ROANOKE, TX-Filing away yet another tenant expansion, Hillwood has started designing a 400,000-sf cross-dock warehouse for AllianceTexas. The MO is always to have at least 500,000 sf on the ground and ready to fill.

The latest expansion–Metro Active Warehouse & Distribution Ltd.–closes off 143,620 sf in the 1.3-million-sf Gateway 50 at 743 Henrietta Creek Rd. The logistics provider, inking a long-term lease, has been working out of 41,940 sf of temporary space in Gateway 9 since March. Metro Active, planning an October move-in, will relocate its headquarters to Gateway 50 as well, getting a 5,000-sf office makeover as part of the package.

Metro Active’s lease takes Gateway 50 to 95% occupancy. Comparable second-generation space in the area is being marketed in the upper $2 per sf range. “With good second-generation space, owners are able to be a lot more aggressive because the rates are based on yesterday’s construction cost,” says Steve Aldrich, marketing manager for Hillwood Properties. “We’re as aggressive as anywhere in the market.”

Aldrich tells that the rash of expansions in the 17,000-acre AllianceTexas could lead to a groundbreaking on another spec building by year’s end or early 2007. Dealmakers already are circling a recently delivered, 400,000-sf Gateway 62 so planners have started working on a cross-dock design to add to the park’s available inventory, according to Aldrich. “We’re on the front of the next wave,” he adds.

Aldrich says the Foreign Trade Zone designation has been the catalyst for the rash of expansions, particularly among the logistics crowd. In Metro Active’s case, he says many of its customers are importers. Equally important to the Metro Active decision is the Triple Freeport exemption and the short distance to the BNSF intermodal yard, Aldrich says. Steve Berger with CB Richard Ellis in Dallas represented Metro Active, now headquartered at 5650 Kroger Dr. in Fort Worth.

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