KKR, Hines, Pinto Join Forces on Houston Industrial Park

KKR has partnered with Hines and Pinto Realty to bring Houston's Pinto Business Park into fruition, a project that at full development would cost more than $900 million.

Houston is hungry for industrial space and a new joint venture plans to satiate users’ increasingly strong appetite. Global investment concern Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. has partnered with real estate firm Hines and Pinto Realty Partners to bring the 971-acre Pinto Business Park to fruition.

Pinto Realty owns the property, having acquired the land more than two decades ago, Hines has the exclusive development rights and KKR has the investment capacity. Pinto Business  Park is a project that, at full development, would mark an investment exceeding $900 million.

“This is a great opportunity to partner with a best-in-class developer to build out a prime piece of property, proximate to downtown, the port of Houston and all of the surrounding airports, in an underserved industrial market,” Ralph Rosenberg, global head of real estate at KKR, told Commercial Property Executive.

The Class A, master‐planned business park will be immediately marketed for build-to-suit opportunities and will also focus on land sales to corporate users interested in building their own facilities. The market is ripe for such pursuits. In response to limited availability, developers had 2.3 million square feet of projects in the works in the second quarter, according to a report by Colliers International, a sum spurred in no small part by expanding and relocating companies’ initiation of build-to-suits.

There’s ample room for KKR, Hines and Pinto Realty to respond to the high local demand via their joint venture endeavor, as Pinto Business Park, the largest development-ready business park in the City of Houston, has the capacity for 9 million square feet of accommodations. Commercial real estate services firm Studley has been tapped to represent Pinto Business Park, which sits in Houston’s north/northwest submarkets, where the respective vacancy rate is 5.5 and 4.3 percent, per the Colliers report.  And the numbers continue to head downward.

“Texas is growing and has a vibrant economy,” Rosenberg said. “Houston has seen growth in the energy and healthcare sectors in particular. As a result, the vacancy rate in industrial real estate in Houston is at a historical low–so there is demand for prime property.”

KKR, Hines and Pinto Realty’s tackling of build-to-suit and land needs in the market will be followed by spec development activity.