Vehicle parts manufacturer with Tesla ties grabs industrial space north of Austin, plans hiring spree

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Feb 8th, 2024

The developer recently sold the building to a real estate giant

Vehicle parts manufacturer US Farathane Corp., which has a longtime presence in Austin and is a known supplier of Tesla Inc. and other notable vehicle makers, has leased more than 260,000 square feet in a new industrial park that’s set to become one of the largest in the region.

A high-ranking representative for US Farathane confirmed on Feb. 6 that the company plans to move into the bulk of a roughly 410,000-square-foot building at GTX Logistics Park in Georgetown. The representative called the move “imminent” and dependent on the completion of infrastructure at the site. US Farathane plans to employ more than 100 people at the facility.

The Detroit-based company provides injection molding, compression molding and extruded products for the interior and exterior of vehicles. Connecticut-based Atlas Holdings acquired US Farathane in April. The announcement at the time noted its customers included General Motors, Ford, Stellantis, Tesla, Toyota, Honda, Rivian and “other global automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.”

The company has nearly two dozen locations in the U.S., Mexico and China, including an existing location at 820 Howard Lane in Austin. When that outpost was announced in 2012, the city of Austin said US Farathane would be leasing 250,000 square feet and adding nearly 230 jobs at the site as part of an economic development agreement. It was the beginning of a wave of vehicle parts manufacturers making their way to Austin.

The US Farathane representative said the Georgetown location will represent a second Austin-area outpost as the company aims to keep up with the demand of the state’s vehicle manufacturers. That includes the nearby Tesla site in eastern Travis County but also Toyota Motor Corp. in San Antonio and General Motors Co. in Arlington, near Dallas.

The expansion marks the continued wave of Tesla’s growing footprint as it and its suppliers set up shop in and around the Austin metro. Tesla itself has occupied space in Hutto and Kyle, along with its factory in eastern Travis County. Suppliers that have expanded or opened facilities in the area include HBPO Plastic Omnium Modules in Manor and Simwon North America Corp. and Plastikon Industries Inc. in Kyle.

US Farathane’s expansion also represents another massive manufacturer moving to Georgetown, which for the last two years has been the fastest-growing city of its size in the country. The city north of Austin has millions of square feet of industrial space under construction. Companies such as CelLink Corp., another Tesla supplier, and ZT Systems are taking some of the space.

US Farathane does intend to seek incentives from Williamson County for the new location, officials confirmed.

“US Farathane will be a wonderful addition to our ecosystem that we are building in Central Texas,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.

Dave Porter, executive director of the Williamson County Economic Development Partnership, added: “We are excited about the number of companies currently considering Williamson County, including US Farathane. Our availability of industrial buildings and sites combined with a supply of labor and pro-business environment is putting Williamson County front and center.”

US Farathane will mark the first tenant in the 231-acre GTX Logistics Park that is being developed by Dallas-based Green Point Property Co. and could span 3 million square feet once it’s completed near I-35 and State Highway 130. The expansion appears to have been in the works for several months. An Aquila Commercial report states that the company signed the lease for 262,874 square feet in the third quarter, representing the third-largest lease in the Austin area last year.

Green Point recently sold the roughly 410,000-square-foot building, plus a 24-acre adjacent parcel within the park, to EQT Exeter, one of the largest real estate companies in the world, according to a Jan. 30 announcement from Cushman and Wakefield PLC, which represented Green Point.

Green Point plans to retain the remaining 180 acres at the industrial park to accommodate 2.6 million square feet of development, Cushman officials said. Chase Clancy and Travis Hicks of Colliers International Group Inc. are the listed brokers on the site. Jim Carpenter, Jud Clements, Robby Rieke and Madeleine Supplee of Cushman and Wakefield represented Green Point in its transaction with EQT Exeter.

Clements said in a statement that the Austin region’s booming population, low unemployment rate and continued growth in the e-commerce, tech and auto sectors has led to “unprecedented demand” for industrial space.

Representatives from Green Point and Colliers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Exeter, a subsidiary EQT AB, plans to lease the remaining space in the first building. It’s unclear what they plan to do with the 24-acre parcel within the site. The company has over $29 billion equity under management in Europe, the Americas and Asia where it acquires, develops, leases and manages logistics and industrial, office, life science and residential properties. Its portfolio includes more than $35 billion in total property asset value, more than 2,000 properties and 375 million square feet.

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