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

HOUSTON-Duke Realty Corp. has expanded its industrial presence through a 100-acre land play involving two separate plots in the north and northwest submarkets. Land costs in the corridors put the transaction at $12 million to $15 million.

Duke has picked up prime development sites for light manufacturing and distribution space. The 51-acre Westland Business Park, located at Texas 290 and the West Road-Eldridge Parkway exit, will support up to 800,000 sf of development. Its neighbor to the north, the 52-acre Houston Intercontinental Trade Center, is off Kenswick Drive and allows for 890,000 sf.

In a press release, David Hudson, Duke’s vice president of leasing and development in Houston, said development in both parks is imminent. He nor Duke’s senior vice president Jeff Turner was available for comment prior to publication.

In the release, Turner said Duke has met its plan for Houston when it opened the office in March. “When we entered Houston, we set three goals–to acquire west Houston office land, which we achieved within six months of opening Duke’s doors and to develop industrial business parks in the north and northwest submarkets,” he said.

A falling vacancy rate combined with a large demand for industrial space validates the decision to buy and build. According to Duke, industrial vacancy was 6.8% at the second-quarter close, down 1.2% in the past year. Grubb & Ellis Co.’s latest market report shows a similar story, pointing to a 5.8% vacancy in the area versus close to 7% the year before. Grubb & Ellis pegged net absorption at 2.8 million sf as of June 30.

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