David Hudson, SVP with Duke, tells GlobeSt.com that the companycan't release the purchase price. However, he says the cost will berevealed in the end of the month information release toshareholders. Hudson says the acquisition was designed to build thecompany's stable of port-related properties, which already includes5.2 million sf in Savannah, GA and a new development near the Portof Baltimore called the Chesapeake Commerce Center.

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He says the Texas land, spread out in the cities of Pasadena andLaPorte, will be developed into a park called FairPort. The land issix miles from Barbours Cut and the recently constructed Bayportcontainer terminal, which are part of the Port of Houston system.The company also bought a nearby 12-acre container/chassis storageyard and a 172,000-sf, fully-leased industrial building onGreenwood Street in Cedar Crossing Business Park in Baytown,TX.

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Duke has wanted to build near the Texas port for three years,ever since it opened the Houston office, Hudson says. "This justhit all the things we were looking for," he says. "The port hasserious container growth, with 200 million tons of cargo moved in2006. Barbours and Bayport, which opened a year ago, combined areexpected to handle about 3.5 million 20-foot equivalent units(TEUs) a year."

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FairPort will hold both distribution and manufacturingbuildings, Hudson says. "We're looking at build-to-suits now, andwe'll definitely consider land sales to get up to 2.9 million sf.It's a bit early to look at building speculative space for lease,though, as we're not going to get the first property up and readyfor at least 18 months." The first phase will consist of about400,000 sf to 500,000 sf, he says, and should start by the fourthquarter or first quarter 2009.

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The two Virginia properties acquired are a 166,000-sf buildingat 1400 Sewell Pt. Rd. in Norfolk and the 300,000-sf NorthgateBuildings A and B in Hampton. "These are well positioned near agrowing port, with great rail connections into Columbus, where wehave a nice concentration of industrial properties," Hudsonsays.

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Duke has recently opened offices in Inland Empire, CA andSeattle to explore prospective developments in these coastal portmarkets. This recent portfolio purchase included the 120,000-sfbuilding at 13501 38th St. East in Sumner, WA. "The building isleased to a big trucking company, Schneider Trucking. It's in aport city and integral to a supply chain, where they receivecontainers and put them onto trucks," Hudson says.

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