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HOUSTON-Proterra Properties Inc. will launch construction within the week on the 276,273-sf Northwest 8 Distribution Center. The $15-million project will be the last one to go vertical in the 34-acre Northwest 8 Business Park.

The speculative building will be situated on 16 acres at Okanella Road and Beltway 8. It will be ready for occupancy by yearend. Kit Dolan, managing director in Houston for Dallas-based Proterra, says the single building can be divided among four tenants. The lease rate is $4.80 per sf net on an annual basis.

In 2001, Proterra Properties began building in Northwest 8 Business Park, starting with two warehouse/distribution buildings totaling 140,000 sf. Mountain West Industrial Properties LLC in Greenwood Village, CO ended up with the buildings at 6350 and 6360 W. Sam Houston Parkway North.

Dolan tells GlobeSt.com that Proterra held back on the second phase of the park’s development due to the lack of market demand. During the early 2000s, demand for industrial space wasn’t as strong as it is today.

“Houston’s strong job growth and economic expansion is having a considerable effect on the city as a whole and the industrial market, in particular,” Dolan says. “The northwest market has seen very strong leasing activity, with the industrial distribution market over 95% occupied.”

Because of the market strength, Dolan says Proterra Properties is looking for other development sites, specifically in the northwest submarket. Although nothing is in the pipeline at this point, he says the company most likely will have something under contract by year’s end.

Munson Kennedy Partnership of Houston is Northwest 8 Business Park’s architect. Proterra Properties is handling marketing and leasing.

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