Tomball’s advantageous location, business-friendly principles, and expanding workforce make it a desirable place for development. There is no better example than Lovett Industrial and their 240-acre Interchange 249 project. Guided by a team of industry experts, Lovett identified and utilized Tomball’s strengths to position its Tomball investment as one of the best industrial developments in the region.
Bringing Industry Knowledge to Tomball
Founded in February 2020 by Charlie Meyer and Frank Liu, Lovett Industrial quickly established itself as a leader in industrial development. The company is active in 14 markets spanning the contiguous United States’ four standard time zones. Their knowledge of the industry and ability to attract top tenants to industrial office and warehouse space is demonstrated with the Interchange 249 project.
Lovett’s strong understanding of the Houston market was key to landing in Tomball. According to Meyer, there is nothing similar to Interchange 249 within miles of Tomball.
Utilizing and Improving Accessibility
Situated at the nexus of State Highway 249 and State Highway 99, Interchange 249 utilizes access advantages of the two major thoroughfares. The City of Tomball and Texas invested significantly with highway expansions and flyover connectors linking to upgraded surface roads that improve accessibility to and from Tomball. Lovett was eager to take advantage of and enhance the ensuing premier location.
“From an accessibility perspective, it's an ideal site to move trucks in and out efficiently. That’s a pretty basic thing, but it’s very important when looking at a large-scale industrial park. First and foremost, you want to make sure trucks can get in and out efficiently,” said Meyer.
Understanding the value of infrastructure, Lovett has worked with local partners to improve the roads around Interchange 249. Lovett worked with the City of Tomball to create a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) that enables additional incremental tax revenue generated by Interchange 249 to cover the cost of infrastructure being added. This agreement benefits the tenants of the park, including Macy’s, and the City of Tomball.
Lovett is also set to construct a water tower that will provide better water pressure to tenants and customers of the park, as well as to residents in surrounding communities. Through a cost sharing agreement with the City of Tomball, this project addresses future water and water pressure needs.
“When we do a project of this magnitude, we want to help address needs that the city has and this was one that they identified that would be important to them. It helps us to have good water pressure, but it also helps this part of town tremendously,” added Meyer.
Attracting with Talent
The enhanced infrastructure around Tomball has helped drive population growth, considerably expanding the skilled workforce. Lovett recognized the opportunity for future tenants to tap into Tomball’s labor pool.
Lovett’s foresight paid off when Interchange 249 landed their first tenant, Macy’s Inc., for a 900,000 square-foot distribution center. According to Cushman & Wakefield, who leads Interchange 249’s leasing efforts, labor and competition was a deciding factor for Macy’s.
“We did a really extensive labor survey that looked at what the labor was like in the immediate areas of nine different sites in the Houston area and another ten sites in Dallas. This study looked at the existing labor population and the competitive analysis on upcoming warehouse supply to see who they would be competing with for that labor. Like Charlie said, Interchange 249 being on an island in Tomball really helped it stand out,” said Allison Bergmann, Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield.
Sizable Interest, Significant Jobs
Macy’s opened in late 2022 and Interchange 249 has continued to develop around it. Ultimately the project will see 10 buildings encompassing 3.1 million square-feet of warehouse and light industrial development. Approximately 1,000 jobs will be created in the park when build-out is complete.
Bergmann said they have already leased more than 200,000 square feet to a pair of tenants and are in talks with a number of other users to locate in Interchange 249. The park’s ideal location and accessibility has attracted a varied tenant pool.
“We always want to have a really diverse space of tenants within a large-scale park like this. Certainly we’re seeing that play out really well here,” said Meyer.
Lovett Industrial and Interchange 249 are bringing major benefits to Tomball. Significant infrastructure, jobs, and economic investment show the consequential success of the project.