By Sarah Snyder
Hundreds of new jobs are coming to the city of Pecos, and that could really put the squeeze on an already tight housing market.
500 acres, about 2 miles west of the city of Pecos, are about to be transformed into a transmodal railyard. But the unique aspect of this project is, it's right next to the Interstate, making it easily accessible for drilling companies and oilfield service firms.
"Folks are excited about what this new industry will provide to Pecos," Rob Tobias, Executive Director of Pecos Economic Development, said.
The Pecos Transmodal Railyard will feature a staging yard, warehouses, and silos. The project is being developed by Montane Logistics and Texsand Distributers out of Fort Worth.
"Their primary product is sand that goes into the oil and gas wells as they're producing," Tobias said. "That product is transported via rail and the importance of rail and Union Pacific is certainly a very important part of this whole project."
In a city of 9,000 it will bring more than 500 new employees to Pecos, but with the current housing shortage, where would they live?
"We're working very actively with a number of builders to demonstrate that there's a good business opportunity in home construction in Pecos," Tobias said.
New hotels are under construction to provide short term housing and plans are underway for an apartment complex and new homes.
"For Pecos, several hundred jobs, the potential for several hundred jobs, the potential to spur new housing," Tobias said. "We haven't had significant new housing in Pecos in a number of years."
The city plans to bring in workers from all over the State and the Country; and with salaries ranging from 60-75 thousand dollars a year, the city says they won't have any trouble filling those positions, fast.
"For residents who currently live in the area, it will give them an opportunity to go work somewhere else if they have the skill set," Tobias said.
The first phase will be constructing a storage facility for drilling companies. The second phase involves building warehouses and extending the track so that oil field companies can off-load materials that are typically transported by a truck.
"This is opportunity and some challenges," Tobias said. "But I think this part of the Country that is accustomed to stepping up to the challenge."
Texsand Distributers hope to begin construction within the next two months. They plan to have the project completed by the Spring of 2009.