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GRAND PRAIRIE, TX-Duke Realty Corp. has locked in a 378,285-sf tenant for a 755,000-sf spec project, inking the deal before it could go vertical on the flagship product for its 130-acre Grand Lakes Business Park. The good news for the city is it holds fast to a homegrown retailer with 60 stores in three states.

The RoomStore, marking its 16th year in Grand Prairie, signed a 10-year lease for Grand Lakes I in less than six weeks of talks after abandoning a 400,000-sf design-build plan, Jeff Turner, senior vice president for Duke’s Dallas division, tells GlobeSt.com. He says key to the turn-about was Duke’s plan to deliver the spec building Oct. 1, allowing the RoomStore about three months for a staged move-out from roughly 300,000 sf along Fountain Parkway before its lease expires.

“It really took a lot of belief on their part that we could get this done in time,” Turner says. “And, we will get them in on time.”

Duke broker Jeff Thornton says the RoomStore was eyeing the developer’s Crosspoint at GSW land about five miles northeast of Grand Lakes, but it became apparent that a design-build couldn’t be completed in time to beat the lease expiration. “We had just finished the design on Grand Lakes I. They looked at it and the more we talked,” he says, “the more comfortable they got with the building.”

The RoomStore’s finish-out carves out 7,500 sf for office space; the balance will be a regional distribution center. “At some point,” Thornton says, “the headquarters will move to this building.”

The RoomStore’s corporate chiefs pitted the spec building against existing product in Pinnacle Park and its neighbor, Lonestar Turnpike Park, both along Interstate 30 in Dallas. Local brokers say the final face-off was between Duke and the Pinnacle space.

“We conducted an extensive search for a facility that would meet our real estate needs and the needs of our employees,” says Todd Edwards, the RoomStore’s COO. “Grand Lakes I fits the bill perfectly. This building will give un an opportunity to stay and grow in Grand Prairie.” Jack Diamond with USA Realty Advisors in Dallas and the RoomStore’s John Brooks brokered the terms for the furniture retailer.

Duke’s flagship building is expandable to one million sf, with a 38-acre pad underneath. The design has 32-foot clear height and 180 truck courts–and a prized sign visibility with its front-row seat along Interstate 30.

Grand Lakes Business Park, part of the city’s tax-incentive finance district, is platted for three buildings, totaling 2.25 million sf. The Grand Lakes I space is being marketed at $3.15 per sf, triple net.

“A quality tenant like the RoomStore gives the park immediate credibility,” Turner says. “It really worked out well for all parties.”

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