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COPPELL, TX-Cabot Properties Inc., rebuilding an industrial stronghold in Dallas/Fort Worth, has bought the 77-acre balance of the unfinished AmberPoint Business Park, securing enough land for 1.2 million sf of development. Meanwhile, the Boston-based investment group is holding two contracts for 400,000 sf of existing product in the immediate area.

“We’re high on Dallas and we’re looking for more,” Robert Patterson, Cabot’s senior partner, tells GlobeSt.com about a renewed interest after a two-year lull. “Dallas has treated us very well. So it gets overbuilt from time to time, as it is now. That’s not going to last.” Cabot is toting around $1.2 billion to invest, but there’s no set allocation for Texas, he says.

Cabot bought the 112-acre AmberPoint Business Park’s spare land from AmberJack Ltd., an entity of the Bloomington, IL-based State Farm Insurance Co. The Houston-headquartered Transwestern Commercial Services’ Dallas team was the park’s fee developer.

Neither side’s discussing the price, but sources say land in Coppell is trading for $2.75 per sf to $3.50 per sf. The acreage is two miles north of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and close to the freeway. And it’s that location, Patterson says, that got Cabot to the closing table.

“Relative to other sales in the market, we think it was a very attractive price,” Patterson says. The sale took down the balance of the land, but not two bulk warehouses built in the past three years. The Framingham, MA-based Staples Inc. owns a 227,500-sf building at 201 S. Northpoint Dr. and the 308,600-sf neighbor at 301 S. Northpoint Dr. is held by State Farm and leased to Somera Communications Inc. of Santa Barbara, CA and Tokyo’s Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc.

Patterson says one of the first moves will be to change the park’s name to get Cabot on the entry signs. Meanwhile, the search is on for build-to-suit tenants. “If we can lay off some of the risk, we might do spec, but we’re not in a position that we have to hurry,” he says.

Transwestern will continue to quarterback the park’s development along with leasing and management for 301 S. Northpoint Dr. Senior vice presidents John Fulton and Henry Knapek and vice president Todd Jones, brokered the deal, which was marketed to a select group of buyers with no asking price. Talks began about six months ago with Cabot.

“The plan is to develop buildings that will become income properties for the owner,” Fulton says. He’s not saying when ground will break, but says there are “a few deals working that will allow us to break ground on a new building very soon.”

The master plan has five buildings, ranging from 80,000 sf to 550,000 sf, but that could change somewhat with Cabot in the driver’s seat. Patterson is eyeing a mix with smaller tenant space at the park’s gateway along West Sandy Lake Road and larger warehouses to fill out the interior. “The plan is flexible enough to accommodate whatever the market calls for,” Knapek stresses.

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