Copperas Cove EDC selects company for spec building feasibility study, looks at Constitution Drive project
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation approved selecting CBRE to be the company to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a spec building during the EDC’s regular meeting on Wednesday.
The action is contingent upon the information to be received from a meeting with a developer next week.
The CCEDC has been discussing the need for a spec building for a few years. The CCEDC has been unable to qualify or submit RFPs on many company prospect leads, received mostly through the Governor’s Office, due to not having any readily available buildings/warehouses,. In 2018, the discussion of a spec building was first brought up to the Board of Directors.
The EDC contracted with CBRE to do a feasibility study for the Narrows Business and Technology Park, and they were able to offer input based on their findings, including the sizes of spec buildings that could be done.
The discussion was put on hold as the EDC went through staff transitions, but the conversation resumed in 2020. During a summer meeting, the board provided direction for a 20,000 square foot spec building, but during a meeting in August, the size of the proposed spec building was increased to attract more bids.
The EDC received two bids for the feasibility study for a spec building, from Community Development Strategies and from CBRE. The CDS proposal came in under $17,000.
“This will help us scale and design the facility, and they are basing part of their research on six to eight interviews with industrial brokers active in the Central Texas market, so that first-hand knowledge is a very valuable input which they are providing,” Titas said.
The proposal from CBRE was for $20,000.
“They have a lot of that expertise in-house that may not require the interviews with active brokers in our market as they have an office in Austin and serve our area also from their office in the metroplex,” Titas said. “That being said, the other piece that we’re exploring is these proposals will help us get to a design of a project which we want to form a public private partnership with the developer to help construct a facility. A developer that is already interested in the project, who has done these projects to a great amount of success throughout the state, has been trying to schedule a meeting to come down and look at the site.”
Titas said that the EDC is flying the developer down next week to tour the site and discuss details.
“This may be a little premature at this moment to take action on either one of these feasibility analyses, but we have options,” Titas said. “We have interested parties that will actually provide I think a very, very valuable product for us that will help provide guidance to staff, to make sure that we construct a facility that will gain traction on the market and will be attractive.”
Copperas Cove city council liaison Fred Chavez said that he felt this analysis was worth the EDC doing its due diligence and that the EDC should go with best value, not necessarily lowest bid.
Titas confirmed that CBRE had provided an analysis for the EDC previously but said that this new analysis would be more robust.
“They basically provided us a study that said you can build three types of buildings- a small, medium or large- and we think you should have a medium building,” Titas said. “That more or less was the executive summary.”
EDC board member Rick Kirkpatrick said that from his review of the proposals, the CBRE proposal seems to be much more in depth than what the CDS proposal is.
“You get more bang for your buck, even though your bucks are a little bit more,” Kirkpatrick said.
Board member J.C. Stubbs questioned whether the board should table selecting a bid for the feasibility study until after the meeting with the developer.
The question also came up as to whether the study would be needed if there was a developer already in play.
“Personally I think we need to table this until we meet with this [developer] and make a final decision in April, but I’m just making the argument as the devil’s advocate- even if we decide to go with a guy that’s ready to build a building, I still think a very robust feasibility study that we can use for the next decade is not going to be a bad investment,” Stubbs said.
After further discussion, Kirkpatrick made the motion to approve CBRE, contingent upon receiving the information from the investor that is coming in next week.
The motion was seconded by Board Director Elizabeth Ruszkiewicz.
“I’ve dealt with CBRE with appraisals, and they are very, very comprehensive reports, so they really do go into the detail that I think we’re looking for, so I second that,” she said.
The board of directors also approved a resolution for the rebuilding of Constitution Drive.
During the February 24 regular EDC meeting, there was discussion concerning approval for the authorization of expenditures for infrastructure related to the Constitution Drive Drainage and Roadway Improvements project, which amount to a little more than $2 million. This project is part of the City of Copperas Cove’s 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Plan and presently has two components, a drainage portion in the amount of $442,008 and the street reconstruction portion in the amount of $1,597,545 for a total of $2,039,553.
“This is a resolution basically codifying or declaring that we see the construction of the gateway road to our industrial park is a bonafide economic development project,” Titas said. “This resolution will authorize staff to really move forward and put together a plan and budget and get that before you.”