San Angelo City Council Cuts Deal for Rail Port with Private Developer
Feature Photo: Aerial view of the project site for a proposed inland railport north of San Angelo. Image: Google Earth.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Angelo (Tom Green County) — City Council approved a land deal that supports a private developer’s plan to construct a rail port on a 180-acre tract north of the city.
The sales contract of city land is with Wisener Holdings LLC (doing business as South Plains Lamesa Railroad Ltd.).
Conceptual site plan for the proposed inland railport by South Plains Lamesa Railroad Ltd.
The City of San Angelo Development Corporation (COSADC) bought the land from a private owner in December 2019 specifically for the purpose of developing a transload facility that would serve local customers.
The sale to South Plains Lamesa Railroad Ltd. (SPLRR) is conditioned on an agreement that SPLRR will create this transload facility rail port. The sale price was $600,000.
The subject property is immediately north of the Texas Pacifico Transportation Ltd. railyard and its western boundary is perfectly in line that rail line to accommodate an expansion between East 50th Street at its southern boundary to East FM Road 2105 at its northern boundary.
Prior to acquiring the land, the San Angelo Development Corporation conducted a year-long market study that concluding with the determination that there was a need for an inland rail port. Once constructed, it will serve industrial and agricultural enterprises with importation and exportation of bulk freight commodities.
The San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, a participant in the planning of the inland rail port, stated in a memo to the city that the “basic build-out would require approximately 12,000 feet of railroad infrastructure.” A conceptual site plan of the rail port suggests that over time several large warehouses would be added to store bulk commodities awaiting shipment.
The Chamber of Commerce suggests that at a minimum the city could expect to see a 300 railcar-per-month turnaround, and a yearly net return to the regional economy of about $12 million.
The Aug. 18 resolution approving the land sale notes that SPLRR has significant experience in the development and operation of a rail transloading facility. In 1993 SPLRR established and has since operated a commercial rail transloading facility at Slaton, Texas, for general commercial public use, including adjacent industrial sites, providing the South Plains with a wide variety of rail services and load volume capacities.
The resolution was not drafted as a Chapter 380 development agreement and does not specify a deadline to begin construction, nor does it come with a commitment from the developer for a specific amount to be invested, as is the case with Chapter 380s.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.