FORT WORTH-A developer, equity investment group and landowner have banded together to add the first multi-tenant, spec product in two decades to the 950-acre Carter Industrial Park, a haven for big-box corporate users on the south side of Fort Worth.

The lineup has Bradford Cos. as the developer, Realty Capital Partners Inc. drumming up equity investors and Carter Foundation Production Co., led by American Oil & Gas Co., kicking in the acreage. The first JV project, 120,000 sf in two buildings, will break ground in January 2005 and deliver in midsummer, Kevin Santaularia, Bradford’s president, tells The trio intends to develop buildings in the $5-million to $10-million range for users needing 10,000 sf to 50,000 sf, he says.

Carter Industrial Park, established in 1968 at the junction of Interstates 35W and 20, is a mix of predominately owner/user boxes ranging from 24,000 sf for American Animal Health to 1.1 million sf for Miller Brewing Co. of Milwaukee, one of the park’s pioneers. As the small-user industrial play takes root, the park owner’s land sales team, Mereken Land & Production Co., is hawking seven sites for 496,000 sf of retail development to accessorize a development with facilities for 32 corporations and 8,000 workers streaming in and out each day. The dirt is priced at $12 per sf for a hard corner and $9 per sf negotiable for surrounding land.

To fund the first project, Realty Capital’s new team, Bryn Jepson and Meg Davis, has brought to market an investment op with an estimated annual compounded rate of return of about 21% for a two-year hold. The capital drive sets a Nov. 12 buy-in date for $5,000 minimum investments.

Santaularia says the Carter team approached Bradford about building multi-tenant product as a way to add value. Realty Capital’s long list of Tarrant County investors made it the most likely choice for equity fund-raising, he adds.

“There is seven million sf of existing users in that park and no opportunities for small users,” Santaularia says. The upcoming project–80,000-sf and 40,000-sf buildings–will have 24-foot clear heights, double row front parking, rear-load docks and shallow bays. “We’re providing new generation product,” Santaularia says, “with all the bells and whistles that wasn’t part of the real estate 20 years ago.”

According to the park’s website, there are 233 acres earmarked for additional industrial development. Santaularia says the JV of record, RCP Bradford I Ltd., has “a verbal commitment to continue the success story and we hope to continue.” Under the plan, Bradford will lease, manage and bring the product to market after it’s stabilized.

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