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Dallas-Fort Worth
Al Sorrels

More showings and more RFPs signal some pick up in activity for industrial properties, but Majestic Realty development director Al Sorrels says he's not sure if that will translate into more deals. (It certainly makes QuikTrip?s gas pumps happier.) Fortune 500 clients (among others) are exploring opportunities, but Al thinks there's still a shared opinion in board rooms to push back decisions about making that 500k SF expansion or putting in another distribution center in Dallas as opposed to just having one in Phoenix or Memphis. Vacancy is still around 12%, he says, and no one's planning spec development. In a normal market, the on/off switch for development is around 9% vacancy, he says, so it's still difficult to underwrite a deal right now.

Majestic Airport Center DFW

Majestic's largest DFW project is the Majestic Airport Center DFW, north of DFW Airport. At ultimate build-out, the 160-acre park will contain 3M SF, he says. (Currently, it's at 1.4M SF.) Al says he recently inked a deal for a short-term tenant in a 1M SF space, but finding a permanent tenant for the firm's flagship development is his No. 1 goal now. The California-based company focuses primarily on industrial development and is the largest privately held industrial owner in the country (75M SF of industrial space with about 4M SF in Texas). Al will be among the star-studded panelists at ourIndustrial Real Estate Summit Breakfast & Schmooze next Wednesday (April 21) at the Westin Galleria. You can register here.

Mark Ridley-Thomas and Ed Roski Jr

And, just for grins, we thought you might like to know about Majestic?s owner, whose name may ring a bell: Ed Roski Jr (right, receiving the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission Community Sportsman of the Year Award a couple of years ago with county supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas). If you've been living under a rock (like the guy in the latest Geico commercial) maybe you don't know that he also owns part of the LA Lakers, part of the Staples Center, and the Kings. (We also hear he's been busily trying to get an NFL franchise in LA, too.) A sports-oriented owner's a good thing for Al, as he's a former SMU pole vaulter. Instead of leaping small Class-A buildings in a single bound, though, he's spending time coachingvarious sports (including track) for his three kids, ages 15, 12, and 8.