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GRAHAM, TX-It’s been 30 years since the rural Texas town of Graham undertook a speculative project. Well, the construction is done and the town is taking steps to ensure that a tenant or buyer is found.

An e-mail alert goes out today to all North Texas brokers about an innovative perk that could bring a newcomer to Graham, a community of 9,000 that’s footed a $600,000 bill to erect a 30,000-sf building. The “powers that be” yesterday OK’d a minimum commission of $24,000 or 6%, whichever is greater, to any broker hawking the building, which is carrying a $550,000 price tag. “I don’t see the need to penalize a broker if we discount the building,” John W. Clary, executive director of the city’s industrial association, tells GlobeSt.com.

Clary and crew realize they have their work cut out for them. After all, the town is situated 85 miles west of Fort Worth. It’s not along a major interstate. And, its major employer in the past two years has scaled back from about 300 jobs to 35.

Clary has been told it could take as long as five years to fill the building, positioned on 5.2 acres in the recently re-platted Graham Business Park. He said the town pushed out a spec project so that there’d be something to show prospective employers, an enticement that hopefully will lure jobs from the cities to the countryside. That first showing is set for Oct. 24.

The city’s Economic Development Corp. loaned the money, gleaned through a 1/4-cent sales tax, to the industrial association to bring the project out of the ground. The expandable structure, which took two years to develop, is sitting in shell condition. Secord & Lebow Architects of Wichita Falls was the designer; M&F Litteken Co., also from Wichita Fallas, was the general contractor.

Clary is convinced the town’s quality of life will sell the project. That, he says, is growing as the retirement crowd makes its way to Possum Kingdom Lake, one of North Texas’ more popular weekend-getaway destinations. Graham is the lake’s closest neighbor.

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