Industrial project in Liberty Hill puts suburb ‘in the mix’ for big employers

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Jul 5th, 2024

Little suburb to get big space for businesses

By Justin Sayers – Senior Staff Writer, Austin Business Journal

Jun 18, 2024

A Texas-based industrial developer is working to eventually build more than 1 million square feet of industrial space in Liberty Hill that officials said will allow the fast-growing city northwest of Austin to “be in the mix” as Williamson County continues to attract a full slate of new and expanding companies.

Intrepid Equity Investments LLC, which has offices in Austin and Dallas, has completed the first phase of the 120-acre Platform 183 x 29 mixed-use project at 10728 W. State Hwy. 29. In addition to the existing three buildings totaling 48,000 square feet, it could eventually include 1.3 million square feet spread across a dozen more buildings, more than 325 multifamily units and up to 175,000 square feet of retail over the next seven years, officials said.

The full-service commercial real estate company has worked on a number of projects throughout Texas and boasts on its website that its “track record is the result of valued relationships with investors, sellers and their representatives, city staff and collaborative stakeholders.”

Justin Day, Intrepid’s principal owner, said the company was interested in Liberty Hill — which eclipsed 10,000 residents for the first time in July 2023 U.S. Census Bureau estimates after 15% year-over-year growth — because of a number of factors, including the booming business climate in Williamson County and because it’s a city where people want to live and work with access to good schools.

Day added that phases of the project will be dependent on leasing interest. The company intends to have a 140,000-square-foot retail anchor with adjacent pads at the front of the project with the multifamily part of future phases. He declined to share a capital investment estimate.

He said collaboration on the project is a “testament to who we want to be.” Intrepid has been working with the city of Liberty Hill, economic development groups in the region and interested companies to put together a project that will allow Intrepid to “be good listeners and be reactive to that demand.”

Day said his team has received heavy tenant interest, mostly from manufacturers but also from companies that want to service the residential growth or want to relocate to take advantage of the business climate in Williamson County.

“I think we’ve got the opportunity to be very reactive to what actual tenant demand is,” Day said. “That gives us the opportunity to talk to manufacturers that are relocating, businesses that know they need to be here but can’t build their own building, and really think about labor base that is maybe coming out of Killeen, Copperas Cove, other surrounding areas.”

Dave Porter, executive director of the Williamson County Economic Development Partnership, said Liberty Hill has been coming up in conversations with companies looking to be in the region, adding that pretty much every city in the county north of Austin has become part of the discussion. Having product on the ground or at least in the works “will put Liberty Hill in the mix,” Porter said.

“It puts Liberty Hill in a very competitive position by having that development. It’s going to help attract companies sooner rather than later. It’s a great addition to the western part of the county, along with Cedar Park and Leander,” Porter said.

City of Liberty Hill officials declined to comment.

The bulk of the project is outside the city limits of Liberty Hill, which is about 35 miles northwest of Austin. Day said that the eventual goal is to annex the entire development into city limits. In the meantime, the project has been referred to in city documents as “Project Day,” and the city has granted easements to the property for wastewater services, signifying potential economic development discussions are ongoing.

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