One of country’s largest real estate firms plans big industrial park in Cedar Park

Written by

Williamson County

Published on

Jan 26th, 2023

A San Francisco-based real estate investor focused on logistics has plans to build a massive industrial development in Cedar Park.

Prologis Inc., one of suburban Austin’s most active developers, acknowledged Jan. 18 that it plans to build a 629,000-square-foot development on a 75-acre tract that it acquired last year from Austin-based National Instruments Corp. The land is on Brushy Creek Road, near the headquarters of electric vehicle trucking company Hyllion Holdings Corp.

While many details remain unknown about the project, including potential tenants, representatives from Prologis (Nasdaq: PLD) said they aim to break ground this spring or early summer and complete the project in 2024. They also said it will feature “five modern logistics buildings designed to support businesses across industries with varying needs.”

“With its significant acreage in (northwest) Austin, this site is a rare find,” said Whitney Williamson, vice president and market officer for Prologis, in a statement. “Customers operating in the Austin area are looking for high quality and well-located logistics facilities to manage and grow their business. We’re thrilled to expand our presence in Austin and continue to work with the city and community to provide facilities that support the local economy.”

The project fills the demand need for industrial space in that area. While the vacancy rate in the Austin metro has lessened a bit to 4.1%, the average leasing price has stayed the same at $1.11 per square foot, as of the end of the third quarter in 2022, according to the most-recent data from Partners. Meanwhile, the Georgetown-Round Rock industrial submarket, which includes the Cedar Park project, is among the cheapest industrial space in the region at 92 cents per square foot and has a 7.4% vacancy rate.

It would also mark a massive influx of development for Cedar Park, which has grown from 48,937 residents in 2010 to 78,693 in 2021, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The suburb has attracted large-scale projects, like the redevelopment of Bell Boulevard, a huge mixed-use site anchored by a Nebraska Furniture Mart and the new headquarters of Perfect Game Inc. and Shop LC.

Industrial and logistics development continues to be popular in the northwest side of the Austin metro. Recent projects that are underway or completed in the area include manufacturing space for CelLink Corp. and Valex Corp. in Georgetown. Massive industrial parks are sprouting up near Georgetown and Round Rock, as well.

Prologis (NYSE: PLD) is also planning to build a “world class” collection of data centers at a megasite in Hutto and is already building a data center in Pflugerville, along with Skybox Datacenters LLC.

National Instruments Corp. in July 2022 recognized a gain of $33.6 million “from the sale of approximately 75 acres in Williamson County,” according to its latest quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The land was most recently valued at about $6.5 million, according to Williamson Central Appraisal District — but as evidenced here, the true value of properties can often far exceed those estimates.

Williamson County records show that the land was sold to a shell company controlled by Prologis.

NI, one of Austin’s foundational tech companies, is exploring a potential sale. St. Louis-based tech giant Emerson Electric Co. (Nasdaq: EMR), which has a big presence in Round Rock, on Jan. 17 made public its offer to buy NI in a deal giving the company an enterprise value of $7.6 billion.

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