Sanders, a seed and fertilizer distributor with more than 100 locations in 10 states, will soon have storage for liquid and dry fertilizer with rail spur access and a retail location fronting the Levelland Highway on the southern third of the new park.
A two million gallon liquid storage tank has recently been completed, and two smaller tanks with a quarter-million-gallon capacity are almost completed adjacent to the larger container. In all, after Sanders completes construction on those tanks, they will build a dry fertilizer storage barn, a warehouse and an office. Operations should begin by the first of the year.
Dane Higgins, area manager for Sanders, told the Brownfield News that the company selected the site because it fit their needs perfectly.
“We were looking for a spot with good rail and highway access and this has exactly that,” he said. “Brownfield is centrally located with our existing locations and we are excited about opening up here. We have an existing customer base in place, but obviously we would like to expand that base and this facility will allow for that. We anticipate this being a highly positive move for our company.”
Sanders currently operate distribution points in Slaton, Lamesa, Seminole, Seagraves and Plains. In its first year in Brownfield, Sanders plans to employee eight or nine full time employees, with an additional 10-12 contracted truckers.
Executive Director David Partlow said Sanders is a natural fit for the new park.
“We have spent a lot of time focused on the oil industry lately, but our plan of work at BIDCorp is to diversify the local economy whenever possible,” he said. “So we are very pleased to be able to welcome Sanders and its agricultural base as the first tenants of our new industrial park.”
Higgins said BIDCorp is the main reason Sanders is coming to Brownfield.
“We have been working on this expansion for quite a while and looking at numerous locations north of here along the rail,” he said. “We were close to selecting another site, but David came to us with this piece of land and a generous incentive offer and we couldn’t pass it up.
Brownfield has been great to us as we get started and we look forward to being strong civic citizens.”
The Ag company purchased 22 of the industrial park’s 55 acres, but will only improve about six acres initially, Higgins said.
The rest will be left to native grasses to help keep dust down and provide a land barrier between the company’s operations and St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, surrounded on three sides by the park.
“We met with the church’s leaders early on and explained what we do and they are pleased with how we plan to handle the land,” he said. “We pose no threat to anybody and we pride ourselves on being good neighbors wherever we are. In addition to that, we will construct some very nice looking buildings.”
He stressed that the company will not handle any of the volatile dry fertilizers like those that led to the disaster in West, Texas.
As part of its plans for the park, BIDCorp will pay to have dozens of trees planted along the entire property line with the church to provide a noise buffer and visual screen around the property.
“We’re happy to do that for the benefit of the church,” Partlow said.
“In a few years when those trees grow, it will really be a beautiful addition to their property.”
Higgins also said a small retail location is planned for construction in Meadow as well.