Dallas’ Barber Partners and Bain Capital Launch $500M Cold Storage Venture Across the U.S.

The joint venture will develop around 15 "next generation" cold storage facilities across the country. The launch addresses a cold storage crunch that's been exacerbated by increased demand during the pandemic and the ongoing supply chain crisis. The first project: a $52 million, 302,000-square-foot "state-of-the-art" facility right in Dallas' back yard, in Denton.

America’s supply chain crunch has created many opportunities for investors and developers. One hot sector is cold storage—and now a Dallas development company aims to build the next generation of cold storage facilities across the U.S.

Dallas-based Barber Partners and Bain Capital’s Special Situations strategy have announced a nationwide joint venture to develop around 15 Class-A cold storage warehouses under the Chill Storage brand, a division of BP Industrial.

The companies plan to deploy $500 million in asset value over the next several years for the project—and one facility will be right in Dallas’ back yard.

$52 million, 302K-SF Denton facility

The venture’s first project is a spec Class-A freezer/cooler facility to be built in Denton. Seen in the rendering above, the $52 million, 302,000-square-foot “state-of-the-art” facility will be located on Corbin Road. It will have a 50-foot clear height to enable “the latest in racking technology and systems,” and offer the capability to provide freezing down to -10 degrees. 

Pandemic boosted the need for cold storage

Patrick J. Barber, co-founder and chairman of the board of Dallas-based Barber Partners LLC. [Photo: LinkedIn]

The pandemic has had myriad impacts on the supply chain, but it’s only worsened a cold storage crunch that has been looming for years, says Patrick J. Barber, chairman at Barber Partners.

“There’s no question that there is an enormous need for new, modern cold storage facilities,” Barber said in a statement. “Even before COVID, the consumption of prepared and frozen meals was rapidly on the rise.”

Barber’s team will be working as an operating developing partner with Bain Capital on the project, developing “high-technology” industrial cold storage warehouses in “high demand” U.S. markets.

“This will also allow us to attract best-in-class tenants who are looking to expand,” Barber added. His company specializes in ground-up developments in the industrial and multifamily sectors, offering expertise in “design, construction management, building longevity, facilities maintenance, and property management.”

JLL’s Executive Managing Director Trey Morsbach and Director Will Mogk advised Barber Partners on its equity placement in the joint venture.

Providing ‘critical infrastructure’ to the U.S. food distribution system

David DesPrez, a director at Bain Capital, sees the venture as addressing a serious infrastructure need for the country.

“With the growing complexity of the food and beverage supply chain, we believe our highly adaptable, modern warehouse design will allow us to meet the full spectrum of food tenant needs and provide critical infrastructure to the U.S. food distribution system,” DesPrez said in the statement.

Texas is No. 5 in the U.S. in cold storage warehouse capacity

According to the USDA, as of 2019 there were 912 refrigerated warehouses in the U.S. totaling 3.65 billion cubic feet in storage capacity. Texas was the No. 5 state in the U.S. in gross refrigerated warehouse capacity, at 242 million cubic feet. Only California followed by Washington, Florida, and Wisconsin had more.

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