News Article | 2/22/2006

Hillwood increases portfolio with purchase of Helen of Troy building

Hillwood has acquired Helen of Troy’s 619,000-square-foot facility in Southaven and will offer the building for lease beginning May 1.

The company cut a deal with Helen of Troy (NASDAQ: HELE) last year to construct a new 1.2 million square-foot distribution center at DeSoto Trade Center. Helen of Troy purchased its current 619,000-square-foot facility in Airways Distribution Center from Industrial Developments International in January 2003. It will continue doing business in that building until April, when it will move to the new, much larger facility.

Hillwood will lease the building to users ranging from 200,000-619,000 square feet. With two speculative buildings available at DeSoto Trade Center, Hillwood will have more than 1.4 million square feet of available distribution space in DeSoto County.

The company can now accommodate deals in the 50,000-619,000-square-foot range with its wide variety of industrial product, said Preston Herold, Hillwood Investment Properties vice president.

“After making 2.4 million square feet of build-to-suit and spec lease deals last year at DeSoto Trade Center, Hillwood continues to be bullish on the Memphis market, which has been one of the most active in the country,” Herold said.

Some of Hillwood’s success at DeSoto Trade Center can be attributed to its foreign trade zone status, which was approved in 2004. The 680-acre park is the largest of its kind in DeSoto County.

Dan Wilkinson with Colliers Wilkinson Snowden and Richard Burnette with The Burnette Co. will handle leasing at Airways Distribution Center.

Hillwood, which is based in Dallas, is a Perot company and is one of the top commercial real estate developers in the U.S. It is best known for its AllianceTexas development, a 17,000-acre project in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.