PICTURES: This is a rendering of the latest BNSF Logistics Center in Hudson, Colorado. This center is on 450 acres. The one being proposed near Sanger will be around 1,000 acres.
BNSF Railway is proposing a new 1,000 acre logistics center park between Sanger and Valley View. A logistics park is a fully permitted development designed to help customers more easily reach DFW and surrounding markets via new rail-served sites. Like other BNSF Logistics Centers, customers can save nine months or more of development time and expense.
The proposed facility near Sanger will feature sites for customers who wish to ship via individual rail-cars and a unit train site for customers who ship entire train-loads. The available sites are customizable to meet customers’ needs. In addition to gaining access to the BNSF network, businesses that locate near Sanger will have access near I-35.
“Establishing logistic centers, is the latest way we are working to make sure new, existing and potential customers who want to locate on rail in a densely populated, growing industrial market have the option to do so. By purchasing and developing land in advance, we can help our customers save time and money when they are looking to expand or relocate their facility,” said Colby Tanner, assistant vice president, economic development.
BNSF Logistics Centers focus on offering direct rail service in multi-customer, multi-commodity business parks. BNSF invests directly in the development of the facility to create sites in under-served, strategic, end-user markets. These facilities can service carload, unit train customers, or both. To learn more about BNSF’s Premier Parks, Sites and Transloads Program, visit bnsf.com/rail-development.
The proposed site will be located from Lone Oak Road to County Road 2411 and South, past Chisam Road, on the east side of I-35. BSNF is currently in the process of negotiating with land and home owners for the project. A public meeting was held Tuesday night at the Valley View High School Ag Building, hosted by Precinct 2 Cooke County Commissioner Jason Snuggs and Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley. They wanted to provide information to the public, since there were several rumors about the project.
Snuggs started off first by saying, this proposed project is not going to be a “rail yard”, but a logistics center. He said a meeting was held at the end of the summer with Denton and Cooke County officials, Denton County Economic Development, City of Sanger and Sanger Economic Development and the City of Valley View. At that meeting BSNF announced that they wanted to build this new logistics center. The 1,000 acres would be located in two counties, 60% Cooke and 40%. It is estimated to cost 500 million and around 40 million to buy the land. The project is in Valley View’s ETJ, as well as Sanger’s. BSNF is hoping the City of Sanger will can annex the property purchased and provide utilities, since it will be near the Wal-Mart Logistics Center and R&L Carriers Trucking Company, according to Snuggs. Valley View’s utilities are not close enough, currently.
A similar project was proposed in another county in the State of Texas and BNSF wasn’t able to purchase the land needed for a logistics center and the project never got off the ground. Land and home owners within and around this proposed project near Sanger, were concerned with imminent domain. Snuggs said BNSF doesn’t have a history instituting it, although they legally can 2-miles in from the railway. He said they want to be good neighbors and pay above market value. He said this project is in the preliminary stages and the negotiations are moving slow with the land owners. “From what I understand, no offers have been made by BSNF. They are just asking owners what they would sell their home and land for,” said Snuggs.
Around 50 people showed up for this meeting and most were concerned about the negative impact of this project. Especially the people that would be near it, after it is built. The concerns were traffic, noise, property values going down, etc... Judge Brinkley said BNSF would build a buffer around the entire facility with berm walls, and the facility wouldn’t be visible by neighboring land and homes. Traffic would come right off I-35.
Some of the land BNSF will be trying to purchase, sits in the Lake Ray Roberts Planning & Zoning. This zoning area is 5,000 feet from the shoreline of the entire lake. That could pose a problem with zoning issues for BNSF. But, both Snuggs and Brinkley mentioned the site map of this project could change, depending on if land owners are willing to sell or not. It could move farther west of the lake and a little more south along the railroad, depending on the land BNSF is able to accumulate. They said it could fluctuate.
There is a major impact on tax dollars for both counties and jobs this logistics center would bring. BNSF isn’t asking for any tax abatement or help from the public for this project, according to Snuggs.
Some of the people at the meeting have lived all of their lives on their property and don’t want this in their “backyard.” Others have just built their dream homes inside the proposed map of the project or around the area. People willing to sell their property can leave with a substantial amount of money, but others would be left with this near their property, that is outside of the logistics center. They want to look at the country side, not a logistics center. Judge Brinkley said that BNSF is willing to build a dam type berm around the entire site, to alleviate that.
Both, Snuggs and Brinkley were understanding of the concerns, but said this is a company buying private property and there is nothing county or city officials can do to stop it, but it can be regulated, especially if it is voluntarily annexed in to the city limits of Sanger.
You can learn more about a BNSF Logistics Center on YouTube. Just search BNSF Logistics Center Hudson and there is a four minute video that explains the concept. The Hudson Logistics Center is 450 acres, half the size of the proposed one near Sanger. The Sanger News will continue to update this as more information is updated. Commissioner Snuggs invited people to his website at www.jasonsnuggs.com and he will provide information, as it becomes available.
BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies. BNSF operates approximately 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and also operates in three Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF’s shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry.