(Read more on the industrial market.)

SEABROOK, TX-A Philadelphia-based company has acquired 35 acres near the Port of Houston. The buyer’s intention is to build a 300,000-sf to 400,000-sf robotic warehouse facility at an all-in estimated cost of $60 million.

David Lee, senior vice president for Houston-based Transwestern, says customized logistics company XTL Inc. bought the land from a Houston partnership because of its location near Texas 146 and Red Bluff Road. Lee, who represented the seller, pointed out that the tract was one of only a few available for private development within the 1,000-acre Bayport complex.

“All the land east of 146 is either owned by chemical companies wanting to retain sufficient buffer for their operations, or the port of Houston,” Lee explains. “The port isn’t interested in selling land, but in leasing it. What made this property unique is that it was a privately held piece, right in the center of the action. This is a rarity.”

Lee tells GlobeSt.com that an actual groundbreaking on the XTL project is about two years away, but once it’s up and running, the warehouse will be geared toward handling perishables that are currently bypassing the port due to lack of appropriate handling facilities. “Very few companies in the world are constructing this type of warehouse,” Lee says.

XTL is building a similar facility in the Port of Newark, and Lee says company president Anthony Cerone has been eying Houston for awhile for a second facility. Once completed, the facility will use robotics to handle distribution and warehousing activities for Bayport clients and international supply chain companies.

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