Mesquite, Garland Find New Life As Industrial Demand Reinspires Both Suburbs

They spent the past three decades in the shadows of North Dallas (, but strong demand for industrial and e-commerce space has put the East Dallas ( suburbs of Mesquite and Garland back on the map.

"I would say probably now one of the main reasons you are seeing so much activity out there is because these markets and these cities have historically been the suburbs that cater to blue-collar, working-class folks," Transwestern ( Research Manager Andrew Matheny ( said. 

And it's these transportation, logistics and trade-focused workers that companies need as more parts of the American economic system shift to onshoring and e-commerce storage and delivery services. 

Two years ago, Mesquite had roughly 12M SF of industrial space and a 95% lease rate, a representative from the city said. Between 2019 and today, the suburb's industrial space grew an additional 16M SF, the spokesperson added. 

"This will add at least $1B in real property value to our tax base in the coming decade and approximately 7,000 new jobs to the area," Mesquite Director of Economic Development Kim Buttram said of all the industrial growth. 

"We have seen much of the activity in the area of manufacturing. The shift is that companies are bringing production back to the USA, and Mesquite’s location to the workforce and logistical advantages offer both the production as well as distribution element." 

Major projects recently announced in Mesquite include the 1M SF industrial park known as Urban District 30, the 2.3M SF industrial complex known as Alcott Logistics Station ( news/industrial/mesquite-approves-zoning-and-tax-incentives-for- 23m-industrial-park-108765) and the 198K SF Skyline Commerce Center ( industrial hub. 

All of this new space either opened in the past year, is under construction or is in the planning and entitlement stages, Buttram said. 

To service logistics and manufacturing firms relocating to DFW, Mesquite and Garland — unlike less diverse parts of DFW — have the workers to staff these sites. 

Mesquite has a population of roughly 145,000 people, and men and women working in transportation and material moving occupations is the third most populated professional class within a 30-minute drive of the city. Data also shows ( about 158,000 people in this trade group reside relatively close to Mesquite. 

Garland is just to the north of Mesquite and enjoys the same labor pool. 

"Plus, with all of the growth happening further east in your Forney's, your Terrell's and your Kaufman's, now all of a sudden you are getting a growing labor pool that can support future industrial growth on the east side," Matheny said. 

The cities of Mesquite and Garland converge with Interstate Highway 30, IH-20, and U.S. Highway 80 while enjoying proximity to the President George Bush Turnpike ( bush-turnpike), IH-45 and IH-35. 

"This geographic position coupled with many choices in access allows companies to expect workforce strength in highly technically skilled, trades, management, sales and dependable industrial labor pool," Buttram said. "That is one of the major reasons companies such as Fritz Industries, who conducts research and development along with production and distribution, has been here for more than 60 years."

Nearby Garland also benefits from the same highway access and growing industrial base. Garland has 1.7M SF of vacant industrial space and a vacancy rate of 5.9%, according to data provided by the city. 

Garland has already announced two major deals this year: the 77K SF Micropac headquarters build-out in Garland and the 341K SF renovation of an industrial site for Future Foam, the city told Bisnow. 

Mesquite has announced plans to give the 60-year-old Northridge Shopping Center ( shopping-center-to-undergo-renovations-108788) a major facelift with the help of city funding and tax abatements. 

The takeaway is these communities are no longer what many remember from 10 or 20 years ago, and what is old is becoming new again. 

"We are not a quiet bedroom community of the '70s and '80s," Buttram said of Mesquite. "We are growing, vibrant, and as our brand 'Real. Texas. Business.' has the flame in it shows, we are a hot market."