El Paso businessman Lane Gaddy’s investors group bought 3,400 acres of land in Santa Teresa, and sold 1,244 acres to Santa Teresa’s short-line railroad.
W Silver Recycling CEO’s investors’ group buys 2,200 acres in growing industrial area next to Mexican border
El Paso businessman and Downtown El Paso developer Lane Gaddy has purchased 2,200 acres of vacant land in Santa Teresa’s growing industrial area located only a few miles from El Paso’s Upper Valley.
The purchase, which closed in December, makes him one of three big land owners in Santa Teresa.
The latest purchase comes after Gaddy’s investors’ group, Santa Teresa Capital, bought and quickly sold another 1,244 acres in the Santa Teresa Intermodal Park, previously known as Verde Logistics Park, in November to Ironhorse Resources.
The Illinois company operates Santa Teresa’s short-line rail service for Santa Teresa industrial parks, with a direct connection to Union Pacific Railroad.
"I’m very bullish on the area," Gaddy said. "I believe the momentum is very much in Southern New Mexico’s favor no matter what happens with the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation) talks, and is poised to grow."
He plans to sell pieces of his Santa Teresa land portfolio, which does not include any existing buildings, and develop some of it for industrial uses, he said.
"We have two industrial deals to be announced in the next few months," Gaddy said. "Those will bring (more) jobs and activity to the area."
Gaddy declined to reveal details of the upcoming industrial deals and did not divulge how much his group paid for its Santa Teresa acreage.
The Mexican border is just a rock throw away from Santa Teresa, N.M., located a few miles from El Paso’s Upper Valley.
Gaddy first entered Santa Teresa in 2013 when W Silver Recycling, a large El Paso company founded by his great-grandfather almost 100 years ago, bought about 10 acres of land in the Intermodal Park to use as a shipping yard.
Gaddy is chief executive officer of the company, based near Downtown El Paso, that does metal, plastic and cardboard recycling for factories in Juárez and other areas.
Gaddy, with other investors, over several years then bought another 80 acres of Intermodal Park land adjacent to the W Silver land. The company has future plans to construct a building there and turn the property into a regional shipping hub, Gaddy said.
While W Silver is his main business, Gaddy has become better known in El Paso for his Downtown renovation projects. He’s had the Martin Building converted to apartments, is having the Bassett Tower renovated into an Aloft Hotel, and has plans to renovate the Banner Building across the street from San Jacinto Plaza. He and his investor groups now own 12 Downtown buildings, he said.
Lane Gaddy, an El Paso businessman and Downtown developer, talked about his Downtown redevelopment projects during a 2015 tour. A Gaddy investors’ group recently bought 2,200 acres of Santa Teresa land, and bought and sold another 1,244 acres in the area near El Paso’s Upper Valley.
Jerry Pacheco, president of the Border Industrial Assocation in Santa Teresa, said having the aggressive and regional-minded Gaddy involved in Santa Teresa development is good for the area’s future.
"He’s a local investor who understands the lay of the land and what we’re trying to do here," which is to recruit more companies and "create a stronger development base" with ties to Mexico, Pacheco said. Mexico is literally a rock throw away from Santa Teresa.
Santa Teresa has four industrial parks with dozens of companies, including the recent addition of a FedEx Ground shipping facility, and about 4,000 workers, Pacheco said.
In 2014, Union Pacific Railroad opened a $400 million rail facility in Santa Teresa, including a 300-acre intermodal hub, the largest intermodal facility Union Pacific operates along the U.S.-Mexico border. An intermodal hub processes containers that can be placed on ships, trucks or trains.
Just across the Santa Teresa international port of entry is the mammoth Foxconn computer assembly plant, which can be seen through the U.S. government’s brown, iron border fence stretching along portions of Gaddy’s newly purchased acreage.
The U.S. government’s iron border fence, left, stretches along a portion of Santa Teresa land recently purchased by El Paso businessman Lane Gaddy and his investors group.
The land Gaddy bought was once part of more than 20,000 acres of land owned by Verde Realty, a real estate investment trust started in 2003 by well-known El Paso businessman Bill Sanders, who later formed a banking company that has become FirstSun Capital Bancorp, based in Denver.
Verde had plans to turn much of their Santa Teresa land into a 25,000-home master-planned community. But those plans were eventually scrapped, Verde moved out of El Paso, and eventually was sold to a Canadian company and then to IDI Gazeley, which this month changed its name to IDI Logistics. The Atlanta company buys and develops warehouses and distribution parks.
Gaddy’s group bought the Santa Teresa land from IDI. The Atlanta company still owns three industrial buildings in Santa Teresa, Pacheco said.
Pacheco said it’s much easier to deal with an El Paso-based investor than with an out-of-town company.
An IDI Logistics sign advertises land for lease in Santa Teresa. This is a portion of 3,400 acres of land bought by El Paso businessman Lane Gaddy and his investors group from IDI. Gaddy’s group has already sold 1,200 acres of the land to a short-line railroad operator.
"With a company headquartered in Atlanta, it’s hard to get on the same page. Lane (Gaddy) is just a phone call away, and our neighbor in El Paso," Pacheco said.
Gaddy’s land includes acreage along Pete Domenici Highway, which turns into Artcraft Road in El Paso, that Verde began preparing for a housing development.
Gaddy said he has no plans to do residential development. The land set aside for residential use likely will be sold in the future, he said.
Most of the Verde-owned land is now in the hands of Chris Lyons, a Santa Fe resident, who years ago got involved with Santa Teresa development. He also has a home in the El Paso area, Pacheco said.
Lyons’ Paseo del Norte Limited Partnership owns 17,500 acres of Santa Teresa land, making him Santa Teresa’s largest landowner.
Lyons’ land is part of what is being proposed as a binational city, with another 47,000 acres, owned by Mexican businessman Eloy Vallina, in San Jeronimo, Mexico, just across the Santa Teresa international port of entry.
The Border Industrial Association and the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance in Las Cruces in October submitted to Amazon the proposed binational city as a possible site for Amazon’s second headquarters. The Seattle online retail and tech giant in September launched an international competition for its so-called HQ2.
Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421; firstname.lastname@example.org; @vickolenc on Twitter.