Hunt's Bold Move: 1M SF Spec In Fort Worth
In a big bet on the future of distribution and the strength of Fort Worth, Hunt Southwest has bought 77 acres to build a 1M SF spec distribution/fulfillment center.
The site is at the northwest quadrant of Interstate 820 and I-35W in Fort Worth. The building will have 40-foot clear height, cross-dock configuration, 196 dock-high doors, LED lighting with motion sensors throughout and extra land for seasonal employee parking, extra trailer parking or other ancillary uses. Construction will begin in the next 30 days and complete in late Q3 2019.
Hunt just this month sold its last Fort Worth development, the 657K SF 35/820 @ Mercantile industrial project. That property also began spec and locked down a major pre-lease — 493K SF to S&S Activewear — three months before delivering in August 2017. It sold to Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust, a Canadian REIT owned by Blackstone. Dallas has been a dominant force in attracting foreign investment — it was No. 2 in the U.S. for foreign dollars into industrial in the first five months of 2018, and besides the PIRET buy, Bahrain-based Investcorp this month bought a 4.5M SF industrial portfolio that included 16 DFW assets.
“Interstate Crossing will be successful for all the reasons our 35/820 @ Mercantile development was so successful, including its infill/last-mile location, proximity to a high concentration of available and high-quality labor, and easy access to I-820 and I-35W,” Hunt Southwest Vice President Preston Herold said in a news release. “Throw in interstate highway visibility and adjacency that you have with Interstate Crossing, and you have a very rare opportunity that speaks to the needs of distributors and e-commerce retailers to reduce transportation and labor costs in their respective supply chains.”
Industrial has been booming nationwide with the rise of e-commerce and last-mile distribution for same-day delivery, and Dallas is one of the leaders of the pack, consistently in the top five U.S. markets for industrial fundamentals. A report by Colliers International in March found that high-tech warehouses larger than 200K SF with at least 28-foot ceilings are on average trading at lower cap rates than office product is, a new phenomenon. Interstate Crossing will more than meet those metrics.
Lee & Associates' Becky Thompson and Reid Bassinger brokered the land sale to Hunt and, with colleague Trey Fricke, will represent Hunt in leasing the facility.