FT. WORTH-Duke-Weeks Realty Corp., based in Indianapolis, has secured its foothold in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex, undertaking a 394,450-sf parts distribution site for General Motors at Alliance Gateway North. This marks the third such project that Duke-Weeks, which serves as owner and developer, has engineered for GM.

The largest distribution site is a 504,000-sf project in Columbus while Cincinnati has a 352,000-sf complex. The firm has spent the past two years lobbying for a foothold on the Dallas-Ft. Worth’s highly competitive, single-tenant build-to-suit market.

Jeff Turner, Duke-Weeks senior vice president of the Dallas Group, says the project coupled with significant increases in leasing activity will secure the firm’s standing in the region’s office-industrial market. Duke-Weeks now owns, manages or has under development more than 2.6 million sf of office and industrial properties in the metroplex. It also owns about 200 acres of undeveloped land.

Dirt’s already flying at the 26-acre Alliance site, positioned in the Roanoke section of the 15,000-acre AllianceTexas. The latest construction report shows the project will wrap up in July 2001 instead of May, a Duke-Weeks source tells GlobeSt.com. There are five more acres available for expansion–a possibility not being ruled out at this time. The property is situated in a 9,600-acre section of Ross Perot Jr.’s Alliance, the centerpiece to the AllianceTexas multi-municipality consortium led by his Hillwood team.

Dallas industrial development has been on a high this year and will continue to do so in 2001, according to third quarter findings by Cushman & Wakefield Inc. An estimated 3.6 million sf of industrial projects are under construction, with 6.5 million sf completed as of the third quarter. The most active submarkets are Las Colinas, North Dallas/Metropolitan and Garland/Mesquite, all of which have been competing with Alliance for the industrial big bucks. The competing markets will deliver 2 million sf come July 2001 while Alliance has been cutting major deals nearly every week for several months. Construction is far from outpacing absorption, with 8.9 million sf already occupied this year.

Alliance Architects is designing the GM build-to-suit while Butler Construction has secured the general contracting award. The acreage, which has rail access, lies on the west side of Freedom Drive. The property is being laid out with two entrances for the massive distribution facility, which includes 20,000 sf of office space and 220 surface parking spots. In keeping with Alliance architecture, the exterior is an insulated concrete tilt-up with rear loading docks hidden by buffer landscaping.

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