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DALLAS-When the calendar flips, the construction begins on a 220,000-sf build-to-suit, the third to rise in the 410-acre Mountain Creek Business Park off Interstate 20 in Dallas.

Panattoni Development’s Texas division will be developing the 21-acre project for American Leather, a locally based manufacturer of leather furniture. The project will deliver in November 2003, says Al Sorrels, a Texas partner for the Sacramento-based Panattoni.

Sorrels, who pegs the project at $10 million, tells GlobeSt.com that the project was in the market for about a year before American Leather decided. The firm, looking to stay in the southern sector, had whittled the short list down to two. “It was a pretty competitive deal as are all deals these days,” Sorrels says.

American Leather will be relocating from about 170,000 sf in Redbird Industrial Park into an owner-occupied facility. The building will serve as a headquarters, manufacturing and distribution site. American Leather, founded in 1990, is one of Dallas’ 100 fastest growing companies. Its line is shown at High Point in San Francisco and the Dallas factory, a supplier of high-end, imported leather furniture for top-of-the-line retail chains.

American Leather will receive a 90%, 10-year property tax abatement from Dallas and 75% perk from the county. The firm employs about 200, but the property tax perks aren’t tied to a specific head count, according to Sorrels.

Panattoni Construction will be the general contractor. The project, designed by Alliance Architects Inc. of Richardson, TX will go up in the park’s northwestern corner and front Mountain Creek Parkway. James Ballard and Robert Hagewood, both of Dallas-based Staubach Co. represented American Leather in the transaction while Sorrels brokered terms for Panattoni.

In the past year, Panattoni has lured Jack-in-the-Box Inc. and Costco to its bounds, solid plays for a park with neighbors of like product all jockeying for today’s market mainstay of build-to-suits. The latest catch, says Sorrels, “adds further momentum…and helps establish Mountain Creek Business Park as a viable player.

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