News Article | 8/1/2008

Hillwood Leases 600,000-SF Spec Center

JACKSONVILLE, FL-Hillwood, a Dallas-based commercial real estate development firm, has leased its 601,500-sf West Point Trade Center to the Dallas-based Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. Foundations are about to be poured at the site of the future distribution center, which was built on spec, says T. Preston Herold, vice president of Hillwood.

“We were going to lease it to the market, but Dr. Pepper came along,” Herold tells “It was beneficial in that we were able to design specific improvements to maximize the logistical efficiency of the facility for them.” The building is expected to be complete by the end of the year and fully operational by the first quarter of 2009.

The move is part of Dr. Pepper’s effort to improve operational efficiencies within its 13.5 million-sf portfolio, a job it hired CB Richard Ellis to manage, as reported by in June. Terry Quarterman and Jeff Nelson of CBRE represented Hillwood in the transaction, while Dr. Pepper was represented by Jim Brice and David S. Parker of Holt Lunsford Commercial and Seth Kelly of CB Richard Ellis.

The beverage company will be consolidating several operations that were scattered throughout Jacksonville into the facility at 2300 Pickettville Rd. The building will serve as the company’s southeast distribution hub, and is located within 15 miles of one of its 24 manufacturing and bottling plants.

“With great access to major highways and rail lines, as well as close proximity to our manufacturing plant in Jacksonville, this facility will enable Dr. Pepper Snapple to get our Snapple and Mott’s brands to our customers and consumers more efficiently and will lay the foundation for future growth in the southeastern region,” said Dan Flowers, senior vice president of logistics and distribution for Dr Pepper, in a release. The facility is located within two miles of the CSX Intermodal Rail Facility and the Interstate 295/10 interchange. Its close proximity to the Norfolk Southern Intermodal Facility and the Jacksonville Port Authority also made the location attractive, says Herold.

“This deal gives us great momentum in the Jacksonville market—a market we are very high on right now,” he says. “We intend to do more development here. As evidenced by this deal, it’s the perfect place to set up a regional distribution center for the southeast because of the demographic location of Jacksonville, the abundance of labor available and the transportation infrastructure.” Last year, the company developed Hillwood Westlake, a 400,000-sf, build-to-suit distribution center for Laney & Duke on Presidents Court.