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A Phoenix Design-Build Firm Sets Its Sights On The Dallas Market

A rendering of 820 Exchange, Building 1.

Developers can’t get enough of North Texas. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is second in the nation for residential construction and the city’s office market is so hot, construction firms are finding it nearly impossible to keep up.

The Dallas industrial market is also booming after absorbing a record-setting 30.8M SF in 2019. As the demand for industrial facilities continues to rise, the space to develop these properties is becoming scarcer, but one Arizona-based firm is not letting that stop it from carving out a niche in this market. 

“The Dallas-Fort Worth market is very tight right now when it comes to available land, particularly if you’re looking to build an industrial property,” LGE Design Build President and CEO David Sellers said. “But we were able to find the perfect space by rolling up our sleeves, doing our research and thinking outside the box.” 

When Sellers and his team at LGE, partnering with Creation RE, set out to build its first Dallas project, they knew finding the right site would be a challenge. Rather than searching in vain for available industrial-zoned land, they decided to research entitlement issues instead. LGE ended up purchasing a 68-acre site in Haltom City, 4 miles northeast of Fort Worth, and worked with city officials to get the area rezoned for employment use. 

The plans were approved in 2018 and LGE recently broke ground on the project, called 820 Exchange, which comprises four buildings totaling approximately 1M SF. The site takes its name from nearby Interstate 820, which offers tenants fast access to the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Sellers said this makes it the perfect spot for clients looking for last-mile warehouse space near the city.

A rendering of 820 Exchange, Building 4.

“While there’s been a lot of industrial construction around Dallas, we felt this area was still missing an infill industrial site, despite the fact that demand is high,” Sellers said.

Sellers is right about the demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 2,000 new warehouse or storage facilities have been added to the U.S. market since 2008, but demand has been outpacing supply since 2010. This demand is spurred by e-commerce companies that are desperate for warehouse spaces near major cities to help them fill next-day and same-day online deliveries. 

With suites that offer between 50K to 400K SF, 820 Exchange was designed to attract a wide range of companies, whether they were looking for smaller storage warehouses or huge staging grounds for distribution operations. Sellers said what really sets these spaces apart from other industrial properties, however, is their sleek, modern design. 

“We’re not just building big gray boxes,” LGE Design Build Studio Director Mark Cone said. “We strive to create industrial properties with a youthful, energetic feel to them.” 

Sellers’ team has long had its sights set on the Dallas industrial market, since it is so much larger than its home market, Phoenix. Though there is a lot of competition among contractors in the area, Sellers said there are few design-build firms offering LGE’s blend of high-quality design and fast construction under one roof. Since its inception in the Phoenix market, LGE has built over 1,200 projects totaling over 22M SF.

A rendering of an aerial view of 820 Exchange.

“We keep everything under one roof so we can move really fast, and that helped us while working with the city to get these plans approved as quickly as possible,” Sellers said. “Having the design and construction in-house allows us to control our costs better. We’re within the same budget we projected a year ago when all we had were schematic drawings.”  

LGE Senior Project Manager Luke Key added that the company prides itself on its collaborative culture that places the responsibility for the success of each stage of the project — from the initial plans to the final ribbon-cutting — on every member of the team, rather than passing the process off from an architect to a separate general contractor. 

Since the start of the 820 Exchange project, LGE has become even more enamored with North Texas and the potential this area has to offer. The company has set up a new satellite office in the area and is already working on a second, hospitality-focused development and has more projects coming down the pipeline in the next few years. Key and Cone, who are working out of this new satellite office, are both Texas-based professionals with a deep knowledge of the area and its unique needs. 

“We’ve always been interested in Texas, but this really inspired us to make the move,” Sellers said. “Right now, we’re focused on getting to know the area, so we can design and construct inspired properties that truly benefit the state.”

This feature was produced in collaboration between the Bisnow Branded Content Studio and LGE Design Build. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.