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DALLAS-If all goes as planned, Courtland Development and Sacramento-based Panattoni Development Co. will break ground in the summer on a 458,640-sf spec warehouse in Mountain Creek Business Park in southern Dallas County. The project’s green light has been tripped by the recent sale of a 441,000-sf warehouse shell and the upcoming closing of a 36-acre site for a 500,000-sf build-to-suit.

The joint venture partners’ new warehouse will sit on roughly 30 acres, the last large tract of Triple Freeport-zoned land in the 410-acre park, and be planted right across the street from the just-sold warehouse, Jon Napper, founder of Dallas-based Courtland, tells GlobeSt.com. In the past week, Niagara Bottling LLC closed on a spec shell at 4851 Mountain Creek Pkwy. after having it under contract since early January as a result of an off-market deal that began on a golf course at Walt Disney World in Orlando during the 2007 Christmas season.

Although the price is off limits, comparable industrial space in the market has been hovering $45 per sf. Word is there were 1,100 applicants for the plant’s 200 jobs. What Napper is free to divulge is Niagara invested nearly $3 million into the shell’s finish-out and equipment for the new water bottling plant. The building has a 32-foot clear height and 70 dock doors on a 23.29-acre tract.

Napper says the Courtland-Panattoni JV is ready to start the tax abatement process and site planning for the upcoming spec so ground can break in the summer. Dallas City Council has underwritten both Niagara Bottling and Medline Industries Inc. of Mundelein, IL, which is planning a $22-million build-to-suit to replace a 156,672-sf warehouse in the city’s southern sector. The Ontario, CA-based Niagara Bottling was awarded 60% personal property tax abatement for 10 years, projected at $1.8 million over the term, and Medline got a 75% reduction on real property taxes for seven years, which is estimated at $880,000 over its term.

There are 81 acres of flex and retail dirt left in the park as it marks its seventh year and crosses the 3,000-job threshold. “It’s pretty much on track,” Napper says, “although I am surprised by the recent activity. That’s pretty amazing activity for the past 24 months.”

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