Amid market demand, industrial shell building agreement hits SEDCO

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The SEDCO board of directors has passed a program of work for that includes a focus on entrepreneurs, women-owned and minority-owned businesses.

Recently, Sherman Economic Develop Corp. has been receiving significant interest in businesses willing to move to Sherman, but only if the city has pre-built sites available. However, the city's stock of existing buildings is limited.

So in an effort to meet industry demand, SEDCO Board of Directors voted on Tuesday to approve  $105,000 agreement with Alliance Architects for design of a new 79,000-square-foot industrial building in an effort to encourage local development.

"We get calls every week from site consultants, companies and existing firms that are looking for existing buildings and we have none," SEDCO President Kent Sharp said. "We could have some opportunities open in the future, but right now we have none."

The proposed building would be developed in either the Progress Park I or Progress Park V industrial park, which currently have 11 acres and 83 acres of land ready for development, Sharp said.

In recent years, development has focused almost entirely on existing sites. However, Sharp said the only sites still available are on the smaller side, with few above 40,000 square feet of space. Few businesses have expressed any interest in building on raw ground.

"Out of 10 calls we get from manufacturers looking to expand or relocate, eight of 10 will say existing buildings only. If you only have land, do not apply," he said.

Instead, many would prefer to build a fresh building in a larger market to the south, even if it comes with a higher price, Sharp said.

SEDCO has reached out to private developers to explore a partnership for the development of shell buildings. Still, many of the developers have asked for incentives or rental guarantees that put  them outside of SEDCO's price range, Sharp said.

Through this building, Sharp said he hopes to prove to these developers that there is a significant interest in the Sherman market in hopes that someone will show an interest in building.

A similar agreement relating to pre-construction services for the proposed building was tabled by the board Tuesday, with multiple members expressing a design to wait until the project is further in development.