The New Industrial Revolution Is Smoking Hot In Fort Bend County

  • Post Date: July 29, 2019
  • Category: Blog
  • Author: Rachelle Kanak

“This market is hot!!!”

This comment made by a developer at the July Fort Bend Economic Development Council’s meeting was not an anomaly. Developers at the event shared similar stories that all led to the consensus that Fort Bend County’s industrial market is on fire.

The announcement of a new logistics center in Fort Bend County further drove home this point. The logistics center, to be located at the corner of US 90A and Beltway 8, expands an already large industrial hub in the area. This begs the question: Why is Fort Bend County’s Industrial base growing so quickly?

Fort Bend has experienced a significant ramping up of industrial activity, and the reasons are fairly straightforward and tangible: workforce, access, and land.

Diverse Job Growth

The workforce is here- ready and willing to jump into the industrial pool. The Greater Houston region receives 100,000 people a year (net positive migration) and over 40 percent of that growth is in Fort Bend. The workforce is diverse- in skill level, expertise, and backgrounds- with plenty of people to fill these logistics, warehousing, and manufacturing jobs significant industrial growth generates. The affordable housing, great schools and exceptional quality of life draw the full range of potential employees from high income wage earners to skilled tradesman, all prepared and ready to work and fill the jobs, jobs, jobs, this hot market creates!

Fort Bend County Has The Infrastructure to Support Growth

Fort Bend County’s strength of workforce is matched by its robust infrastructure network. Major thoroughfares such as I-69, US 90A, The Grand Parkway, Beltway 8, and The Fort Bend Toll Road provide companies with substantial infrastructure to support quick truck access to the entire Greater Houston area in addition to Texas and the entire southern United States.

Business parks positioned on these major thoroughfares have experienced accelerated absorption. Park 8Ninety, developed by Trammel Crow in Missouri City, is a prime example of this trend. The park is positioned on US 90A and Beltway 8 and has seen such fast growth that it has added new phases of development faster than anticipated. The ease of ingress and egress along this corridor has drawn new distribution centers including the 543,936 square foot Best Buy distribution center which opened in October. Further south, the expansion of Highway 36A and the Grand Parkway have opened corridors once unimaginable. The future expansion of these roadways will even more opportunities for economic growth.

Access provided by interstate highways and toll roads is complimented by three Class I rail lines that run through Fort Bend, a regional airport with full customs services, and easy access to two deep water ports- all supporting the growing international markets. For companies looking to move product across the US or across the world, there are few areas with better access.

Plenty of Land

And then there is land- and lots of it! Despite being the fastest growing county in the nation for several years quickly approaching a population of 1 million residents, there is still room to grow with 60% of the county being undeveloped. There is an abundance of land, much of it with frontage on major thoroughfares, enticing large distribution and logistics clients to parts of the county heretofore undeveloped.

The benefits are multi-fold, bringing jobs and capital investment but also encouraging communities to expand utilities and services, turning previously unmarketable dirt into shovel-ready sites. The Dollar Tree distribution center in Rosenberg is a perfect example. In addition to 1.2 million square feet of industrial space and 300 jobs, the benefits run deeper, as the City of Rosenberg committed to a major investment in over one mile of utilities along I69, opening up tracts to major potential development that have been agricultural in the past.

Add in an aggressive, pro-business government, communities with award winning schools and quality of life, and a steady stream of new residents, and the answer to “why Fort Bend” is pretty clear.

The trend is shooting straight up in the industrial market, and with a strong economy and growth estimates that do not appear to be slowing down, Fort Bend County is most certainly the next “big thing” in the industrial space!