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Veteran Industrial Broker Hints At Two Secret Deals Totaling 2M SF

NAI Partners' Gray Gilbert

At least two large industrial players are looking for over 1M SF in Houston.

NAI Partners' latest hire, Gray Gilbert, a 28-year veteran of the industry, said he has heard of two secret projects each looking for 1M SF. At an NAI Partners press breakfast, Gilbert said the large deals in the market are  likely for distribution space, a fast-growing segment of Houston's industrial sector. 

"I don't know of a single roof that can accommodate that much space," Gilbert said. 

Industrial spec development has taken off in Houston to meet increased demand. Houston-based Pontikes Development is working with JLL on Port 10 Logistics Center, a rail-served Class-A industrial development that will encompass 3M SF of warehouse and distribution space on Interstate 10, near the Houston Ship Channel. Oakmont Industrial Group will turn a 42-acre parcel in West Ten Business Park into 673K SF of industrial spec warehouse space. Liberty Property Trust is breaking ground on two new industrial spec buildings totaling 700K SF at Port Crossing Commerce Center. Stream has broken ground on Northwest Logistics Center, a 411K SF distribution center on 26 acres off North Eldridge Parkway.

"Industrial spec feels like a safe play," Gilbert said. 

Land constraints are the biggest driving factor. Houston's rising land prices mean the industrial market starts at Beltway 8, Gilbert said. Most of the remaining industrial tenants inside the Beltway are selling and moving out if they have the option.