News Article | 3/29/2006

UPDATE: Site Work Ready to Begin for $50M-Plus Industrial Park

DeSOTO, TX-Eyeing the progressive change in the South Dallas market, Hillwood will begin dirt work on the 113-acre Crossroads Trade Center. The master development plan, as it now stands, calls for 1.85 million sf in three buildings.

There are no plans right now to raise spec space on land that Hillwood and local partner, United Commercial Development, acquired in 1992 from the Resolution Trust Corp. In February 2004, the developer took full control of the site near the split of interstates 35E and 20, picked up an additional 20 acres and closed out five years of negotiations for a 10-year abatement on real property taxes for up to 100% relief. “What we really are doing is eliminating a long lead time for the development process,” says Dan Tatsch, senior vice president of the Fort Worth-based Hillwood Investment Properties. “We feel comfortable enough to start the dirt work.”

Tatsch tells that Hillwood is awaiting permits, but expects to start prepping the land in a couple weeks. It will take about six months to finish. When the dust settles and the buildings are up, Crossroads Trade Center will have an all-in value of more than $50 million. The site is mapped for buildings ranging from 525,000 sf to 725,000 sf, but that, like whether or not to do spec, could change. “It’s premature in the process to make that decision,” Tatsch says. “The first building will depend on the market.” In announcing the go-ahead, Hillwood says it will decide in the third quarter if it’s going to roll out spec.

Hillwood’s acreage is seven miles due west of Union Pacific Railroad’s intermodal yard, but part of an interstate pocket that’s on the radar screen of every large industrial developer in the market. “The $64,000 question is will the demand materialize to meet the supply,” Tatsch says. “The number of name developers staking claims down there may make the difference.”