The project is “the worst-kept secret ever,” said Danielle Scheiner, executive director of the Conroe Economic Development Council, at the Lake Conroe Region Outlook on April 30. Scheiner said she is under a nondisclosure agreement and could not reveal the name of the company. The building, which is under construction, has no markings or signage.
However, Nancy Mikeska, director of community development at the city of Conroe, said in an email that the building will be a Home Depot Regional Distribution Center.
According to Scheiner, the 600,000-square-foot building is scheduled to be completed in July but will likely open this fall. The project will help reactivate the rail spur that crosses Hwy. 105 into the site, and it also spurred the extension of FM 1314 up to Airport Road, she said.
“It has allowed the city to complete a road project that has been on our wishlist for a very long time, but until we got a user on it, we couldn’t do anything with it,” she said.
Getting a company to purchase the land was an achievement due to the site’s history, Scheiner said.
The Conroe Cresoting Co., which was closed in 1997 due to delinquent taxes, used three wood-preserving chemicals, pentachlorophenol, creosote and copper chromated arsenate, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA lists the site as a superfund site, or a hazardous waste site, although it underwent remedy construction in 2003.
The site is restricted to nonresidential uses and restricts water well installations, according to the EPA.
“It’s basically been monitored for about 15 years now with no issues, but it’s been a little bit of a blighted development there on the east side of Conroe,” Scheiner said. “So we have pitched that site to multiple projects, and we just haven’t been able to get a bite on it because I think every time a corporate risk manager saw it and saw the potential risk there with it being a former superfund site ... they were like, ‘No, I don’t think so.’”
Scheiner said the project required engagement with elected officials such as state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe; state Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe; and U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, as well as the EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
“This is probably one of the projects I am most proud of,” she said.