By Sahar Chmais
More than 800,000 square feet of industrial space will be erected on the east side of Buda; city representatives consider the project is a feat for residents, infrastructure and the economy.
“This is a pretty good visual of how much has changed,” Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said as he addressed the crowd at the groundbreaking. “One time all we raised in Hays County were cows and Johnson grass, and now, we’re raising houses and businesses.”
United Properties has made Buda its first Central Texas destination with an investment of $90 million to create industrial space. The project will be split in two phases; the first will be about 475,000 square feet to be completed by the second quarter of 2022. There is no word on when the second portion will be finished.
Representatives from Buda and United Properties at the groundbreaking. Starting from left: Jennifer Storm, Buda EDC Board President, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Josh Delk, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development at United Properties, Buda Mayor Lee Urbanovsky, Brenda Studt, Development Manager, Chris Mase, VP Construction Management and Bill Katter, President & Chief Investment Officer, United Properties Development.
The property, Buda Midway, sits between Sunfield and Amazon in East Buda on Firecracker Lane.
This space is already attracting some industry names, but that information has not yet been disclosed. Having this capacity of industrial buildings will bring many opportunities to Buda, said Buda Mayor Lee Urbanovsky. It helps develop the east side of the city, brings in more job opportunities, raises property value and opens a way for more infrastructure to be built, he explained.
Additionally, Buda has two big box businesses – Amazon and U.S. Foods. This space will bring in more of these businesses, giving Buda room to compete with the surrounding cities which have a strong industrial market, Urbanovsky said.
Turning this agricultural land into commercial land will also help bring in more taxes, Jones said.
The growth of Central Texas has been inevitable, as Hays County continues to top the charts of fastest growing counties for several years in a row. In 20 years, Buda has grown from a population of 2,000 to an expected 20,000 this year, after the census is finalized, Urbanovsky said.
The mayor’s goal is to grow in the right direction, according to his speech at the groundbreaking. “If I had a tattoo, it would say smart growth,” Urbanovsky joked.
In his past 20 years living in the city, he has witnessed big changes, and Urbanovsky said he believes the city is heading in the right direction.
“I feel confident in what we’re doing is the right thing, and we are steering the boat in the right direction,” Urbanovsky said.