[IMGCAP(1)]HOUSTON-Drawing a close to a yearlong wait, Mountain West Industrial Properties and American National Insurance Co. have gained control of a 772,500-sf foothold just six miles from two terminals at the Port of Houston. The buyer has been holding a contract for the class A core and shell of Bayport North Distribution Center II since construction began.

The Greenwood Village, CO-based Mountain West acquired the two-building complex on 42 acres at 4035 Underwood Rd. from the Vantage Cos., which will continue to manage and lease it. The first lease was inked in the past month: 129,375 sf by St. George Trucking & Warehousing of Texas Inc., which signed a 10-year lease for the project’s 172,500-sf cross-dock warehouse.

Mountain West’s acquisitions director T.J. Tarbell says the team looked at land near the port to develop, but opted to court Vantage with an off-market deal to shave time for getting some space in the market. “We felt this was a great opportunity for us to get a significant amount of sf near the port and get product out in the market in mid-2008,” he says. “The timing fit really well with the demand side of the equation for the Port of Houston.” The complex is close to Bayport and Barbours Cut terminals.

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