A developer hopes to break ground soon on a 17-acre light industrial and commercial park in east Pearland that will bring down the longstanding rice silos off Hwy. 35 and Rice Drier Road — but it will also make way for a business to relocate to the city.
“I looked into saving the silos. I looked at alternative uses, and in a more urban or dense environment, it might have been easier to figure out a way to use them, but there’s no way to use them there,” said Bobby Orr, who owns the property. “They are historic to some extent … but also they’re also a liability.”
Energy Rental Solutions, a Caterpillar dealership specializing in energy generators, temperature control units and other temporary equipment needs, is planning to relocate from Houston to a new facility adjacent to the business park within the property.
The firm has 40 employees and will take up about 10 acres for office space and for a large concrete lot to store generators and other equipment for rental. The company said it is close to finalizing its plans and will begin seeking permits soon.
“We are already working with the architect on the design. We will be pouring a lot of concrete for a solid base for the generators to sit out on,” said John Deiss, vice president for ERS CAT. “We are excited about the move. We think we’ll be up and running in nine months.”
The first phase of construction will create two buildings with a total of 32,000 square feet for commercial use and set aside more than 3 acres for stormwater detention, according to planning documents.
The City Council approved a rezoning request for the development in June. The Pearland Economic Development Corporation is offsetting the cost of the drainage and roadway improvements to Rice Drier Road through an economic incentive package, Orr said.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this project without their help,” he said.
The development is coming as a $6 million corridor facelift project is set to begin along Hwy. 35 this year.