The project calls for the relocation of a five-mile stretch ofFM 156 and the parallel BNSF tracks plus a 1,400-foot extension tothe 9,600-foot runway at Fort Worth Alliance Airport. "It's goingto be very exciting," says Tony Crème, vice president of HillwoodProperties. "We always knew 156 would get relocated and open uphundreds of acres for us."

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The 150 acres will have FM 156 at its front door, the intermodalyard at its rear door and a private road bisecting the land sofuture tenants can have a no weight-limit thruway directly into theBNSF hub. Based on Hillwood's typical 40% coverage, the land willsupport roughly 2.6 million sf--all planned to be leasedbuild-to-suits.

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"We're not going to sell any of this," Crème tells GlobeSt.com."It's extremely valuable land and very limited." And, he confides,there is one deal already working and another that's about to bepursued.

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Tim Ward, president of Hillwood-owned Alliance Air/AviationServices, says the road relocation begins in March, with the railline due to be moved in 2009. The last piece will be the runwayextension. The road relocation is projected to cost $40 million,the rail relocation will take $85 million and the $85-millionbalance is going to land acquisitions and airfield improvements,according to Ward.

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To date, 2.4 million yards of dirt has been dumped in theproject area. Ward says another six months to one year is needed toupdate the airport's environmental assessment and acquire someadditional rights-of way. "We've done all we can until we get therail and highway out of there," he says.

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Hillwood has had the runway extension on its drawing board since1991, one year after AllianceTexas started to push out of theground. "The end is now in sight," Ward says, adding Hillwood ispositioned to bump the runway to 13,000 feet if it wants.

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Ward says Memphis-based FedEx Corp.'s need to deploy largercargo planes to Anchorage is underwriting the 1,400-foot runwayextension. The company now operates one daily round-trip flight toAlaska, where it has a staging ground for shipments to Asia.

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Ward says the longer runway could lure more freight-forwardingcompanies to Fort Worth Alliance Airport. Right now, companies areclustering around to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

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"It's a matter of time and demand before we see that activitygrow," Ward says, "but we need to have the infrastructure in placefor when the opportunity comes along." That's a philosophy thatHillwood applies even to its spec development, always keeping aboutone million sf of ready-to-go space on hand as a bargaining chipfor when deals hit the streets.

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[IMGCAP(2)]Hillwood is under construction with a 572,500-sf specdistribution center that will deliver in June. Westport 20,fronting Intermodal Parkway, will sit at the hard corner with FM156 after its relocation and across the street from the 150 acres.It is being built at the gateway of the BNSF yard. "It's going toposition us and our users right there outside the front gate,"Crème says.

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The Westport corridor has four million sf of the 28 million sfin the 17,000-acre AllianceTexas. The east-to-west Westport Parkwayeventually will run the full length of AllianceTexas. On the eastside, dirt is flying on a 788,160-sf build-to-suit for anunidentified user, who's playing it close to the vest for awhilelonger before talking about the plans. The structure delivers inthe second quarter.

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