u201cThis joint venture is a catalyst to the expansion of Transwestern Development Company's industrial development program,u201d Riser says.

HOUSTON – Locally-based Transwestern Development Co. and Chicago-based Ridge Property Trust have come together in a joint venture, as GlobeSt.com reported Thursday.

“This joint venture is a catalyst to the expansion of Transwestern Development Company’s industrial development program,” Carleton Riser, president of Transwestern Development Co., tells GlobeSt.com. “Ridge Property Trust has a strong reputation and track-record of successful execution in some of the most desirable industrial markets in the country.”

The partnership, named Ridge Development, will expand Transwestern’s platform by focusing on development of warehouse, distribution and manufacturing facilities, as well as the acquisition and development of green-field properties, and the redevelopment of buildings.

“We want to be active in the six major industrial real estate markets in the country, and this deal allows us to expedite that process,” Riser says.

Since its creation in 1995, Ridge has focused its efforts on logistics and transportation hubs such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas; working with both large and small clients.

“We have continued to serve the consumer products industry with large distribution facilities, facilities over 1,000,000 square feet, as well serving some of our manufacturing clients with 10,000-square-foot projects,” says Jim Martell, president of Ridge Development. “We are very customer driven in that regard, doing projects of all size and character, always trying to provide the customer with the lowest cost of occupancy.”

The joint venture plans to enter a wide variety of cities throughout the Northeast, Southeast and Pacific Northwest.

“We will focus our primary attention on the major gateway cities along the East Coast, including gateway cities in New York and New Jersey, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Miami,” Martell says. “We will also look to the major transportation corridors, such as the New Jersey Turnpike, Pennsylvania, Virginia port cities, Charleston, SC, Savannah, GA, Jacksonville, FL, and greater Tampa, FL.”

In addition to major US cities, Ridge Development will give Transwestern an entry into the Mexico City market. Ridge has been present in Mexico since 2004, and at one time had plans to expand into Mexico City.

“We had planned on expanding to Mexico City in 2007, but markets in the South and Mexico were thrown into the recession,” Martell tells GlobeSt.com. “Now with the Mexican economy strong again and more manufacturing finding Mexico as competitive as China in some areas, those markets are coming back.”

Ridge Development will be led Martell and Dennis Rice, principals from Ridge Property Trust.