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THE COLONY, TX-Before month’s end, ground will break on a 187,200-sf build-to-suit on 11 acres in the Billingsley Co.’s Austin Ranch.

The Edward Don & Co., headquartered in Chicago, signed a long-term lease for the distribution center at 3501 Plano Parkway in the Colony, set to deliver in April 2005. The foodservice equipment and supplies distributor will end a 20-year run in one spot when the keys turn. The firm has been operating out of a 216,980-sf shared warehouse at 2005 McDaniel Dr. in Carrollton, a Valwood Industrial Park holding of the San Francisco-based AMB Property Co.

The 83-year-old distribution company will take a spot alongside industrial tenants like Sysco Foods, Pizza Inn, FreddieMac and the Hillman Group, all positioned within a 900 acres carved out of the 1,900-acre Austin Ranch for development of corporate campuses, warehouses and distribution centers. Edward Don & Co., with a 1,200-member workforce in the US, also has distribution centers in Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and its home base of Chicago.

In a press release, Dave Anderson with CB Richard Ellis Inc. in Dallas says an extensive search was conducted for expansion space, with several locations in the North Dallas area under consideration. He says the decision went to the “creative offer” by Billingsley and the Colony and its economic development office. Billingsley’s Calvin T. Hull Jr. and Carter Crow negotiated its terms for a project with 15,000 sf of office space and the balance in warehouse.

A full lineup from Dallas is behind the $5-million-plus project, with Billingsley at the helm as developer. Azimuth: Architecture Inc. as the designed; McFadden & Miller Inc. as general contractor; and Steven M. Rahn Inc. as landscape architect.

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