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ARLINGTON, TX-The San Francisco-based McKesson Corp. is closing a 165,083-sf distribution center in the Great Southwest Industrial District after a 31-year stay. The firm plans to uproot the operation by year’s end, splitting the duties between Oklahoma City and an under-construction facility in Conroe, a Montgomery County city 40 miles north of Houston.

Spokesmen for McKesson and the Denver-based building owner, ProLogis, opted not to comment on the distribution center’s shutdown. The Great Southwest, bucking one of the highest industrial vacancies in the region, has been a hotbed of late for opportunistic shoppers, but ProLogis is mum about its plans for the 31-year-old build-to-suit at 809 110th St. on the Arlington side of the Great Southwest. ProLogis acquired the holding in September 1988, about 15 years after it was built, according to Tarrant County tax records.

“Of course we are always concerned when we have a valued corporate citizen like McKesson leaving our city for what appears to be a tax savings in Montgomery County although Arlington clearly has better tax advantages with the recent adoption of Triple Freeport,” Craig Richard, senior vice president for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, tells GlobeSt.com. He says the city was notified in recent months about the exit, but it’s not common knowledge on the streets. The McKesson center employs 150 to 200 workers, many of whom reportedly are opting not to move.

According to an Arlington broker, McKesson renewed its longtime lease in May 2003 for the ProLogis building, a 6.9-acre asset assessed at $3.5 million by Tarrant County. The lease has about two years left on its term, the source reports.

As reported in March by GlobeSt.com, McKesson put Trammell Crow Co. to work on a 161,000-sf distribution center on 16 acres in Conroe Park North. The fully air-conditioned building along Pollock Drive near Interstate 45 is to be done in the fourth quarter. McKesson, a leading pharmaceutical, health and beauty products supplier, operates 30 distribution centers in 50 states.

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