Real estate investment trust Liberty Property Trust has broken ground on a 727,600-s.f. distribution center at 14803 Woodham Drive in North Houston. The build-to-suit project is for Grocers Supply, a division of C&S Wholesale Grocers, which has signed a long-term lease.
Operations at the DC are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2019.
As part of the agreement, Grocers Supply also has bought 34 acres of land adjacent to the project.
“Grocers Supply is very excited about partnering with Liberty Property Trust on the development of our new Houston distribution center,” said Max Henderson, Grocers Supply president. “This project will consolidate several buildings into one state-of the art facility, thereby enhancing our ability to provide efficient and timely distribution throughout the market. This long-term investment demonstrates Grocers Supply’s commitment to our highly valued customers as well as growing our business in the years to come.”
The 540-ft. deep building with 40-ft. clear height will include 65-ft. speed bays, 75 dock doors, and parking for 211 trailers and 667 cars. Two pre-engineered metal buildings for maintenance and pallet stripping (24,870- and 20,020-s.f., respectively) are being developed as part of the project.
“Houston continues to grow and there is a demand for newer, larger industrial buildings,” said Hans Brindley, VP and market leader for Liberty in Houston. “Tenants that serve the public are under ever-increasing demand for faster delivery, and that need for immediacy, as well as the desire to modernize logistics to keep costs low, are driving many commercial real estate decisions.”
Brindley also noted that the Houston portfolio has had 18 months of strong leasing activity totaling, 3.7 million s.f. of space, including the Grocers Supply agreement.
“We’ve climbed from 84-percent occupancy to 95-percent occupancy on a signed basis in 18 months,” said Brindley. “As the Houston market has tightened post-Hurricane Harvey, we have been well-positioned to lease mid-to-large spaces to tenants seeking to expand in or enter the market, and we don’t see any let-up in demand for the balance of the year.”