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FORTH WORTH-Carving out its first distribution spot in the Metroplex, Sunbelt Warehouse Corp. Toyoshima USA Inc. has leased a 251,622 sf warehouse as a consolidation location for its West Texas cotton-export business. The three-year lease, kicking in earlier this week, took just one month to bed down.

Sunbelt has just started to move into the 1970s-era warehouse at 2550 Downing St., according to Craig Hughes, director of Dallas based Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. He told Globest.com that Sunbelt opted to “test” the location with a short term lease because it’s just a shade under the 15 mile count off of higher dryage cost. Sunbelt will be transporting containers of 2,000-pound cotton bales to the Union Pacific railroad inter-modal facility in Alliance, T, which is 14.9 miles haul from the warehouse.

Hughes says Sunbelt plans to keep some warehouses in West Texas and close a couple smaller ones since it has found a Fort Worth distribution spot. The deal maker was that “it’s a low cost efficient building,” he says, adding the 20-plus dock doors won high points with the tenant.

According to Hughes, Sunbelt is one of the few cotton distributors that always ships full containers on both import and export routes. Sunbelt operates a 450,000-sf distribution center in Houston and has another large facility in Memphis. Hughes estimates that Fresno, CA-based Sunbelt has nearly four million sf of distribution centers in the US.

Hughes partnered with Cushman & Wakefield’s Andrew Napper. The owner, Aberfeldy II LP of Richardson, TX, was represented by Pat McDowell of McDowell Property Co. in Fort Worth. The building’s quoted rate isn’t available, but comparable warehouse space in the submarket would fetch about $2.85 per sf net.

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