The Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant (LSAAP) and the Red River Army Depot (RRAD) were adjacent Army installations located on nearly 40,000 acres in the heart of Bowie County, Texas. The land was acquired in the late 1930s and developed in the early 1940s as a military ordnance depot, evolving later into these two installations for serving munitions production/storage and military vehicle maintenance missions for the US Army.
Pursuant to the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission, certain missions at RRAD were realigned; 765 acres of land and 750,000 square feet of buildings were determined to be surplus to the government’s needs. Bowie County officials developed a comprehensive plan to acquire the property and develop it into a mixed-use commercial/industrial park. County and city officials then sought special legislation to establish the Red River Redevelopment Authority (RRRA). In 1998 the RRRA was born, with the express purpose of acquiring the surplus military property and converting it into a dynamic industrial park called the Red River Commerce Park.
By bringing together local governments and leading business executives, the RRRA created a service-oriented culture. This was coupled with knowledgeable staff and resources to support the establishment or expansion of business in the region. From 2000-2010 the Park became the home of over a dozen companies, employing hundreds of people.
The 2005 BRAC recommended the closure of LSAAP and the realignment of the RRAD. These BRAC actions resulted in the loss of 406 Army civilian positions, and 251 contractor positions in Bowie County, TX. The impact was regional, affecting communities in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The total surplus property at these adjacent installations consisted of 19,381 acres (15,546 at LSAAP and 3,835 at RRAD).
As a result of the 2005 BRAC proceedings, the entire LSAAP closed and the munitions mission at RRAD was realigned. These actions resulted in a real estate surplus in excess of 11,000 acres and several million square feet of buildings positioned to be transferred to the RRRA. The RRRA developed a Master Reuse Plan for the surplus property in 2007 and acquired portions of the site for implementation of a large scale commercial/industrial complex. Upon receiving the 2005 BRAC property, the RRRA rebranded its real estate assets under the banner of TexAmericas Center in 2010. With the property being transformed, the organization also assumed the new brand. TexAmericas Center’s purpose is to create a thriving economic development engine that will power job growth and a strong economic future for the greater Texarkana region. Presently about 30 companies operate at TexAmericas Center and employ over 1000 people.