AUSTIN-An Austin-based logistics company has found a new home that has an amenity that most Texas homeowners demand: air conditioning. For First Air Express, which handles sensitive electronic equipment, a climate-controlled environment was one of its top priorities as it searched for space.

The company found what it needed at McKalla 1, situated at 10200 McKalla Place in the Austin’s north central submarket. First Air Express has just moved into 59,400 sf of the 135,000-sf building in a five-year lease. The building has no other tenants, so First Air has room to grow, says Charlie Hill of Colliers International. He and Adam Love of Colliers represented First Air. Brian Liverman of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co.’s Austin office acted on behalf of the building owner, the Gottesman Co. of Austin.

At nearly 60,000 sf, the deal is one of the biggest of the year in the industrial market. “We’re seeing more activity than we were,” Hill says. “The issue is, is it takes a lot longer to get deals completed.”

He added, “Brokers are working a whole lot harder for less money. But that’s all part of it.”

Market reports for the second quarter aren’t available yet. In the first quarter, the submarket had a 25.3% vacancy rate. Warehouse/distribution space was going for $8.15 per sf.

McKalla 1 is 100% air conditioned, which was important to First Air, Hill tells “They can handle product that needs to be climate-controlled,” he says. “They do a whole lot of different warehousing from parts to computers to appliances. It allows them to handle some of the products that are more sensitive.” The company will be moving from 11800 Stonehollow.

First Air’s customers have included Dell Computer Corp., which has large operations in that area. First Air does just-in-time deliveries, which is crucial to Dell’s practice of keeping its inventory low. First Air, begun in 1991, provides air and ground transport services and warehousing.

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