Industrial real estate in northeast Houston is booming.

Mexican toilet paper maker Grupo Corporativo Papelera is buying 32 acres in New Carney East Montgomery Industrial Park, Houston Business Journal report.

The facility, which is estimated to cost $400 million, will serve as the site of the company’s new manufacturing and conversion facility, marking an expansion of the company’s U.S. presence, according to the outlet.

GCP Paper USA, the manufacturer’s US division, has been operating out of a leased 236,000-square-foot building at the Interwood Distribution Center at 14710 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Fountain View.

The decision to expand operations in the US stems from a surge in demand for toilet paper during the Covid-19 pandemic. GCP Paper USA has been steadily expanding its customer base, selling to retail giants like Walmart and HEB.

The company’s existing Greater Houston facility employs 58 people, and the company plans to consolidate all operations into the new, spacious facility upon completion.

Following the sale, construction is expected to begin within the next 18 months.

That depends on an agreement with the East Montgomery County Improvement District, which is still to be signed. The agreement stipulates that the project must be completed within five years and create 200 permanent jobs in exchange for incentives including funding for infrastructure improvements and discounted real estate costs. Financial details of the agreement were not reported.

Houston is GCP’s first expansion location outside of Mexico, and the company is actively exploring opportunities to build additional facilities in the United States. The greater Houston area was chosen based on factors such as its port, proximity to Mexico, and high presence of Hispanic business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Hispanic entrepreneurs account for some 38% of small business owners In the greater Houston area, according to a report jointly released by the University of Houston and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As the largest ethnic population in the metro area, the Hispanic community also accounts for about 25 percent of total spending power.

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