STAFFORD, TX-Consentino SA, a Spanish stone supplier, is getting an incentive package with a 10-year sliding scale with average abatements of 63% of its annual taxes to build a US headquarters and regional distribution facility in Fort Bend County.

The 75,000-sf project will break ground in mid-October at the northwest corner of Trinity and Cash roads in the Freeport Southwest Business Park in Stafford. The site also comes with a Double Freeport Exemption. The 5 1/2-acre tract recently was bought from Houston-based Midway Cos.

Scott Torn of the Houston office of Insite Realty represented Stone Suppliers in the land purchase. Insite Realty also holds the construction management contract.

Consentino’s sister company, Stone Suppliers Inc., moved to Stafford in 1999, starting out with 4,000 sf. It now employs 22 and will be hiring another 23 when the new building delivers in second quarter 2003, says Luis Zuniga, the division’s CFO.

Consentino quarries, manufactures, markets and distributes marble and quartz surfaces. It reportedly operates the world’s largest distribution channel for quartz surfacing material. Stone Suppliers owns and manages 11 distribution and fabrication shops in the US.

The Fort Bend County building will house light fabrication facilities, logistics and warehouse space plus Consentino’s US offices. Jennifer Raymond, senior vice president of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council, tells that the plan is for Stone Suppliers to own the building and lease it to Consentino.

Raymond says the county’s economic climate, educated workforce and quality of life have been major draws to win corporate business, as was the case with Stone Suppliers. She also points out Fort Bend County statistically outpaces the region in affordable housing in comparison to regional averages for housing costs.

The project architect will be Paco De La Torre of AMC & Associates Inc. of Houston. A general contractor has not been selected.

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