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Dallas Firm’s Development Could Be Biggest Ever In Central Texas

Dallas firm’s development could be biggest ever in Central Texas

Dallas firm's development could be biggest ever in Central Texas

Plan for tens of millions of square feet could end up being Central Texas’ largest-ever development — on site about seven times larger than Austin airport. Credit: XEBEC HOLDINGS LLC ALCOA, Texas — Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Dallas Business Journal here . A Dallas-based developer has finally revealed its massive plans for the roughly 31,000-acre former Alcoa aluminum plant in Milam County , northeast of Austin. Roughly a year and a half after an entity connected to Xebec Holdings LLC purchased the property in Rockdale for roughly $240 million, the company said July 26 that it plans to develop 3,300 of those acres into up to 50 million square feet of industrial space for what it’s calling the Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Campus. The site — once marketed as Sandow Lakes Ranch, and pitched as a long-shot bid for Amazon’s HQ2 — was purchased in November 2021 by SLR Property 1 LP, which is tied to Xebec. The land stretches across Milam and Lee counties and is located about 15 miles east of Taylor, where Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is building a multibillion-dollar computer chip factory. Xebec’s plans for the 50-square-mile “megasite,” along Farm to Market Road 1786 just south of U.S. Route 79, include three-dozen buildings up to 1.25 million square feet each. The entire site could eventually total 30 million to 50 million square feet of logistics space supported by rail and roads. No tenants have been announced, but the developer expects the first pieces of the campus to be operational by mid-2025. In the future, the remainder of the ranch could be used for housing, solar farms, retail, commercial, industrial, hospitalities and recreation facilities, according to Xebec. “The Sandow Lakes Ranch property is a perfect fit for Xebec’s expertise and passion. Xebec is building out a modern AMLC that enables the reshoring of critical manufacturing and supply chains back to America. We believe in the potential of our project to drive job growth, prosperity and economic security to Texas for generations to come,” stated Randy Kendrick, who’s CEO of both Xebec and SLR Property and is the founder of the former. He said the “location and resources” drew Xebec to the site. Being in the heart of the Texas Triangle — between Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston — as well as a 20-minute drive from Taylor and 45 minutes from the Tesla headquarters made it a “win-win.” Plus the site, which was an aluminum smelting plant for decades, has access to power, potable water and wastewater treatment. The Texas Legislature voted this year to establish Sandow Municipal Utility District No. 1 . MUDs are used to finance infrastructure and facilities in the state. “The property has access to all of the resources to qualify as a Mega Site: Class I rail, surface water, groundwater, natural gas, industrial grade connections for electricity, fiber optic cable access and highways,” Kendrick stated. Credit: XEBEC HOLDINGS LLC Community reaction The move was celebrated as a win not only for Rockdale — a city of about 5,300 that is 64 miles northeast of Austin — but for the region as a whole. Jim Gibson, executive director of the Rockdale Municipal Development District and the city’s economic development director, said there has been a “buzz” around town since the announcement. The site is outside of the city’s limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction, which encompasses the MDD. “Anytime that anybody is going to be a very large industrial development, everybody gets excited about that,” Gibson said. He said it adds to the economic excitement in Rockdale, which is in the process of updating its comprehensive plan for future development. Gibson noted about a year ago, the city had received interest from at least three companies in the Samsung and Tesla supply chains. But none of those projects worked out. Last year, the city closed on the sale of a 166-acre industrial park, which is being converted into a 660-home development from Ranch Road Development called “Cornerstone.” The city is also working on establishing another industrial park and has been inundated with interest from developers looking for more infill spaces, he said. In terms of the Alcoa redevelopment, he said everybody is excited about potential jobs, even if big questions remain considering that no tenants have been announced. “When you have 50 million square feet of space under roof, that’s a huge job center. So yeah, we are all very excited about the job prospects and I am very […]

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Daisie Hobson

Daisie Hobson is a Director at the Reshoring Institute and an engineer with many years of experience in manufacturing and project management.

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