A new cold storage facility coming to Denton later this year could bring as many as 200 jobs to the area.

The demand for cold storage facilities has been growing across the country, with real estate services firm CBRE estimating demand will require an additional 75 million to 100 million square feet of freezer and cooler space in the next five years. In Dallas-Fort Worth, local developer Cold Creek Solutions is aiming to help meet that need by building a 374,560-square-foot speculative cold storage facility in Denton, which will break ground this summer.

The building, which will be able to accommodate both refrigerated and frozen storage needs, will sit on roughly 23 acres northwest of Interstate 35 and Barthold Road. Nearly 50% of the space has already been leased by Fort Worth-based logistics provider Southwest Warehouse Services, which signed a 15-year lease agreement.

Cold Creek partnered with ARCO National Construction to complete the build, which will be complete in 2022. While the final number of jobs the facility will bring to the area depends on who leases the remaining half, Cold Creek president and managing partner Matt McWilliams estimates it could be between 100 and 200-plus. Although Southwest Warehouse managing partner Todd Hayes did not return several calls from the Denton Record-Chronicle to find out more details about the company’s lease, McWilliams estimates the company will bring roughly 70-75 jobs to the leased space.

“As far as a range of jobs, you’re going to have everything from accounting to warehouse work to the whole full spectrum,” McWilliams said. “We’re talking to one group right now who was contemplating moving their headquarters to the facility. If that’s the case, you’d have kind of your full C-suite as well as all aspects of the business in one location.”

The facility will also help meet a need for cold storage in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which is experiencing rapid growth between an influx of newcomers to the area and a web of outdated cold storage facilities driving demand up, McWilliams said.

The COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated trends, with consumers shopping online for frozen and refrigerated items through meal delivery services and e-commerce, as well as grocery stores seeing increased sales. About 80% of existing cold storage is more than 20 years old, so customers want buildings that can meet modern needs, Cold Creek managing partner Steven Meisel said.

“We’re finding that a lot of these markets have older facilities that the tenant is looking for a better facility with more clear height, better loading [and] better access, and we’re seeing that in several markets across the country,” McWilliams added.

As for whether North Texas can expect to see more facilities crop up in the area, Cold Creek anticipates demand will remain high for the foreseeable future.

“At some point, if people keep building buildings like we are we’ll outpace demand, but we see a five- to seven-year window here of cold storage being in high demand,” Meisel said. “It’s just the beginning.”

AMBER GAUDET can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @amb_balam.

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