(To read more on the industrial market, click here.)

FORT WORTH-In an under-the-radar move, Land O’ Lakes Inc. has uprooted the Purina Feed division’s regional distribution center into 119,042 sf in the city’s southern sector. The five-year lease has set up a 29,042-sf expansion.

Purina Feed LLC became the third Minneapolis-St. Paul headquartered firm to carve out space in the 801,174-sf South Central Distribution Center at 5500 South Freeway, a former Winn-Dixie facility sold in 2003 to Industrial Realty Group LLC of Downey, CA. The Minneapolis-based Land O’ Lakes invested six months into the search, hunkering down at the end for a four-month bargaining round that ended in an “extremely competitive” rate for the entire Dallas/Fort Worth market, says Noel Hutcheson, associate director with Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. in Dallas. “The rental rate was extremely attractive.”

Hutcheson and C&W senior director Rick Hughes worked out a stair-stepped lease with annual bumps with the building owner’s long-time broker, Trey Fricke, principal in Lee & Associates DFW in Dallas. The North Texas Data Exchange shows the industrial space is being marketed at $2.50 per sf to $2.75 per sf, triple net, and the vacancy is resting at 504,707. So, it’s a safe bet that the tenant pocketed a sweetheart deal, including an expansion option. “We gave them plenty of flexibility so they could renew, extend or move,” Hughes tells GlobeSt.com.

The tenant’s reps say the search focused on Fort Worth, where the Purina division has a processing site at 1501 E. 4th St., situated about eight miles north of the South Central Distribution Center. The new location’s secure perimeter, manned gate and trailer storage capability also factored into the division’s decision to relocate from a five-year spot at 5104 Brush Creek Rd. The extra perk for the move is the Purina team got an end space within eyeshot of the Interstate 20-35 split. “It is pretty much Main and Main,” Hutcheson explains.

With the distribution center on the market for $1.13 million, the additional tenant can only help with the marketing. Word is at least one of the other tenants is on a short leash. According to local records, the Minneapolis-based SuperValu Holdings Inc. and St. Paul-headquartered Dart Advantage Warehouse Inc. have operations in the building as does a local firm, Miramar Design Ltd. Fricke didn’t return a telephone call by publication time to discuss the sale status of the 50.8-acre center.

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