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GIULIETTI: If you build spec space, employers will come

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By Jason Giulietti
President, Greater San Marcos Partnership

One of the biggest challenges in securing expanding and relocating employers is having available and existing building facilities that allow employers to quickly move in and begin operations.
The business landscape has changed and evolved so quickly that most companies today can’t wait 12 to 18 months to build a custom building. Because of this, the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) and economic development partners in Hays and Caldwell Counties work with development investors to help facilitate the construction of new speculative (spec) space.
This strategy has already proven to be highly effective in bringing companies to the Texas Innovation Corridor, as well as the jobs and investment dollars that come with them.
I am very pleased to announce the third spec facility this fiscal year (ending September 30, 2021). In the newest development, Live Oak will invest $11 million in capital to build a 135,000 square foot facility on 14 acres in San Marcos. Located on Barnes Drive, off I-35, the property will generate approximately 86 construction jobs and will soon contribute to an increased tax revenue base for the city, the county and the local school district.
The spec facility will be built as two Class A industrial/flex buildings. This means that they can be used for offices, showrooms, research and development operations, light manufacturing or general industrial flex space, which covers a variety of possible business operations. As soon as tenants lease the facilities, I expect that it will generate a significant number of good paying jobs for our residents.
It should be noted that spec space builders take on significant risk when they build a facility without an immediate tenant. For a developer to decide that a spec space is worth the investment, they must be confident both in the region’s growth trajectory and the quality of likely tenants that will call the space home. With the suitable business development environment in the Texas Innovation Corridor, however, builders are seeing a good return on those risks.
That’s why Lockhart invested in a 75-acre industrial park, which is already seeing new businesses like McElroy Metals invest $3 million into building a new business expansion there. That’s also why the City of Kyle Economic Development department partnered with HPI Real Estate Services & Investments to bring three additional major spec developments to the Hays Commerce Center. This new space will create another 380,000 plus square feet of commercial industrial warehouse and office space along the I-35 Texas Innovation Corridor in Kyle.
It’s also why they, as well as Live Oak, will join Bearden Investments (Phase 3 expansion of the Clovis Barker Service Center) and NorthPoint Development (Plum Creek Industrial Center) as builders to invest in spec space throughout the region here this fiscal year.
All these projects bring construction jobs, an increased tax base revenue and a highly attractive home for companies with additional jobs and capital investment dollars.
The Texas Innovation Corridor, as evidenced by FedEx, Amazon and Lowe’s Distribution Center moving into spec spaces over the last year, is testament to the fact that our region is an excellent place to invest in developing spec facilities. Spec space development has been proven to be a successful strategy that leads to the creation of new jobs.
As we develop more available space, I’m confident that the Greater San Marcos region will continue to attract more relocating and expanding employers resulting in an improved quality of life for our residents.
If you are interested in learning more about the spec facilities available in the Texas Innovation Corridor, reach out to me at jasong@greatersanmarcostx.org or on Twitter @JasonGiulietti.

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