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 5+ million square feet of single-tenant industrial facilities in over 99 locations.