Going forward, Terra Carta Partners continues to look for new opportunities to invest in and develop unique properties, particularly those that will make healthy living an integral component of their community.
Conventional & Renewable Energy Opportunities
In March of 2014, Terra Carta was formed and, by the end of the year, had purchased 47,000 acres of property across three counties in Western Colorado containing the world’s second-largest deposit of oil shale, in addition to vast amounts of conventional oil and gas resources. The property had been owned by the Shell Oil Company, which used it as their primary research site for the development of shale oil extraction technologies. Over the next five years, we continued to develop the conventional gas and oil resources on the property, while exploring ways to leverage the substantial electrical infrastructure that had been put in place to support Shell’s shale oil research activities.
The Colorado site proved ideal for the installation of a utility-scale solar power generation facility. In partnership with Cypress Creek, Terra Carta designed, planned and built a 150-megawatt photovoltaic solar farm on the site, repurposing the high-voltage transmission lines used by Shell to provide power to the refrigeration compressors used for shale oil extraction. Recognizing the inherent value of the oil underlying the site, the solar installation was configured to allow access to the underground resources in the future, when technology permits the profitable extraction of the shale oil.
Opportunities in Master Planned Communities
A search across the country to replicate the success of the Colorado renewable energy project brought Terra Carta to the Austin, Texas area, where 33,000 acres encompassing a decommissioned Alcoa aluminum refinery and companion coal-fired power plant potentially offered the same sort of high-capacity electrical grid access for a solar farm.
Although environmental conditions at the site precluded the envisioned solar power development, the economic growth of the Austin area proved compelling. In 2018, Terra Carta invested in a parcel of land within the City of Cedar Park (just north of Austin) and proposed a mixed-use development. In partnership with the United States Tennis Association of Texas, Terra Carta Partners will be building out a sports and performance centered mixed-use development, what we call a “Sports District.” Anchored by a USTA Campus, the development will include residential, dining, retail and office space designed as a cohesive whole.
Opportunities in Health & Wellness
Leveraging the themes of health, wellness and performance underpinning the Cedar Park development, Terra Carta Partners is now targeting additional sites in the United States, including in Nashville, Phoenix and Madison, to deliver similar high-quality and innovative developments.
A decommissioned feather bedding factory in Des Plaines, Illinois, contiguous to a Metra commuter rail station providing access to downtown Chicago, presented an opportunity to repurpose the site for multi-family housing serving both the surrounding community and Chicago commuters. We acquired the site in 2020 and are developing a 450-apartment complex to hit the sweet spot in balancing access to downtown Chicago with the market’s desire to reside in outlying areas.