Since the 1940s, it has been home to one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers. Now, the former Vought Aircraft plant on Jefferson Boulevard in West Dallas has become available—and is attracting interest from other big users from around the world.
At a whopping 4.7 million square feet situated on 315 acres—and expandable up to 6.5 million square feet—it’s the largest complex of its kind not only in Dallas-Fort Worth, but in the state of Texas, according to a top leasing team from Colliers International, which is marketing the property to new tenants.
Vought, which once employed 29,000 at the site, was acquired by Pennsylvania-based Triumph Group Inc. in 2010 for $1.4 billion. Since then, it has operated as Triumph Aerostructures-Vought Aircraft. In 2012, Triumph began construction of a new complex in Red Oak to house the division. The company is wrapping up a relocation to the new facilities, leaving the massive Jefferson Boulevard campus up for grabs.
The owner of the development, a partnership led by Dallas investor Stuart Jones and including Equity Resource Investments LLC and Abrams Capital, both of Boston, began seeking a real estate team to market the property late last fall. Beating four other contenders to win the plum was a Colliers team led by longtime industrial brokers Greg Cannon, Tom Pearson, and Chris Teesdale, and managing director David Pinsel.
“It’s a big assignment for Colliers, but it’s an even bigger opportunity for the city of Dallas, as the site has the ability to accommodate 25,000 or 30,000 workers,” Pinsel said. “It’s exciting to see who’s going to come in and take the space. The city, the state, Colliers, and our client are very much looking forward to attracting a strong user that will create higher-end manufacturing jobs.”
Colliers came up with a new name for the property—Dallas Global Industrial Center—and an in-house team developed a new logo and branding materials.
“We wanted Dallas in the name of the property, because we want to highlight that it’s within the city of Dallas, not in an outlying area,” Pinsel said. “We also wanted to convey that it’s designed to house operations of a global company. It speaks to what the property is and should be.”
The highly secure campus includes manufacturing, warehouse, maintenance, laboratory, and office buildings, all of which are either fully or substantially air-conditioned. There are two internal roads that bisect the property, making it naturally divisible to accommodate up to four big users, if needed. A large central cafeteria serves the entire campus. Dallas Global is also equipped with a 16,200-square-foot data center. (Scroll down for a site plan and map of the development.)
“There are not many facilities like this that has this kind of infrastructure in place,” Teesdale said. “The city and the state have been very supportive of the project, as it has the ability to bring in so many jobs.”
Teesdale said one “very significant prospect” has already toured the property, and interest is starting to come in from around the country—and around the globe. Pinsel is about to embark on a tour of some of the firm’s international locations, including offices in Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, and Hong Kong. Aerospace, automobile, and other manufacturers are key targets.
After decades of sending manufacturing jobs to other countries, an on-shoring trend is under way, Pearson said. “There’s a movement to bring more jobs back to the United States,” he said. “We think our timing is good, not only for American manufacturers, but also Asian companies and European companies that want to establish a U.S. presence. This is especially true in a business-friendly state like Texas, which doesn’t have some of the regulations of its West Coast counterparts.”
Intellectual property issues are also compelling U.S. companies to build American, Pinsel said: “The stars are aligned to keep jobs here.”
Dallas Global is rail-served, with a Union Pacific main rail line on site. The potential exist to connect the UP line to BNSF, CNL, and KC Southern. The site has robust, dual-service power, designed to meet high demand loads. It’s also is adjacent to the 800-acre decommissioned Dallas naval air station base, with an 8,000-foot runway, owned by the City of Dallas.
This kind of infrastructure would be very difficult—and expensive—to try to replicate, Cannon said.
“It has the largest bank of power outside of Texas Instruments’ plant in Richardson, it’s rail-served, and accessible by four major arteries (Interstates 20, 30, 35, and Loop 12),” he said. “The ownership realizes the impact this property can have on DFW, and the city and state are enthusiastic. We’re getting great feedback already—it has opened a lot of eyes.”