FORT WORTH-The first tenant has crossed the threshold of an 801,174-sf distribution facility that changed hands in November 2002 in Winn-Dixie’s exit of Texas. The 54,586-sf long-term lease is one of a quartet that closes off 126,514 sf of Dallas-Fort Worth industrial space.

Taking the “as-is” space at 5500 South Freeway in Fort Worth is North American Freight Exchange, which is relocating from 910 Collier St. in the city. “It’s the first of many (leases) to come,” Trey Fricke of NAI Stoneleigh Huff Brous McDowell in Fort Worth tells about the distribution center, owned by a Torrance, CA-based investment group.

North American Freight penned a 63-month lease for the 50.9-acre property, strategically positioned at the intersection of Interstate 20 and South Freeway in the south submarket. Move-in started as soon as the deal was signed mid last week. Fricke and NAI Stoneleigh’s Walter Floyd brokered the transaction.

Across the metroplex in Carrollton, Global Finishing Solutions Ltd. will move in June 1 to 28,136 sf at 1625 W. Crosby Rd. in a five-year lease structured by Randy Wood, marketing and leasing manager for Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. and Mark Miller of the Robert Lynn Co. in Dallas.

The Canadian-headquartered Global Finishing Solutions will vacate about 10,000 sf at an industrial building in Coppell. The new deal for the Valwood property takes the 75,000-sf Crosby Road building to 100% occupancy. Finish-out is under way on space empty for some time.

First Industrial also reached 100% occupancy at its Walnut Ridge Business Park in Dallas, with a 17,490-sf lease carrying a July 1 move-in by Wash Solutions. Wood sat across the bargaining table from the tenant’s representative, Jim Svidron of the Robert Lynn Co.

The park is a two-building, 80,000-sf property at 2403 Walnut Ridge, which has gotten the industrial space backfilled before the existing tenant moves out later this month.

“It was a good market deal,” Wood tells of the seven-year lease. “It was a very quiet, very quick deal.” Wash Solutions, a locally based supplier of vehicle-care products, is picking up about 5,500 sf in the relocation from the Northwest Highway-Interstate 35 corridor.

In a 26,300-sf renewal, American Bolt & Screw held tight to a 10-year address at 3217 Avenue E East in Arlington for 19,800 sf and added 6,500 sf in another long-term signing, says Pete Richardson of Dallas-based Henry S. Miller Commercial. He and Brett Owens, also with Henry S. Miller Commercial, represented the tenant while John Brewer of the Robert Lynn Co. brokered the terms for the building owner, Ron Hopton/Jones of Dallas-Fort Worth.

The California-based tenant shopped the market before renewing its lone Texas location, Richardson confides. In the end, the aggressive deal making won the renewal for the 1960s-era, 60,000-sf building in the Great Southwest Industrial District. The going rate for that product type and location hovers at $3 per sf.

Richardson says there’s been some pick-up in the industrial leasing momentum in recent weeks. “It’s not great, but it’s better than it was,” he says, hinting about three more deals that he has positioned to close in the coming weeks.

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