From Farm to Fab

From Farm to Fab Main Photo

5 Jul 2023

News, Media

Tollway opens Pflugerville to mega-projects and more. 


Telling the story of Pflugerville, Texas, is what John Garrett does best.

He is so sold on this booming northeast Austin suburb of 75,000 people that he has built an entire business around it. This media entrepreneur moved his company to Pflugerville in 2013 when he built the headquarters for Community Impact News. It has been growing ever since.

“When we built out here in 2013, there was hardly anyone here,” he says. “My biggest concern was workforce. We have been so blessed with all the incredible talent who want to be closer to home. Pflugerville gave us the opportunity to do that.”

So did a new toll road. While most people see toll roads as little more than an extra transportation expense, Garrett and other area company leaders view State Highway 130 as an express lane to business growth and better economic times for all.

The opening of SH 130 has opened an entire new corridor for growth in Greater Austin, say Garrett and others. “Transportation here is awesome,” says Garrett. “The connection to Highway 290 is great. We can get to downtown Austin in 20 minutes. We can get to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio easily. We have a printing plant that sends our papers to post offices all around Texas. We are doing fantastic. We are growing. We are unique in the industry.”

– Bob Rice, Founder and President, Ironwood Realty Partners

While other media companies retrench, consolidate or go out of business altogether, Community Impact News is bursting at the seams. “We deliver 2.5 million newspapers around Texas and we now have 185,000 daily email subscribers. We are hyper-local,” says Garrett. “We have high-quality content. We are going to be OK. We turned our company from being a monthly to being a daily. When something organically takes off, you just have to go all in.”

Garrett says all areas of Greater Austin are bustling with growth. “If you look at the growth around Austin, everywhere from northwest Liberty Hill and Leander to Georgetown and Round Rock, all parts of the metro area are booming. Pflugerville is growing south toward the Austin airport and the Tesla Gigafactory. Out east is Manor, and Elgin and Bastrop are booming. That is all new growth. You see all that land east of Highway 130. Then it grows north up to Temple.”

A Pipeline Full of Projects

Garrett is not the only community leader capitalizing on these good economic times. So too is Bob Rice, president and founder of Ironwood Realty Partners. Rice and his team of industrial real estate experts built four large industrial facilities just off SH 130 at Lakeside Meadows in Pflugerville, and they plan to build more.

“I moved to Texas shortly after graduating from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing over 34 years ago, and I haven’t looked back since,” says Rice. “Central Texas is absolutely booming right now, and the northern suburbs of Greater Austin like Pflugerville are leading the charge.”

Since founding Ironwood, Rice has completed numerous development projects in both North and Central Texas. Since 2005, he has developed more than 13 million square feet of new industrial property and has another 2 million square feet in the pipeline. His principal real estate project is the Synergy Crossing Logistics Park in Fort Worth/Alliance, but Pflugerville has captured his attention now.

“We are very bullish on Pflugerville right now,” he notes. “We really like working with Amy Madison and her team at the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation.”

Welcome to the ‘Mega-Tex Corridor’

Madison, Executive Director of the PCDC, says the sky’s the limit for the growth potential of the SH 130 Corridor.

10 “This area has gone from ‘Pfarm to Pfab(ulous)’ in just 15 years,” says Madison. “What used to be farmland is now home for a 3.8M SF Amazon facility and just outside Pflugerville to the south, a Tesla Gigafactory and to the north a second Samsung semiconductor facility. Pflugerville is rapidly emerging as the 3D printing capital of Texas; and with the new expanding tollway, more growth is sure to follow in what I like to call the ‘Mega-Tex Corridor.”

The numbers back her up. In 1990, Pflugerville had a population of 4,400 people. By 2000, that number had climbed to 16,300. Ten years later, the city boasted a population of 50,000. Today, it is estimated that the city has 75,000 residents; and it is expected to add tens of thousands more citizens over the next 10 years. According to Madison, the community is planning to host a regional SH-130 Corridor Summit in January 2024 to talk about future growth opportunities in the corridor.

This Investment Profile was prepared under the auspices of the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. For more information, contact Amy Madison at 512-990-3725 or On the web, go to

View article on Site Selection Magazine HERE