(Read more on the industrial market.)

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX-After rejecting several major suitors for decades, Dallas-based Vought Aircraft Industries Inc. has sold a 96-acre, partially developed tract in an off-market deal. The new owners, getting the largest rail-served infill tract in the Great Southwest, will build 1.3 million sf of bulk distribution space.

Walter Floyd, principal with NAI Huff Partners in Fort Worth, has acquired the land and is teaming with Dallas-based Champion Partners Ltd. to develop Logistics Crossing, a pair of distribution centers with 600,000 sf in the first phase and 700,000 sf in the second. The all-in cost, including the retooling of a neighboring 330,000-sf warehouse at 2401 W. Marshall Dr., will exceed $50 million, according to Barney Sinclair, Champion’s partner on the ground for the development.

“I found a very unique property and got blessed with a good partner,” Floyd tells GlobeSt.com. He says the site has been under contract since last October, with Champion coming on board in early February. The acreage is just west of the under-construction Texas 161 and Interstate 20.

The development JV will start moving dirt in the third quarter for Logistics Crossing One, now penciled for a late first-quarter or early second-quarter 2008 delivery. The 600,000-sf first phase will front W. Marshall Dr. while the 700,000-sf Logistics Crossing Two will front Pioneer Parkway. Alliance Architects Inc. of Dallas designed the industrial plan, putting 30-foot to 32-foot clear heights into the cross-dock buildings and platting the land for 600 trailer parking spaces, 185-foot truck courts and a 250-space trailer storage lot.

The 2401 W. Marshall Dr. warehouse will undergo a $1-million retooling to ready it for lease as distribution or manufacturing space. Sinclair says it will complement Logistics Crossing, but won’t be branded as such. Work begins next week on the fully air-conditioned warehouse with 350 parking spaces, 8,000 amps of power and a front-row seat along the Union Pacific line.

“From a brokerage standpoint, there is an increased need for trailer storage and increased use of rail,” says Floyd, who will be marketing the old and the new space. “This brings both to our site.” The JV has secured a development incentive from the City of Grand Prairie for a five-year, 50% tax abatement.

In the past two months as the deal pushed toward closing, Vought emptied the 330,000-sf warehouse and moved into the abutting Lockheed-Martin Corp. plant. Sinclair says Vought has been the only tenant at the location since it opened in the early 1970s. “There are so many large users there, but they’re never sellers,” he says. “We were just fortunate.”

When the dust settles on the development, then the JV partners will decide whether to hold or fold. “We’re going into this with all our options open,” Sinclair says.

It’s been five years since Champion developed in the Great Southwest, but its return ticket includes a partner who’s a veteran of the submarket and all points west to Fort Worth. “We put a deal together very quickly that worked for both of us,” Sinclair says of the alliance. “Hopefully, this will be one of many future deals together.”

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