Houston Chronicle - - TEXAS INC - By Kather­ine Feser STAFF WRITER kather­[email protected]

Dol­lar Tree plans to build a 1.2 mil­lion-square-foot dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter in a deal that would es­tab­lish a new fron­tier for in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ments in Rosen­berg.

The com­pany, which op­er­ates the Dol­lar Tree and Fam­ily Dol­lar dis­count stores, has tar­geted a 140-acre site at the south­west cor­ner of Spur 10 near Kloster­hoff Road south of U.S. 59 in Fort Bend County.

The com­pany plans to in­vest ap­prox­i­mately $130 mil­lion in the project, while creat­ing more than 300 jobs.

The deal re­mains con­tin­gent on a num­ber of fac­tors, Dol­lar Tree said in an an­nounce­ment. Among the things that need to fall into place are ap­provals from the City Coun­cil, the Rosen­berg Devel­op­ment Corp. and the Fort Bend County Com­mis­sion­ers Court; the city of Rosen­berg must an­nex the 140-acre site; city and county Rein­vest­ment Zones need to be cre­ated; and Dol­lar Tree must still close on the pur­chase of the site.

“Dol­lar Tree is a large and grow­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion,” Gary Philbin, its pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive, said in the an­nounce­ment. “We cur­rently op­er­ate more than 1,600 Dol­lar Tree and Fam­ily Dol­lar stores in Texas and we are ex­cited about our new dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter project in Fort Bend County. We ex­pect this new, state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity will en­hance our sup­ply chain ef­fi­cien­cies and pro­vide con­ve­nient ac­cess to our net­work of stores through re­duced stem miles, all while creat­ing hun­dreds of new jobs.”

Bret Gardella, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Rosen­berg Devel­op­ment Corp., has been work­ing on the deal for 18 months.

“Be­cause of the size of this fa­cil­ity, it was very chal­leng­ing for us to find the right piece of prop­erty for this to sit on,” Gardella said. “This re­ally kind of pushed the bound­aries for us. It was con­tigu­ous to the city lim­its, but just out­side.”

Rosen­berg City Coun­cil agreed to an­nex the prop­erty, which bor­ders the south­west edge of the city and was as­sem­bled from three parcels of agri­cul­tural land. The own­ers were not dis­closed.

Once com­pleted, the Dol­lar Tree project will nearly dou­ble the size of the largest in­dus­trial devel­op­ment in Rosen­berg, Aldi’s 650,000-square-foot dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter and di­vi­sion head­quar­ters. That fa­cil­ity, which opened in 2016, is north of U.S. 59 near U.S. 90.

Rosen­berg stands to land more light man­u­fac­tur­ing, dis­tri­bu­tion and lo­gis­tics cen­ters in the next five to 10 years as trans­porta­tion im­prove­ments are made, in­clud­ing a po­ten­tial short rail con­nect­ing with Port Freeport, Gardella said.

Dol­lar Tree plans to be­gin con­struc­tion in April or May and fin­ish by sum­mer 2020, the com­pany said. Con­trac­tors have not been named.

The fa­cil­ity would be one of 23 dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters ser­vic­ing nearly 15,000 stores in the U.S. The clos­est dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters are in west Texas, Ok­la­homa, Arkansas and Mis­sis­sippi.

The pro­posed Rosen­berg dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter is con­sis­tent with the size of other re­cent Dol­lar Tree projects, which range from 1 mil­lion to 1.5 mil­lion square feet. The com­pany opened a dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter in War­rens­burg, Mo. last year and will be open­ing one this year in Mor­row County, Ohio.

Land bro­ker Stan Creech, pres­i­dent of Stan Creech Prop­er­ties, said Dol­lar Tree’s lo­ca­tion near U.S. 59 and Spur 10 pro­vides ex­cel­lent ac­ces­si­bil­ity in all di­rec­tions.

“The 140 acres is an ideal size, as large scale dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters re­quire 100 to 150 acres,” Creech said. “Hous­ton is be­com­ing a ma­jor dis­tri­bu­tion hub which strength­ens the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of our econ­omy.”

Dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters push­ing past the 1 mil­lion-square-foot mark have be­come more com­mon in the Hous­ton re­gion. Costco re­cently ac­quired 150 acres in Katy for a dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter near an­other large one oc­cu­pied by Ama­zon.

Based in Ch­e­sa­peake, Va., Dol­lar Tree has 15,187 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The com­pany has more stores in Texas than any other state.

Joe Rae­dle / Getty Im­ages

Dol­lar Tree has more than 1,600 stores op­er­at­ing un­der the Dol­lar Tree and Fam­ily Dol­lar brands in Texas, its largest mar­ket.

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