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HOUSTON-Bray International Inc. has become the first tenant in the $20-million Westland Business Park in the far northwest submarket. The local company signed a 10-year lease to take down 84,420 sf of the 51-acre development’s first phase, a 262,800-sf bulk industrial building that will be completed in November.

Bray International, which has its headquarters at 13333 Westland East Blvd. next to Westland Business Park. Cory Driskill, senior leasing representative with Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp., Bray called when it needed expansion space.

“This is an expansion and consolidation of other area facilities,” Driskill tells GlobeSt.com. “Their headquarters will stay where it is and the company’s ancillary operations will be in our facility.”

Westland Business Park’s quoted rate is $4.56 per sf. Driskill says Duke is offering up to $5 per sf for tenant improvements. He adds that the Bray deal was “on par” with the ask. Bray will move in Feb. 1.

“That technically was a prelease. We have proposals out for what’s left in that building,” Driskill says. The lease, along with a recent sale of 5.3 acres for a build-to-suit, is pushing Duke into the planning stages for Westland’s second phase, a 300,000-sf spec building, dubbed Westland II. “Based on the activity in the first building if we get another deal or two, we can kick off the next,” he says, adding that a second-quarter 2008 groundbreaking is likely for the next building.

Driskill says that, given the land remaining, an extra 160,000 sf could also be in the works, depending on market conditions. The plan right now is to build the remaining park all spec, but Driskill says Duke certainly wouldn’t refuse another land buy for a build-to-suit.

The Bray lease puts Duke ahead of its lease-up schedule. “We’re pleased to have a prelease in Houston. We were hoping for one,” Driskill says. “With the activity we have left, we could beat our estimates.”

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