More than a Building: Contributing to Community’s Economic Vitality with WinField United

Our impact on the built environment is evident in landscapes and cities across the country. Whether developing raw land or infill parcels, building industrial facilities or multifamily communities, we have an enduring commitment to community and aim to leave our mark.

On a recent build-to-suit in Texas, we impacted the communities' economic wellbeing by sourcing from regional suppliers, hiring local subcontractors and tradespeople, supporting local nonprofits and adding new jobs and tax revenues.

Financial Investments and Partnerships Draw Users

Land O'Lakes engaged us to identify a location for a build-to-suit distribution center for WinField United, their seed, crop protection products, crop nutrients, agricultural services and agronomic insights business. Our team evaluated multiple parcels around the Wichita Falls, Texas, area, where the company had an existing facility. Ultimately, a shovel-ready site in the city-owned Wichita Falls Business Park was the clear winner because of the willingness of local agencies to partner on the project.

“The Wichita Falls Chamber and Economic Development Corporation were integral partners on this project from its inception," said Anna Bode, Senior Manager of Real Estate Development. “There were a few sites in neighboring communities we were initially considering, but the resources and partnership we received from Wichita Falls were superior to the others."

The city had invested in infrastructure upgrades in the business park years earlier to attract industrial and technology users to the community. That investment has been effective, with the likes of FedEx, Old Dominion Freight Line, and now, WinField United, locating or expanding their presence in Wichita Falls.

Throughout acquisition, development, design and construction, our vertically integrated delivery model enabled aligning the needs of the client and the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation, effectively retaining and growing Land O' Lakes' business in Wichita Falls.

“As a farmer and retail-owned cooperative, and one of America's premier agribusiness and food companies, Land O'Lakes and WinField United are committed to serving and growing the communities where our employees, members and customers live and work," said Connie Fricke, Senior Real Estate Manager at Land O' Lakes. “We have deep roots in Wichita Falls, and we are glad to be able to call it home for our distribution center. This location furthers WinField United's mission to work with our retail-owners each day to support customers, farmers and local communities."

Fighting Food Insecurity

As a result of those investments and partnerships, Wichita Falls has reaped many community and economic benefits.

At the time of the facility's groundbreaking, the Opus Foundation and the Land O'Lakes Foundation teamed up to help the area's food insecure – estimated to be more than 37,500 people or 16.6% of the population. The Opus Foundation contributed a grant of $5,000 to the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank and Land O'Lakes Foundation donated 10 tons of food. 

“Part of any vibrant community is helping those in need," Connie said. “Land O'Lakes was proud to collaborate with Opus to support the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank. The donation is part of Land O'Lakes' First Run Program in collaboration with Feeding America. Over the last 12 plus years of this program, we've donated more than 6.5 million pounds of fresh product to communities across the nation."

At Opus, we frequently partner with clients to support the communities where we work. Stewardship is an organizational value, supported by the Opus Foundation, which aims to improve conditions that disproportionately affect underinvested individuals and communities.

“The Opus Foundation provides us with many funding and grant opportunities to make a difference in the locations where we do business," said George Parrino, Project Executive. “For the WinField project, our client was also interested in showing their support and excitement for being part of the Wichita Falls community."

Supporting Local Economy

The construction of the WinField facility was another opportunity to impact the community. Many materials were sourced from local businesses, including the building's glass and glazing, appliances and flooring. Local tradespeople and businesses provided services for everything from site utilities and earthwork to plumbing, HVAC, painting, landscaping and inspections for the facility. 

Now completed, the new facility will ultimately centralize six regional facilities into this one, doubling the number of employees in Wichita Falls and bringing about $1 million in added payroll to support the Wichita Falls economy.

Since breaking ground in the fall of 2022, the WinField United distribution center has had a profound impact on the community. In partnership with WinField United and Land O'Lakes, we have demonstrated a commitment to Wichita Falls that will be realized well into the future.