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ATLANTA-Raleigh, NC-based Highwoods Properties Inc. is set to begin construction on Highwoods River Point, a $10.4-million, 200,000-sf industrial building. It will be the first building construction on a 110-acre site acquired by the company in May.

Highwoods has preleased 100,000 sf of the project to Beverage House Inc., a privately held manufacturer and distributor of tea. The project is expected to be completed in January 2009. Beverage House is expected to move into the space in February.

Highwoods River Point Business Park will accommodate eight buildings with approximately 1.3 million sf. Highwoods Properties Inc. vice president of Atlanta division Jim Bacchetta tells GlobeSt.com that, in addition to the start of construction on the first building, work on infrastructure for the entire park has also started.

“We’ve had a lot of activity and interest in the park,” Bacchetta says. “Based on the leasing activity, we anticipate moving forward with the other buildings in the park soon.”

In a statement, president and CEO Ed Fritsch says, “Highwoods River Point Business Park is a great industrial tract with quick access to Interstate 75. We are pleased to expand our presence in the Atlanta market where we currently own 2.8 million sf of industrial properties that are, on average, 95.2% occupied.”

With the start of Highwoods River Point, the company’s development pipeline grows to 2.4 million sf, representing an investment of $389 million that is 70% preleased. These developments are expected to generate stabilized cash returns on the total investment of between 9% and 10%.

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