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WILMER, TX-The South Dallas vision for an inland port designation is gaining additional mettle as a North Texas developer gets ready to forge ahead on nearly 1.1 million sf beside the Union Pacific Railroad’s intermodal yard. The plan calls for work to start on a 520,000-sf spec distribution center in 30 days and a second building, with 500,000 sf to 600,000 sf, to get under way before 2007 ends.

I-45 Tradeport 1 will be situated in the 433-acre Sunridge Business Park, a development of Prime Rail Interests, which is planning a January opening of a 59-acre container storage facility with capacity for 3,000 containers and 300 loaded trailers.

Pleasant Run Partners LLC, led by Stephen Sanders of Dallas-based Industrial Works Investments, plans to start its push on 29.4 acres. Craig Hughes, director for Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc., tells GlobeSt.com that the developer has a built-in design differential that could make all the difference in the project’s lease-up, particularly since it sits in a submarket with at least four million sf of spec space under way and significantly more on the way. The C&W marketing team includes senior directors Dan Cook and Gary Collett.

The Tradeport project, planned with a 24/7 manned gate, will have a queuing area for the trucking industry. Hughes says the feature not only will save time for drivers, but will set up an efficient traffic flow. The first building will have 110 dock doors and 175 trailer spots. The tilt-wall structure’s design also has 32-foot clear heights, 50-foot by 50-foot column spacing and 60-foot staging areas.

The development tract is along Pleasant Run Road at the southern boundary of the intermodal yard, one block from Interstate 45 and across the freeway from UP’s front door, which is the foundation for the inland port plan and anchor for the Los Angeles-based Allen Group’s 6,000-acre Dallas Logistics Hub. If the Allen Group’s plan plays out the way it wants, it also could have a second intermodal yard, compliments of Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

The Tradeport site also is a half-mile from Duke Realty Corp.’s 624,000-sf spec project. If the street’s right, The Indianapolis-based developer has roped a full-building tenant for the 39-acre Duke Intermodal 1, which broke ground in March and is zeroing in on completion.

Dallas County leaders have an application pending for a Foreign Trade Zone, a critical component to their push for an inland port designation. Sunridge, like its neighbors, already has Triple Freeport exemptions.

Dallas has a strategic upper hand because it’s at the confluence of four intersecting interstate freeways “for the transportation of goods between several of the major seaports and Mexico,” Sanders, Industrial Works Investments’ managing general partner, says in a press release. “This superior interconnectivity along with the intermodal influence will drive demand in the southern sector of DFW.” In addition to Tradeport, the developer also has projects under way in Cleveland and Nashville.

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