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FORT WORTH-Motorola Corp. is close to signing a lease with UPS Logistics for a 400,000-sf distribution center at 4801 Westport Parkway in Fort Worth. UPS Logistics has confirmed that the deal has been cut while Motorola says it won’t talk until the ink is drying on the final papers.

About a month ago, the Schaumburg, IL-based Motorola put out word that it was scouring the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for a suitable location so it could relocate its cell phone distribution center from Harvard, IL. The move comes a year after Motorola, the nation’s No. 2 cell phone maker, closed its research and development center and manufacturing plant in the Illinois city.

UPS Logistics’ 400,000-sf building shares an 18-acre tract with its 320,000-sf distribution hub. The buildings are the lead-in products for a 100-acre tech campus proposal. UPS Logistics owns part of the land and holds an option on the balance, but obviously isn’t planning to add any more buildings until the nation shucks the recession.

Motorola’s Amanda Cienkus says her side of the deal won’t be talking about the location until “all the t’s are crossed and all the i’s are dotted.” The final version of the lease is in front of the attorneys, she says, anticipating a signing any day now. While Motorola’s lips are sealed about the address, a UPS Logistics spokeswoman confirms it’s a done deal. Finish-out for Motorola, GlobeSt.com also learned, is under way in the UPS Logistics building at AllianceTexas.

Cienkus says Motorola wants to be up and running on a limited basis by the end of the year at its new site. The center will employ 800 when it’s going full steam, a pace predicted to be hit by March 2003. “A delay in the lease signing could change that somewhat,” she tells GlobeSt.com.

The latest deal helps to cement AllianceTexas’ footprint as a telecom distribution hub. In 1994, Nokia set up a 424,000-sf cell phone distribution center at 5650 Alliance Gateway, also in the Fort Worth section of the 15,000-acre, multi-municipality corridor. Since then, a number of tenants from the high-tech supply pipeline have followed Nokia’s lead.

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