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THE WOODLANDS, TX-Fox Networks Group has acquired 30 acres from the Woodlands Development Co., bringing an end to a two-year search nationwide for a development site. The plan is to break ground in first quarter 2006 on a technical facility, which is still in the design stage.

The facility will act as a master control for Fox Network Group’s 26 owned and operated stations, such as FSN Houston and FSN Southwest. Pre-construction work has already been launched on what will be the future Fox Network Center-Houston, which will be located along Research Forest Drive, just east of Technology Forest Drive.

According to a contact at Fox Networks Group, the process of finding the right site took the better part of two years, with sites throughout Houston and other states considered. “Ultimately, given the fact that we have about 300 people in the local area, along with real estate and technical concerns in terms of what we need to do in this facility, as well as the availability of talent, it just worked out that the Woodlands was the best site for us,” he tells GlobeSt.com. Completion is scheduled for third quarter 2007, with move-in occurring in late 2007 or early 2008.

ArchCentric of Greenwood, CO is the architect. Gilbane Development Co. from Providence, RI is handling construction planning. Site plans, as yet, have not been completed, but the structure will house up to 500 employees. The facility, being laid out with a 24-hour manned gate, will be outfitted with equipment, including high-definition programming transport and a digital satellite distribution platform.

Scott Wegman and Justin Leighton with Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.’s Houston office represented Fox Networks Group in the land acquisition. Dennis Conine of Houston-based Binswanger/Conine & Robinson was on hand for the Woodlands Development Co., which has been selling land for upward of $15 per sf.

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