News Article | 4/30/2008

ODW Sells 750,000 SF in Perot’s Midwest Entry

COLUMBUS-Dallas-based Hillwood, a Ross Perot company, has moved into the Midwest with its purchase of three industrial buildings here, totaling more than 750,000 sf. The purchase was a sale-leaseback, as ODW Logistics, which had developed and occupied the buildings, sold the properties for $23.3 million and signed a 10-year lease with Hillwood. The properties are 1580 to 1600 Williams Rd., northeast of the Interstate 71-270 interchange, and near the Norfolk Southern and CSX rail lines.

The seller built the 83-acre campus here, which totals 1.5 million sf, and ODW will still own and occupy half the space. The company has more than 400 employees in the city, and also has properties in Chicago, Milwaukee and Los Angeles.

Hillwood, on the other hand, has focused mostly on all types of properties in the South and West, though it does own three industrial properties in Pennsylvania. Chad Cook, VP of the company’s investment division, says the SLB provides an entry into a region that the firm has targeted for some time. “We consider Columbus to be a good, long-term market,” he tells Tuesday. “It’s a distribution point into the Midwest, and greatly helps with the amount of time to get product across the country, through the heartland corridor.”

The firm had leased 339,980 sf to ODW in December in the AllianceCalifornia development in San Bernardino, CA, and that relationship led to this purchase, Cook says. “We thought this was a great entryway into the Midwest, and Columbus market. Just look at the great strides they’re making with the Rickenbacker Airport,” he says. The opening of Norfolk Southern’s Rickenbacker Intermodal terminal has boosted the state’s position as a distribution center. “Although no other deals are imminent, Hillwood will continue to seek new opportunities in Columbus,” Cook says.

Al Leon and Trip Leon with Leon Bros. represented ODW in the transaction. Cook represented his firm.