Our Role in Texas Development


Family History

In 1952, E.E. Jack Wilson, father of Welcome Wilson Sr. and Jack E. Wilson started investing in farm and ranch property in North Houston and East Texas, including rent houses. When he died in 1964, he owned more than 100 parcels of land in four counties of Texas including 1,000 acres in Athens, Texas. In 1957 after five years of federal service, Jack and Welcome Wilson, Sr. became real estate developers with their first project, Jamaica Beach in Galveston.

In 1957, Welcome Wilson Sr., with his brother and others, developed Jamaica Beach in Galveston with 1,600 home sites. Jamaica Beach is now a separate city in Galveston County. The Jamaica Beach group went on to develop seven other resort projects in Galveston County including Tiki Island, also a separate city.

In 1964, while the resort developments continued, Jack and Welcome Wilson, Sr., with partners, developed six apartment projects in Houston and Galveston, including the Kingsbrook Apartments, Foxhall Apartments, and Villa Marina Apartments.

In 1965, the Wilsons founded Homestead Bank in North Houston and built a bank building and retail center on Homestead Road. Welcome Wilson, Sr. was Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In 1967, when the Marriott Hotel corporation owned five hotels in the world (now they own 5,000 hotels), the Wilsons developed the sixth Marriott in the world by the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. They owned it and it was managed by the Marriotts. Pictured: Houston Mayor Louie Welch, Texas Lt. Governor Ben Barnes, RE Bob Smith, Welcome Wilson, Sr., Bill Marriott, Jr.

The Wilsons owned ten percent of the Houston Astros baseball team and the Astrodome lease in the 1960s and 70s. Pictured: Welcome Wilson, Sr., Mayor Pro-Tem Johnny Goyen, Archie Bennett, Jr., Rufus Youngblood (Secret Service Agent), Lady Bird Johnson, President Lyndon Johnson and Judge Roy Hofheinz.

In 1970, the Wilson family sponsored the Bob and Vivian Smith Fountain in downtown Houston at the intersection of Polk and Smith to honor their great friends. Bob Smith was the largest land owner in Harris County.

In 1980, in a joint venture with James E. Lyon, owner of the River Oaks Bank in Houston, the Wilsons built a 22-story office building in downtown Houston at 801 Travis.

Also in the 1980s, the Wilson’s, in another joint venture with James E. Lyon, purchased a 22-story downtown office building due to a foreclosure by a lender during construction. They finished the building and sold it to the U.S. Government as the Mickey Leland Federal Office Building.

The Wilsons were development manager and partner in Lakewood Forest subdivision in the 1980’s. It has 700 homes near Highway 249.

With Walter Mischer Sr., the Wilsons developed 1,000 homes at Mason Road in the late 1980’s. The project is called Lakes of Bridgewater.

In the 1990’s real estate bust, the Wilsons teamed up with TCP Realty to purchase and redevelop five million square feet of office and retail buildings. The buildings were purchased from insolvent banks and the RTC.

The Development of

In the late 1990s, the Wilsons started developing single-tenant industrial buildings. In 1998, The Wilsons 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 was building up to 10 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 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.

GSL Constructors is now building in a joint venture called Kingham Dalton Wilson, Ltd., which typically has $75 million worth of construction at any one given time.

In 2007, a joint venture was initiated with a state agency. Welcome Group grew that joint venture to a value of over $250 million.

In 2019, Welcome Group partnered with Almanac Realty to purchase up to a billion dollars worth of assets.

Today, Welcome Group owns over 9+ million square feet of single-tenant industrial facilities in 10+ markets in TX, and the Southeast Region of the United States.


(713) 952-7000

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Office Location:

5858 Westheimer, Suite 800
Houston, TX 77057