News Article | 11/22/2004

Hillwood Forms Development Partnership With Clarion

Dallas-based Hillwood Development Corp. has entered into a partnership with ING Clarion Partners to work together on future development opportunities across the country, including the Memphis market.Hillwood is the developer of the DeSoto Trade Center. Earlier this year, the company applied for free trade zone status under the nonprofit corporation Northern Mississippi FTZ, Inc.New York City-based ING Clarion provides private market real estate investment management services to domestic and international institutional investors. The firm entered into the partnership with Hillwood on behalf of the Lion Industrial Trust, Clarion’s open-end commingled fund focusing exclusively on the industrial sector. Hillwood is developing the DeSoto industrial park at its Southaven property between Highway 51 and Interstate 55, and already has Emerson Electric Co. in one of its buildings.Emerson (NYSE: EMR), which makes electric and electronic systems and products, currently operates in 290,000 square feet, and wants the free trade zone designation. Other international companies reportedly have inquired about foreign trade zones when investigating sites in North Mississippi.The partnership between Hillwood and Clarion involves more than eight million square feet of industrial properties. Hillwood will maintain a significant ownership position, and will continue its pre-partnership role of marketing and managing the buildings.Of the 16 buildings involved in the partnership, 10 were developed by Hillwood. Hillwood purchased the others over the past two years. The properties, the majority of which were constructed and leased within the past two years, are located in core industrial markets including Los Angeles, Dallas, Harrisburg, Pa., and Memphis. Hillwood’s DeSoto Trade Center consists of five buildings totaling about 3.8 million square feet of space. Building No. 2, with more than 722,000 square feet of space, is fully occupied. Building No. 1, with more than 846,000 square feet of space, has some 481,000 square feet still available. The other buildings are not yet occupied.