What secretive out-of-town company is scouting out a 60-acre tract on the far side of Baytown in the world’s 5th-largest industrial park? The Texas Enterprise Fund and the Greater Houston Partnership likely don’t know either, but both are working hard to get the company to develop its mysterious $200 million facility here, near huge existing Wal-Mart and Home Depot distribution centers.
The HBJ‘s Jennifer Dawson reports that executives from the unknown company have only conducted 6 stealth visits of the property:
Cedar Crossing [Business Park] executives know only that the potential buyer intends to manufacture something large, and that Project 21 is being spearheaded by McCallum Sweeney Consulting, a site-selection company based in Greenville, S.C.
Charles Iupe, general partner of the 15,000-acre industrial park, says he has met with Project 21 executives on several occasions, and they have only given their first names.
During a site visit in February, the incognito executives took a helicopter ride for an aerial view of the location. Before leaving the ground they were required to sign waivers. Each one used “Smith” as a last name.
But surely the brokers must know who these people are . . . ?
“It’s the biggest hush-hush deal I’ve seen in my life,” says [Cushman & Wakefield broker B. Kelley] Parker, a 34-year real estate veteran. “No one knows who they are.”
Lysa Elkins, vice president of marketing for Cedar Crossing, says the visitors typically do not stay long when they’re in town.
Says Elkins: “They come in. They look. They leave.”
On one occasion, industrial park representatives had the opportunity to go out to dinner with the mysterious guests. Elkins says she tried, without success, to ascertain where the people might be from based on their attire.
During dinner, Elkins asked one visitor if she could inquire as to which state she grew up in, and the woman’s answer was, “No.”
- Stalking the secretive ‘Project 21’ [Houston Business Journal]
Photo and map: Cedar Crossing Business Park