City officials are still trying to determine what, if any, effect the sale of Kansas City Southern Railways to Canadian Pacific will have on a pending rail-supported warehouse in El Campo.
The $29 billion deal was announced Sunday but still needs approval of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.
The Canadian purchase creates El Campo concerns with the 540-acre Southwest International Gateway business park or SWIG in the final preparation stage at the intersection of CR 421 and U.S. 59.
The development is projected to bring 100 jobs to El Campo and Wharton County in addition to tax revenue.
“I think it’s good news,” and “I don’t know,” were the only responses city officials could make Monday, adding they were reaching out to railroad officials but had yet to hear a response.
The buy out links KCS’ Mexico ports and rail lines through the heart of the nation with Canadian Pacific’s east/west lines running from coast to coast north of the U.S. border.
Stonemont CEO Zack Markwell, the lead park developer, appeared before council in early February offering assurances that construction was about to get under way with the SWIG being operational by June 2022, two million square feet in railroad supported warehouse space along with the infrastructure to get the ball rolling.
He could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Vitro Chemicals, a subsidiary of Vitro, one of the world’s largest glass manufacturers, may be the rail park’s first tenant, announcing its intention to locate there in February 2020.
A 125,000-square-foot distribution center for Vitro Chemicals was planned last year as well as a 200,000-square-foot speculative warehouse. That was delayed, however, as virtually all business in Texas shut down in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
City taxpayers have already paid $397,500 for infrastructure engineering, planning for it to be oversized to accommodate growth in the area.
The City Development Center of El Campo has offered $3 million to assist the park with infrastructure costs. The city will issue that still pending debt and be paid back by the CDC as construction gets under way.
Park developers are Stonemont, Ridgeline Property Group and NAI Partners. Watco Companies will operate the short line railroad connecting the buildings to the KCS main line.