MOUNTAIN VIEW, GA-Raleigh, NC-based Highwoods Properties Inc. has been awarded a 50,000-sf build-to-suit contract with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop an office building at Tradeport, an industrial and office park. The project carries a $10.2-million price tag.

Under the contract, Highwoods will develop a two-story class A office building on land already owned by the company. Construction will begin in the third quarter and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2008, at which time the FAA will take occupancy.

Tradeport is located on International Parkway, near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Interstate 75. Highwoods owns 622,000 sf in Tradeport, including three office and five industrial buildings. Highwoods vice president of the Atlanta division Jim Bacchetta tells that the FAA selected the location because of its close proximity to the airport. “A first responder group that responds to incidents at the airport will be located in the building so they needed quick access to the airport,” he says.

The deal marks Highwoods’ continued relationship with the federal government. In the past five years, the company has been awarded $120 million of development by various agencies, all of which were 100% preleased. Among projects are a 138,000-sf office for the FBI in Tampa, FL, two office buildings totaling 224,000 sf for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and a 354,000-sf office and storage facility for the National Archives and Records Administration, also in Atlanta.

“It’s work that we look for and actively pursue,” Bacchetta says. “There’s no better credit than the US government so that’s good for our portfolio.”

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