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DALLAS-Showing its muscle in commercial development circles, the DFW International Airport Board has signed off on a pair of high-powered deals guaranteed to easily top $100 million at build-out.

Trammell Crow Co. and Seattle-based Kennedy Associates Real Estate Counsel Inc. will begin simultaneous construction in 60 to 90 days on $5 million of infrastructure work for 78.6 acres and three of five buildings, an estimated $70-million addition to International Commerce Park. Meanwhile, Aviall Inc. has grabbed another five acres of airport land to add 100,000 sf to its 303,734-sf headquarters and distribution center on 13.8 acres at 2750 Regent Blvd. and huddling over a plan to build a 250,000-sf office building across the road, says John Terrell, the airport’s vice president of commercial development. Next month, the board will weigh Aviall’s office building plan.

“It has been an excellent month,” Terrell says. Waiting to be signed is a 32-acre ground lease for Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. to begin work on a 600,000-sf warehouse and the construction start of a 400,000-sf project on 23 acres leased in early January by Pat Perot of Perot Development Co. in Dallas. And, Terrell says, talks are under way with developers for another 10 to 12 projects.

To date, the airport’s 6,000 acres of commercial land is 15% built out. With the land-use plan now under review, Terrell says the untapped real estate is ticketed for retail, flex office, office, hospitality, cargo, industrial and entertainment development. The land bank includes 1,800 prized acres beside the Gaylord Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine.

The TCC-Kennedy joint venture had all the attention yesterday with the announcement that it’s ground leasing one of the largest tracts in a single transaction with the airport board. Denton Walker, senior managing director of locally based TCC, says the spec space will be delivered within two years. Unlike TCC’s four-building, 400,000-sf cargo and freight-forwarding development on the west side of the airport, its new development tract will be seeded with corporate distribution space with higher office ratios. He says the distribution center designs will enable warehousing for up to five months in Foreign Trade Zone space with deferrals on duty fees and inventory taxes. The marketing begins at a $3 per sf to $5 per sf rate.

Terrell tells GlobeSt.com that the JV’s infrastructure work, which will be reimbursed over a four-year period by the airport board, will open up another 100 acres for development. The JV, he adds, isn’t holding a right of first refusal for the abutting acreage.

The JV’s plan to raise spec isn’t raising red flags, at least from Terrell’s perspective. “They have done an incredible job of filling up their buildings,” he says. “I don’t believe they’d be making the investment if they don’t think they will be able to fill it quickly.” To date, the JV or TCC as a solo developer has filled nearly 1.5 million sf airport space and has its latest tarmac-fronting development at 40% preleased as it comes on line.

The way the latest agreement stacks up, the JV’s sites are 31.2 acres, capable of supporting a 554,000-sf structure; 15.95 acres for up to 237,300 sf; 16.65 acres for 273,000 sf; and an optioned 27.15 acres for 472,500 sf. It still has 14.85 acres for a 200,000-sf project banked from last year’s dealmaking, which started the relationship-building for yesterday’s announcement.

In recent weeks, DFW International Airport was named the world’s leading cargo facility. And, the playing field is picking up new teams all the time due to the on-site resources, Terrell explains. “Because of our car success and quality of service, it’s bringing a number of tenants and users to DFW,” he says.

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