Victoria has new $1.55 million business park


Dec. 27, 2010 at 6:27 a.m.

Victoria is preparing to draw more business to the city in 2011.

A $1.55 million deal has been sealed for a 106-acre tract of land in east Victoria that will be the city's newest business park.

"Sometimes you wonder if you're doing the right thing spending this much money," said Lewis Neitsch, chairman of the Victoria sales tax board that bought the land. "Personally, I think it's a great deal."

The property is on Lone Tree Road east of the Lone Tree Business Park that will become home to a Caterpillar manufacturing plant. Caterpillar's $120 million to $150 million investment is expected to create 500 jobs.

The land is bordered by U.S. 59, Zac Lentz Parkway and Lone Tree Road. It also has access to the existing utilities that will serve Caterpillar.

Economic development officials said the new business park could lure companies that may come to Victoria because of Caterpillar.

"We strongly believe that Caterpillar's presence here will be a big help to us in marketing to others, whether they are suppliers to Caterpillar or other manufacturers," said Dale Fowler with the Victoria Economic Development Corp. "It only helps to market if you have land."

He said while he has no firm leads yet, his office has had inquiries about land near the Caterpillar property.

The sales tax corporation closed on the property Monday. Dennis Caka, the Victoria Realtor who brokered the deal, said half of the property is owned by Ed Cappel of Houston and half by the Margaret Ward Willis trust.

Cappel said he believes the property has been in his family since the 1800s. He said it previously belonged to his late father, Charles Cappel, who was a native of El Campo. Cappel said his dad was pro-business and instrumental in working with the Texas Department of Transportation when it was developing Victoria's highways.

"I think it's wonderful how this has worked out," Cappel said. "I think my father would be very pleased with this."

The sales tax corporation, which owned the original 310-acre Lone Tree Business Park, gave the land to Caterpillar as part of an incentive package. Neitsch said the sales tax corporation will probably not give away land in the new business park.

"We would be happy to sell it at a discount," he said. "But we would like to get some money back so we can maybe buy some other properties or do other things."



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