Once the manufacturing site for Moll Industries Inc., thebuilding at 710 FM 306 originally was available for lease by JJMHoldings of Northern California after Moll moved out about a yearago with five years remaining on its lease. At the time, the rentwas being quoted at $4 per sf annually, triple net, for the1980s-era factory.

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"We put in EH Systems as a sublease to Moll during the duediligence process," says Rob Namy, regional vice president ofacquisitions for the buyer. Namy says EH Systems has taken thespace for remainder of the lease term and included two five-yearrenewal options. EH Systems manufactures and distributes structuralinsulated panels for single-family homebuilders.

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Namy tells GlobeSt.com that the buyer was primarily attracted tothe 9.5-acre property for its location, midway between Austin andSan Antonio. With the population of Austin and San Antonio expectedto double in the near to mid-term future, Namy says Weston'sexecutive team is interested in acquiring more property between thetwo cities.

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Greg S. Marberry, first vice president in Austin for CB RichardsEllis, says that, in addition to being a tourist destination, NewBraunfels has attracted several manufacturing businesses. "In thelittle row where the Moll building is, there's a fair amount ofindustrial buildings. Coleman has a plant next door to thefacility, and Wal-Mart has a one-million-sf distribution facilityacross the road," the seller's broker says.

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Marberry says another attraction is the workforce. "There's agood work ethic in and around New Braunfels," he explains. "Sothere's the combination of New Braunfels being a good place toraise kids, people with a good work ethic and the tourist aspect. Alot of investors are seeing it as a viable situation forgrowth."

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Namy says Weston is specifically targeting the area between SanAntonio and Austin for more investments, hoping to collect inexcess of several million sf of industrial space. The company'sfirst purchase was last fall: a 106,391-sf industrial building on53 acres at 1235 Loop 4 South in Buda, just south of Austin. Namysays there is no definitive timeline for acquiring more value-addindustrial properties.

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As for the Moll building, Namy hopes EH Systems will buy it atsome point. "If we don't sell it, we're fine with that," he says."We like the area. We think it's going to grow. We'll hold onto itand wait until someone wants to buy it for the right price. If not,we'll continue to lease it."

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