Business leaders understand that the right location is crucial to a company’s success but may not always know where to start. We invited widely respected Texas-based commercial real estate developer, Bandera Ventures, to share their decision-making process on why Lubbock is the ideal location for development.
Today, Bandera is among the businesses investing in the Lubbock Business Park, a 586-acre tract of land located on Interstate 27, approximately one mile south of the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. Currently, eight businesses reside in the park including the world parts manufacturing headquarters for Lummus Corporation, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s regional headquarters and Verizon Wireless’ 30,000-square-foot data center. To date, $25 million has been committed for public infrastructure at the Lubbock Business Park, making way for companies like Bandera Ventures to thrive. With the addition of more roads into the complex and 10 shovel-ready lots now available for new construction, the Lubbock Business Park is a vibrant option for any business looking to relocate or expand.
“Bandera Ventures is a Texas based, privately owned, real estate development and investment company that Tom Leiser, Chuck Anderson and I founded in 2003,” said Pryor Blackwell, co-founder of the development company. “The three of us spent the better part of two decades working together at Trammell Crow Company before launching Bandera Ventures.”
And as Bandera grows, the team continues to look for speculative spaces that fit their business model.
“Over our careers we have developed or acquired more than 60,000,000 square feet of office, industrial, retail, data centers and medical projects,” continued Blackwell. “Our philosophy for identifying opportunities worth pursuing is based on Aristotle’s quote: ‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.’
The Bandera team applied their philosophy to location research first. They wanted a place where many positive attributes culminated to make a clear choice. For Bandera, locating in the city of Lubbock and within the Lubbock Business Park fit their vision of the overall outcome exceeding the sum of the parts.
Now, as companies line up to make Lubbock home, Bandera is providing high-quality commercial space to meet the growing demand. Centered amid the Llano Estacado, which is Spanish for “Staked Plains,” it comes as no surprise the partnership with Lubbock and Bandera, which is Spanish for flag, is the perfect fit.
John Osborne, president and CEO of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA), describes Bandera as a great example of a firm doing the research, diving in and collaborating for success.
“Early in their process, Bandera leadership worked hand-in-hand with the team at LEDA to identify potential clients to lease Bandera’s first project,” said Osborne.
For more than 15 years, the LEDA team forged relationships with organizations and businesses like Bandera to create a business-friendly environment. They support improvements in infrastructure, workforce and an innovative landscape for overall business success. The benefit to the people of Lubbock is clear, and the community in turn supports LEDA, voting for a portion of the sales tax to be dedicated specifically to economic development, job creation and capital investment.
“The positive responses and enthusiastic interest led to an even larger project set for completion in September 2021,” said Osborne. “Now, Bandera Ventures is working with LEDA on a third, much larger project which will bring even more opportunities to businesses that choose to grow in Lubbock.”
Bandera learned a lot on their journey to Lubbock. Their willingness to share the following advice is indicative of the cooperative, collaborative spirit in West Texas.
As real estate developers, Bandera Ventures is in the business of predicting trends and growth. But for them, locating and creating space in Lubbock was not so speculative.
Mark Hayes, SVP of industrial leasing with HPI Real Estate and Investments, saw a Texas-sized opportunity with the pent-up market demand for state-of-the-art industrial buildings in the Lubbock market. Bandera took note of Lubbock’s ranking in the top 10 best cities in the nation for high-projected economic growth potential. They quickly recognized that Lubbock is primed to respond to the needs of businesses ready for growth.
“Similarly, populated markets across Texas are experiencing robust industrial demand and development,” said Hayes. “It did not make sense to us why Lubbock was not in the thick of this activity.”
By locating where market demand is robust and growth is anticipated, Bandera was able to meet user demand with state-of-the-art industrial real estate and pave the way for even greater growth in the area.
The team at Bandera credits much of their success to the collaborative nature of the local government and business alliances. According to Osborne, this approach is key.
“Early on, Bandera Ventures decided to lock arms with LEDA, local government, area business leaders, local and national real estate professionals and the community at large,” said Osborne.
The ability to connect and forge relationships will pay off in the long run, saving time, money, hassles and costly delays.
“We found every facet of working in Lubbock, including collaborating with John Osborne, Jana Johnston, the entire LEDA Board and team, the Mayor, City Council, City Staff, County representatives, local architects, engineers, consultants and real estate professionals to be a wholly positive experience,” said Blackwell. “In every respect, it has been a team effort.”
Having worked in cities throughout Texas, Blackwell considered the myriad of options for relocation and found that none were better poised for prosperity than Lubbock.
“Lubbock is a vibrant, ‘can do’ city,” said Blackwell. “The trifecta of exceptional government, businesses, and Texas Tech University leadership creates a ripe environment for collaboration, mutually beneficial growth and success.”
According to the Bandera team, there are tangible and traceable steps you can take toward success. First, choose a location with ready access to talent, transportation, potential clients and consumers. And then, establish your business near thriving industries and businesses that will complement your operation.
“As the hub of agriculture, manufacturing, retail, medical, technology and distribution in West Texas, Lubbock is well-equipped to meet the needs of businesses looking to relocate or expand,” said Blackwell. “The city can welcome businesses in need of real estate, specifically research, manufacturing and distribution companies that are looking for move-in-ready buildings.”
Don’t overlook transportation and the ease of access to and from the location for people as well as manufactured goods.
Lubbock’s central United States location, the five major highways that intersect the city limits, easy access to an international airport and the BNSF railway are all notable benefits to seamlessly conduct commerce.
“Consider also the smooth flow of traffic, the proximity to a large consumer population, the diverse industries present in Lubbock and the surrounding area. Lubbock is primed to respond to the needs of businesses ready for growth, said Blackwell.”
You don’t have to sacrifice or compromise what matters to you in a location. Set yourself up for success by choosing a location that has it all, minus the headaches.
It’s the people in a company that matter the most, and where they live, and work matters to them. The right location is key to taking advantage of an existing talent pool as well as attracting and retaining a high-quality workforce.
Lubbock is the 11th largest city in Texas, with 318,679 residents in the metropolitan area and a regional population base of more than 645,647 people. Already the second largest city west of Interstate 35, Lubbock is projected to grow seven percent through 2022. Lubbock’s size affords businesses easy access to dedicated community leaders, along with a steady pipeline of hard-working individuals and graduates of Texas Tech University, as well as Lubbock Christian University and South Plains College.
“Lubbock’s continued workforce growth and industry development offer both the necessary resources and unmatched opportunities to companies looking to expand or relocate to Lubbock. Our research suggests there are approximately 1,700,000 people living within a 2- to 2.5-hour drive of Lubbock and those numbers continue to grow.”
Consider factors such as community pride, image, history, art, culture, food, favorable weather and fun activities for young professionals and families. Take into account the cost of living, accessibility of transportation, quality schools and community diversity. Talk with locals and experts to see for yourself if a city has a welcoming community spirit. This helped make Lubbock a clear choice for Bandera Ventures.
“I loved everything about my time in Lubbock and at Texas Tech. I was greatly impressed by the kindness, character and generosity of the Lubbock community, the diversity and esprit de corps of the students, professors, and campus staff,” said Blackwell. “The hard-working, friendly, and authentic people of the area make Lubbock an excellent place for any business.”
Look to Bandera’s general guidelines and turn to trusted experts with specific questions. Resources in Lubbock are ready to assist. Contact John Osborne of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance to learn how Lubbock might be right for you.Reach out to Bandera Ventures for information about their experience and the spaces they offer. You may just find the perfect fit.