Single Tenant Building Development
In the late 1990s, the Wilsons started developing single-tenant industrial buildings. In 1998, The Wilson’s purchased GSL Constructors, Ltd. from Gustave S. Levey. Four industrial buildings were under construction at the time. Later, the Wilsons purchased 15 other facilities that had previously been developed by Gustave Levey. The Wilsons liked this field of real estate so much, that they phased out all their other real estate developments, including Lakewood Forest subdivision in Northwest Houston and Lakes of Bridgewater in West Houston.
Soon GSL Constructors were building up to 12 facilities a year that were fully leased in advance. By 2002, the portfolio reached 30 facilities. The company passed one million square feet of such property in 2004. A landlord company, GSL Industrial Partners, and later GSL Industrial Holdings, was formed to hold the property after construction was completed. The landlord company’s name was later changed to GSL Welcome Group, LLC.
In the last ten years construction became much more specialized, and the facilities owned by Welcome Group grew to include; complicated laboratories, integrated manufacturing facilities and special purpose facilities with pits, massive cranes and extremely high power availability.
As developments got larger and larger, partners were brought in to provide the capital. At first, such partners were friends and family, but later became more institutional-grade investors.
In 2007, a joint venture was initiated with a state agency. Today, that joint venture owns property valued at $150 million.
As the company expanded, it began to purchase, as well as build facilities. Welcome Group hopes to purchase an additional $80 million worth of facilities before the end of 2014.
Today, Welcome Group owns over 3.5 million square feet of single-tenant industrial facilities in 80 locations. GSL Constructors is now building in a joint venture called Kingham Dalton Wilson, Ltd., which typically has ten facilities under construction in Texas and Louisiana at any one time.