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DALLAS-A Dallas-based development venture breaks ground in November on a $13 million spec office project, the first of a $100 million development plan for the Dallas-Ft. Worth region.

Bradford Cos. and L&B Realty Advisors Inc. plan to deliver the four-building, 240,800-sf project – Westport Business Center – in June 2001 on a 15-acre parcel in Grapevine. No tenants have been signed, but interest is strong, says Al Blaine, Bradford’s executive vice president of development services.

The project targets users in the 10,000-sf to 40,000-sf range. “This product type has been virtually ignored since the mid-1980s due to the majority of national investors preferring bulk product,” Blaine told GlobeSt.com.

All buildings will be constructed simultaneously while the development venture searches for additional metroplex sites that can be developed with its $100 million capitalization structure. Bank of America is providing the financing for Westport Business Center, which will abut the western edge of the DFW International Airport property.

The development represents the first joint venture in L&B’s corporate backyard, says Jon Donahue, L&B acquisition director.

Bradford will serve as project developer and handle leasing, management and property dispositions. In the past three years, Bradford has developed more than three million sf for investors and is considered one of the top 10 DFW commercial developers this year. The company represents 15 million sf of metroplex property, carrying a 95% occupancy rate. Development-wise, Bradford annually completes six million sf with a combined estimatedvalue of $250 million.

L&B is an affiliate of Boston-based United Asset Management Corporation, which provides real estate advisory and management services to institutional investors and individual clients. The company manages a portfolio of more than 27 million sf of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

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