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Rail Roundup: CenterPoint, G&W provide development updates

Rail-served distribution facility acquired and $1.6 billion worth of projects completed

A Genesee & Wyoming train heads to its next destination. (Photo: Genesee & Wyoming)

CenterPoint acquires Houston-area distribution facility

Industrial real estate developer CenterPoint Properties has acquired a rail-served distribution facility that has access to three railroads via the Port Terminal Railroad Association: Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP), BNSF (NYSE: BRK) and Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU). 

The facility sits on 31 acres in Pasadena, Texas. It is a Class A, 601,261-square-foot building. The property has six rail spurs that can serve railcar storage capacity, and it has 32 feet of clear height as well as 21 rail doors, outside storage and trailer parking. 

The facility is located near the Pasadena Freeway, and its location enables easy access to the petrochemical industry and to two Port of Houston container terminals, Barbours Cut and Bayport Terminal.

“The rail service, tremendous storage and adjacent transload road truly make this property one of the most desirable in the market,” said Danielle Radtke, CenterPoint senior vice president for asset management. “When you consider it’s located at the Beltway 8 and Highway 225 intersection, near the center of Houston’s petrochemical complex very close to the port, 3507 Pasadena Freeway is virtually unmatched in Houston.”

CenterPoint acquired the facility from Link Logistics Real Estate, which itself was established by Blackstone, an investment firm with an infrastructure arm. Link Logistics says it specializes in last-mile and in-fill industrial areas near large population centers.

Based in Oak Brook, Illinois, CenterPoint describes itself as a business that acquires, develops and manages supply chain-related, premium industrial real estate in key markets.

Genesee & Wyoming provides 2020 industrial development results

Short line operator Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) was involved in 45 new industrial development projects worth $1.6 billion throughout the U.S. in 2020.

G&W operates 105 short line railroads across the U.S. Among the facilities developed on or nearby G&W short lines were an automobile shipping facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a recycling zinc facility in Cass County, Indiana; an ore processing facility in Miami, Arizona; an animal feed processing facility in Fulton, Arkansas; and a pozzolan mining facility in Aguila, Arizona. 

“Access to national and international markets is still the driving factor in attracting new rail-served projects,” said Kevin Phillips, G&W vice president of industrial development. “Our 2020 wins include projects in more than half of the 42 states served by our railroads, representing nearly 47,000 new carloads annually, 65% of which come from four commodity groups: agricultural products, chemicals and plastics, lumber and forest products, and minerals and stone.”

More information about the G&W portfolio of more than 500 industrial development properties can be found here

G&W has 113 short line and regional railroads that operate across 42 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. The railroads total more than 13,000 track-miles. It also describes itself as the U.K.’s largest rail maritime intermodal operator and second-largest freight rail provider, and it provides regional rail services across continental Europe. 

The company was acquired by affiliates of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and GIC in 2019.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.