(Read more on the industrial market.)

EL PASO-While preparing for its 2.1-million-sf, mixed-use Five Star H.E. Distribution Center for a Q2 2008 groundbreaking, Five Star Development Group Inc. is also looking ahead. Using the $150-million, 109-acre, mixed-use “green” center as a prototype, the company is planning a similar development in Phoenix, as well as targeting additional land throughout the Southwest to build Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design-certified centers.

“We’re hoping to build these green centers from now on, everywhere we build,” comments Jerry Ayoub, president of the Scottsdale firm. He says two things drove the decision to go LEED. “For one thing, companies are aware of rising energy costs, and are doing what they can to save money. A LEED-certified building helps.” Additionally, “we try to build responsibly,” Ayoub says.

Five Star bought its acreage for the Five Star H.E. Distribution Center in August, and Ayoub tells GlobeSt.com that the plan was to build a LEED-certified complex ever since the company began negotiations some years ago to buy the land from a local individual.

Located next to the Zaragoza Port of Entry between the US and Mexico, the project will have Texas Loop 375, Joe Battle Highway, slicing through it. Ayoub says that the land closest to the Mexican border will contain industrial and warehousing development. On the other side of the road, Five Star will develop a retail component on 50 acres.

“This is a wonderful piece of land,” he comments. “It’s close to the bridge, and it circles US customs so trucks can come across, enter into the park, unload and return to Mexico, without officially having to enter the US.” Ayoub says the park will also have a refueling station. A general contractor has not been selected, but PSRBB Architects in El Paso is handling the design. Five Star does its own leasing.

The first phase will consist of two industrial buildings, one measuring 360,000 sf and the other 525,000 sf. Ayoub says Five Star is in negotiation already with a Fortune 500 prospect that might be interested in leasing half of the smaller building.

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