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GRAND PRAIRIE, TX-Duke Realty Corp., taking a cue from Inland Empire construction, is moving dirt on a 50.8-acre site to build the largest spec warehouse in Dallas/Fort Worth. Grand Lakes II will weigh in at 1.06 million sf, nearly the equivalent of seven football fields.

“I’m almost sure that no one’s ever built a one-million-sf spec building in Texas before,” Jeff Turner, senior vice president of Indianapolis-based Duke’s Dallas operations, tells GlobeSt.com. “To put it into perspective if you laid the Empire State Building on its side, this building would be longer than that.” The all-in development cost is pushing $30 million. Delivery is penciled for February 2008.

Duke bought 130 acres of Interstate 30-fronting land in August 2004 to develop Grand Lakes Business Park. The 798,043-sf Grand Lakes I also came out as spec,, but nailed locally based RoomStore for 378,285 sf in the first week of dirt work and then reeled in Buena Park, CA-based ServiceCraft Logistics Inc. for 419,758 sf just as the construction crew was packing up to leave.

Grand Lakes II will sit at the interstate’s southeast corner with MacArthur Boulevard, with a Union Pacific Railway main line at the rear of the site. Designed by GSR Andrade of Dallas, the spec warehouse will have 247 dock doors, 32-foot clear height, three drive-in ramp/doors and parking for 311 non-commercial vehicles and 141 trailers. Duke Construction Co. is the general contractor. The quoted rate is $3.25 per sf, triple net. “But for the right deal and right finish-out, we can be aggressive,” Turner says.

Turner says there are a half dozen deals kicking around the metroplex for 500,000 sf to one million sf. The Grand Lakes II design is flexible enough to accommodate a 200,000-sf tenant, if necessary.

“Although it comes with risk, it comes with tremendous flexibility,” Turner says. “We feel like the market, the center part of Dallas/Fort Worth, can take a large building. If there’s a good spot to put a one-million-sf spec, this would be it.”

In March, the City of Industry, CA-based Majestic Realty Co.’s Dallas division acquired 160 acres in Lewisville to build the 1.3-million-sf Majestic Airport Center. The developer broke ground earlier this summer on the development, which includes a 1.02-million-sf spec warehouse.

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