The Pines Business Park in Spring, Texas

HOUSTON — A new toll road is transforming outlying prairie and woods into the land of opportunity. 

“The Grand Parkway expansion is a game changer for Houston development,” said Woody Mann, President of Vista Equities Group. The Grand Parkway, a suburban roadway that will someday circle Houston, will increase mobility for business and residents fueling growth in North/Northwest Houston continued Mann, a developer who has been active in the Houston suburbs for many years.

A 15-mile section of the Grand Parkway opened at the end of the year to connect Interstate 10 and Highway 290 on the prairie west of Houston. In addition, a 37-mile extension of the Grand Parkway is under construction on the north side of the city and the road will run close to the new ExxonMobil campus where 10,000 people will be employed by the energy giant.

The Grand Parkway improvements, coupled with the ExxonMobil campus, scheduled to deliver in 2015, has raised the potential even higher for the northern suburbs, including The Woodlands, real estate developers say.

“Everyone wants to be as close to The Woodlands as possible,” said Kirk Tate, Chief Executive Officer of Orion Real Estate Services. “It is phenomenal what’s going on up in the Woodlands.”

This heightened demand led to the recent sale of the 100% occupied The Pines Business Park in Spring, Texas, just south of The Woodlands.

CBRE coordinated the sale on behalf of a private real estate fund advised by Crow Holdings Capital Partners, L.L.C. andLincoln Property Company. The 139,330-square-foot business park is comprised of three light industrial buildings in North Houston. The Pines Business Park is positioned to capture significant rental growth, said CBRE in a statement.

“The Pines Business Park provides immediate access to I-45, excellent demographics, deep labor pools, educated and skilled work forces,” said Josh McArtor with CBRE in Dallas. “In addition, with the future Grand Parkway expansion and ExxonMobil’s new campus, the area is seeing growing populations, desirable qualities of life and outstanding transportation systems.”

The North and Northwest industrial submarkets were the two strongest in the city in 2013 absorbing half of the 5.8 million square feet of demand last year, noted CBRE in a quarterly report.

In The Pines Business Park deal, Jack FrakerJonathan BryanHeather McClain VenegoniTom Lynch and Paul Segreto with CBRE; and Kevin Wyatt with Lincoln Property Company represented the sellers in the transaction.