Waco Industrial Foundation purchases land in Robinson

Waco Chamber of Commerce
POSTED: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 3:25pm
UPDATED: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 10:17pm

The Waco Industrial Foundation (WIF) has purchased 634.694 acres in Robinson, Texas from Dove Hill Partners, LP continuing its efforts to grow the economy through the attraction and expansion of business in the Greater Waco area. The property is located at the southeastern corner of Interstate 35 and South Loop 340/State Highway 6. The property has 2,300 feet of Interstate frontage and 1,400 feet of frontage on Loop 340.

The sale of the property was brokered by H. Bland Cromwell, CCIM, SIOR of Coldwell Banker Commercial, Jim Stewart, Realtors, and was supported by Jason Cooper, Cooper Real Estate Advisors, LLC of Dallas.

"The acquisition of this land is a huge event, allowing the Waco Industrial Foundation the ability to provide quality industrial sites for prospective industries to locate or expand in McLennan County. The location is ideal for high profile tenants that desire visibility within the I-35 corridor. It will undoubtedly serve as a cornerstone for continued quality growth within the city of Robinson," said Bob Davis, president of the Waco Industrial Foundation.

WIF actively manages a $37.5 million real estate portfolio with more than 1,200 acres available for sale in its industrial parks. Texas Central Park, located in southern McLennan County, has more than 70 corporate tenants including Mars Chocolate, Coca-Cola Refreshments, and both Caterpillar Work Tools and Logistics. Waco Aviation Industrial Park, near the Texas State Technical College Airport, is home to Sanderson Farms and Dr Pepper Bottling. The additional 635 acres in Robinson is a strategic acquisition for continued industrial and economic growth that will nearly double the land WIF has available in the southern part of Greater Waco for industrial development.

"From a planning perspective, this property has everything you need to develop: visibility, a poised entrance into the Robinson/Waco area, Interstate Highway frontage, and available water and wastewater. We, at the City of Robinson, look forward to working with the Waco Industrial Foundation and the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce on putting together the best plan for development for the property," said Robert Cervenka, City Manager of Robinson, Texas. "The purchase will change the face of Robinson for years to come."

Davis added that this transaction would not have been possible without the Bowden family and their "desire to see the land developed in a manner that would have a positive impact on the future growth of this area and their agreeing to a discounted sale of the land. This acquisition is the culmination of months of work, planning, and discussion between the Waco Industrial Foundation, city of Robinson and Jeff Bowden."

According to Cromwell, the purchase between Jeff Bowden, with Dove Hill Partners, is a rare transaction that benefits all parties. The Bowden family always wanted to sell the property to an organization that was in the business of attracting jobs and industries. They felt that WIF could handle a large prominent site.

"My dad started buying land at that intersection over 20 years ago," said Bowden. "In January, Bland [Cromwell] and I started talking in earnest about who'd be the best developer for the Robinson tract. The whole process of dealing with [WIF] has been a joy. At closing, I gave Bob Davis a bucket of dirt from the Robinson tract. I wrote on the bucket, 'It's an honor to pass our land to you.' I'll tell you something else, in the past few years I've gotten to know Robinson's city manager, Bob Cervenka. He and his city council are gonna do great things for Robinson."

WIF has an inventory of fully developed sites with proximity to Interstate 35, the mainline rail system, Texas State Technical College Waco Industrial Airport and commercial air service at Waco Regional Airport. Since 1958, WIF has developed more than 5,000 acres of business parks that have helped attract more than 110 companies representing more than 16,000 jobs and 17 million square feet of development in Greater Waco.

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About Greater Waco:
Greater Waco is located in McLennan County, Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor and is home to more than 14,000 companies, 234,906 people, and a regional workforce of approximately 320,000. Greater Waco is strategically positioned with centralized access to Dallas and Austin (90 miles) and Houston and San Antonio (185 miles).

Robinson, a community of 10,850 residents, is located in southern McLennan County and within a 15-minute drive to Waco. It is one of the fastest growing communities in the Greater Waco area, having seen 34% population growth since 2000.

Since 2006, there has been more than $806 million in new capital investments and $530 million in riverfront and downtown development, making Greater Waco an attractive place to live, work and play. The community is landscaped with top-rated higher educational institutions, including Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College-Waco.

Greater Waco target industries include: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Professional and Financial Services, and Supply Chain Management.

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