Best Industrial Project: D CEO’s Commercial Real Estate Awards

Last year was a banner year for North Texas industrial transactions, with mega-deals spanning from South Dallas to North Fort Worth. There were many worthy contenders, but the judging panel in D CEO’s inaugural real estate awards felt these four stood out. The winner will be announced at an awards event March 20 at the Hilton Anatole. (Tickets now available.) RealPoints is profiling all 41 finalists leading up to the event. So far, we’ve featured Broker of the Year, Excellence in Architecture/Design, Best Commercial Property Sale, and Best Land Sale. Here are the Best Industrial Project contenders.

UPDATE: Scroll down to see the winner.

Amazon

Bill Burton

Hillwood Development Co. played a critical role in Amazon’s reentry into the North Texas market in 2012. It secured 15-year leases from the mega online retailer for more than 2 million square feet of space. A 1 million-square-foot facility in Coppell will process larger items, from televisions to barbecue grills. A 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center in AllianceTexas will handle smaller products, like books and DVDs.The two-part transaction was the largest local industrial deal of 2012. The North Texas facilities, along with a third site in San Antonio, will create about 1,000 high-paying jobs statewide.

Bill Burton, senior vice president of Hillwood Properties, represented the developer in the negotiations with Amazon’s Mike Roth, vice president of North American fulfillment. Hillwood’s work with the tenant began in California, said Ross Perot Jr., chairman. The company had a 1 million-square-foot spec project under way there, which Amazon quickly filled up. Developing spec was a strategy that paid off, both on the West Coast and here in DFW. “Companies like to wait as long as they can to make a decision, so there is a huge premium on speed,” Perot said.

Bimbo Bakeries USA

Jim Whitten
Marty Neilon

After a yearlong, national search that spanned a coverage area roughly equivalent to the state of Delaware, Bimbo Bakeries USA selected Rockwall for a new bakery facility. It will occupy a 300,000-square-foot facility that’s being built on 40 acres in phase II the city’s Technology Park, south of Interstate 30. CBRE’s land service group, led by Jim Whitten and Marty Neilon, represented the baked goods manufacturer in its search. Requirements included easy access to both major highways and educated labor.

Bimbo, the nation’s largest bakery, produces more than 400 regional brands, including Mrs. Baird’s and Sara Lee. The new facility in Rockwall will create 130 new jobs and add more than $75 million to the city’s tax base. Along with the CBRE team, the Rockwall Economic Development Corp. was a key player on the deal. According to reports, the Bimbo facility is the largest build-to-suit in Rockwall’s history.

I-20 Distribution Center II

Scott Krikorian

This project started with an 887,800-square-foot spec warehouse developed by Trammell Crow Co. off Beckleymeade Avenue in South Dallas. A nearby tenant, The Home Depot, was interested, but needed an additional 300,000 square feet of space. Trammell Crow could tack on an addition, but it would have to relocate a detention pond. To do so, the developer had to acquire 22 acres from three different landowners. It also had to reconstruct a mile-long section of an old blacktop road.

This required the cooperation of Home Depot, Prudential, Union Bank of California, City of Dallas, Dallas County, City of DeSoto, and three adjacent landowners, said Scott Krikorian, managing director at Trammell Crow: “We were able to work together to find a solution.” In the end, the 1.2 million-square-foot property was leased to The Home Depot, which created 250 new jobs.

Pegasus Logistics

John Amend

It took three years, but The Amend Group ultimately found a space solution for Pegasus Logistics that exceeded everyone’s expectations—and cut the company’s real estate costs by about $500,000 per year. It began as a search for an expanded corporate headquarters but ended up as a consolidation of office and warehouse operations into 255,186 square feet at 306 Airline Drive in Coppell.

“There just wasn’t any property that work,” said John Amend, president and CEO of The Amend Group. But son BD Amend uncovered a future opportunity that was just coming to market. Making the deal happen involved the relocation of three other tenants. “It was very complicated, but meshed perfectly. And the way the space was finished out fit like a glove,” Amend said. “Quite frankly, when something like this happens, you get a little lucky.” Steve Trese with CBRE represented the property owner, TIAA-CREF. Lisa Bridges, CFO with Pegasus Logistics, also helped put the transaction together.

WINNER: This year’s Best Industrial Project goes to I-20 Distribution Center II. Click here for a complete list of winners and finalists from this year’s Commercial Real Estate Awards.

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