TEXARKANA, Texas — It was a year of adjustment for officials at TexAmericas Center, largely because of the pandemic. And adjust they did.
"The biggest disappointments as a organization in dealing with this year was projects moving at a slower pace due to the prospect of having to understand how COVID-19 and the impacts of the coronavirus was having on their business," said Scott Norton, executive director and CEO.
TexAmericas leadership went online with much of their meetings and plans. They also worked on adjusting the scope of projects to keep operations moving forward.
"Looking back over the year, our single biggest accomplishment was keeping our volume of prospects high and keeping them active," Norton said. "We utilized all the technology available to continue to meet with tenants and we started our Third Party Logistics Program because we knew there would be a need for business going forward. Our prospect numbers are not only higher now than when COVID first started, but we also have several companies we are talking to about providing services through the Third Party Logistics Program.
Norton said one of the best days during the crisis was a site visit during the summer. Despite all the caution, concerns and restrictions, they managed to pull it off.
"We only had a few people in the conference room, but we had dozens of people online utilizing one of the online meeting platforms, with individuals and teams located all across the country," he said.
For meetings that required one-on-one time, the TexAmericas team was also able to make it happen that day.
"Being adaptive, moving things forward during the past year paid off for TexAmericas Center, as well as our community," he said.
The past year
Some of TexAmericas successes this past year were obvious:
n It broke Ground on a new spec building, the first new building on its property in more than 15 years. It is a multi-tenant, mixed-used building that can be easily expanded with 32-foot ceilings and multiple docks.
n Business Facilities Magazine ranked TexAmericas Center No. 8 in its Top 10 industrial parks listing.
n It will be site of Riverbend Water Resources District's proposed new $200 million regional water treatment system, which in turn will support ongoing growth for current and future tenants and for the region at large. It will be expandable to meet long-term growth and usage projections for the region.
n And it secured a major new tenant, Lockheed Martin. The global security and aerospace company (it employs more than 110,000 people worldwide) expanded operations into a building at TexAmericas in support of a public/private partnership contract with the Red River Army Depot.
The new year
Looking forward to 2021, the spec building is the biggest project it has going. It is a 15,000-square-foot space and sits on 24 acres. It will be ready for new tenants in the summer. It has the ability to accommodate a wide range of enterprises.
"Seeing how many companies wish to use our Third Party Logistics services, this will only enhance the spec building's capabilities when it becomes operational," Norton said. "Additionally, we look forward to adding to our staff our newly hired vice president of finance, which will allow us to assist companies in putting together financial options for companies looking to locate to TexAmericas Center."
Norton said it takes a team effort to get it done — and that team extends beyond its property lines.
"We continue to appreciate the support we receive from the TexAmericas Center Board of Directors, Bowie County, the local municipalities and organizations that assist us in our redevelopment efforts," he said. "We could not do what we do without their support."
(TexAmericas Center is located in Bowie County, about 20 miles west of Texarkana and near New Boston, Texas.)