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DALLAS-The former MJDesigns headquarters and warehouse, vacant for nearly three years, gets its first tenant within two months of its acquisition by Ablah Enterprises Inc. of Wichita, KS. It’s quite a coup for the renamed 410,000-sf DFW Distribution Center in Coppell.

Frank A. Mills, Ablah’s executive vice president, tells GlobeSt.com that ODW Contract Services Inc. of Columbus, OH will move into 80,000 sf to open the first regional distribution center for Lexus outside California. Build-out of the freshly painted warehouse at 500 Airline Dr. started yesterday now that interior demolition work is wrapped up. Scott Reid of Dallas is the general contractor on the build-out, designed by David Masters of Merriman & Associates of Dallas. Move-in is anticipated at the 2002 start.

ODW surfaced as a prospect during the final stages of the purchase. Mills says the parts distributor went elsewhere and then returned when the deal fell through. In three weeks of talks, Mills’ broker Ken Wesson of Dallas-based Bradford Co. had locked up ODW as the first tenant in a long-term signing. Bradford’s Cary Krier negotiated on the tenant’s behalf. The DFW Distribution Center carries a quoted rate of $3.25 per sf triple net.

The property’s fast-paced repositioning is moving right along, Mills reports. “We have two deals working that could fill the building and maybe create an expansion for us,” he confides. The 410,000-sf building is designed with a 100,000-sf expansion capability. Another signing could be just around the corner.

“I like having a Lexus distribution center there. It’s kind of nice,” says the obviously pleased Mills. ODW, a third-party logistics provider, will use the site to service Lexus dealerships in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico and naturally, Texas.

Ablah paid $16 million in early September for the 55,000-sf headquarters and 410,000-sf state-of-the-art distribution center, situated on 32 acres. The property, developed in 1995, created quite a stir in the Dallas-Ft. Worth region when the popular discount retailer shuttered its doors.

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