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GARLAND, TX-Dallas-based First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. is coming out of the ground with a $30-million, 944,000-sf complex on the last large developable tract in Garland.

First Industrial had purchased the 40 acres in September from a family trust. “We were there at the right time, with the right amount of money,” Jeff Gustafson, regional vice president, tells GlobeSt.com. The all-spec undertaking is close to its first lease signing, which, says Gustafson, would take up about half of the first planned twin buildings, 472,000 sf in a single-story, dock-high, tilt-wall design. The first building will be ready to occupy by year’s end.

The tract is situated on the north side of Miller Road within the northeast submarket. Gustafson credits Kirk Tames, First Industrial’s regional development officer, with steering the project. Tames says the buildings can “reasonably accommodate tenants from 40,000 to 472,000 sf.” Dave Anderson of CB Richard Ellis holds the leasing contract for First Industrial’s third project in two years in the Dallas region.

First Industrial, says Gustafson, is planning to invest several hundred millions of dollars in the coming years in projects in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. “This includes actively seeking industrial buildings for acquisition as well as land sites for industrial development,” he says.

The First Garland Business Park is readily accessible to Interstates 635, 30 and 20 as well as being positioned close to the Garland-Richardson industrial base. It also carries a Triple Freeport exemption. Arlington-based Bob Moore Construction is the general contractor for the design team from Hardy McCullah MLM Architects and Pacheco Koch, both Dallas firms. It’s the same construction-design team that First Industrial is using for its 846,000-sf, four-building Pinnacle Park project in South Dallas.

Gustafson says construction on First Garland Business Park’s second building will begin as soon as the first structure is 50% leased. That could come anytime soon since the large user pact is close to a signing, he says. “First Industrial wants to have 360,000 sf of spec development going in that market (Garland). We build purely spec. We don’t wait for leases to build,” he explains of the firm’s strategy. The Chicago-based First Industrial has just completed a 228,000-sf, four-building industrial complex in Addison.

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