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AUSTIN-A seasoned local developer is undertaking its first industrial project, the $20-million, 400,000-sf Harris Ridge Business Center. The two-building first phase, totaling 145,800 sf, is slated to deliver by year’s end.

Situated on 30 acres at Howard Lane and Harris Ridge Boulevard in the northeast submarket, Harris Ridge is breaking ground five years after Capital City Partners Inc. bought the parcel. Chris Whitworth, principal with Capital City Partners, says he and partner Joe Lamy had acquired the land for a good price because the market had slowed dramatically at the time and dirt prices were low. “We bought this with the intention to wait for the industrial market to mature,” he adds, telling GlobeSt.com that the second phase will be built based on market demand.

Whitworth says, however, demand shouldn’t be too long in coming. Harris Ridge is being built in a submarket with a 3% vacancy, an inventory of 3.6 million and a dearth of available land for building more. Furthermore, the land is across the road from Dell Inc. and the 1,000-acre Tech Ridge business park. As a result, Capital City Partners is building an industrial park in an area where supply already is tight.

Capital City’s site is entitled for another 153,000-sf warehouse and 96,000 sf in two high-end flex buildings. “A lot of similar projects in Austin are in the southeast, where there’s a lot of land,” Whitworth says. “But north is the growth corridor and it’s where industrial is competing against the multifamily guys.”

Bart Matheney of Aquila Commercial LLC in Austin has been tapped to market and lease Harris Ridge. Studio 8′s Austin team designed the project. Zapalac/Reed Construction Co., also local, is its general contractor.

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