uses.

CBRE’s Jason Dillee and Nathan Wynne are leasing the speculative I-10 West Trade Center, which has yet to find tenants.

But Herold said he’s confident in the demand for industrial space in the western corridor of Houston I-10, where distribution tenants can easily access Katy’s growing population center.

“We feel like [best]two submarkets in Houston for large distribution centers are the far west submarket [near Katy/Brookshire]and the Southeast Port submarket,” Herold said, referring to the market near the Port of Houston in TGS’s Port of Cedar Industrial Park. This is where Walmart recently leased a 1 million square foot facility built by Hunt Southwest.

“Obviously we’ve had a successful development with Cedar Port and couldn’t ask for anything better in terms of a tenant than we could get with a long-term lease for an entire building,” Herold said.

RELATED: Stream expands industrial project in Brookshire

Herold confirmed Walmart’s lease started early this year and the retailer is expected to handle its own construction.
The Houston Chronicle broke news of the project in late January, but at the time Herold could not confirm the deal, which is likely to be one of the largest industrial leases in Houston in recent months.

Elsewhere on the metro in Humble, Hunt Southwest also recently completed construction of a 500,000 square foot industrial project called 59 Logistics Center that has yet to be leased.

However, Herold is still bullish on Houston’s industrial market as the city’s population grows and developers ride the post-pandemic wave of demand for retail and e-commerce space.

“We are still seeing strong rent appreciation and last year net absorption in Houston was triple what would previously be considered a great year,” Herold said, referring to a common demand indicator. of tenants which measures the difference between moves and tenant moves. ins.

In recent years, 10 million square feet of net absorption in Houston has been considered a “good” year, he said. But last year, there was about 39 million square feet of net uptake in Houston’s industrial real estate market, according to research by real estate firm Transwestern. In the Katy-Far West area around the new Hunt Southwest project, net uptake was approximately 584,000 square feet last year.

There were also 2.8 million square feet of new projects under construction in the area, according to research by real estate firm Transwestern.

“We’re seeing unprecedented demand and hopefully that can continue,” Herold said.

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