Hillwood is launching construction of industrial spec buildings at Alliance, totaling roughly 1.5 million square feet. The new phase involves three Class A facilities, including Westport 11, which has the ability to become one of the largest state-of-the-art distribution centers in the nation at over 2 million square feet, said Tony Creme, senior vice president of Hillwood.
Two of the buildings will be located in Northport, home to the newly announced 1.2-million-square-foot Black & Decker distribution center and the last building will be located in Westport. All three new projects are set to break ground in March and deliver by the fourth quarter.
Northport 4 and Northport 5 will be 225,472 square feet and 224,930 square feet, respectively. Westport 11 will start out at 1 million square feet and have a 40-foot clear height in the cross-dock building.
Creme said a trend toward 1-million-square-foot-plus deals and the desirability of the Alliance area led Hillwood to build Westport 11 and give it the capacity to expand to 2 million square feet for users on the level of Walmart, which has two 2-million-square-foot warehouses near the docks in Houston.
These three starts bring the total spec space started in Alliance over the last year to almost 4 million square feet.
Demand in Alliance has been staggering as users clamber to take up residence in the transit rich development. Such has been the success at Alliance, that it has birthed a sub sector referred to as “Alliance adjacent,” as evidenced by Stream Realty’s recent announcement of a 1.1 million-square-foot spec development adjacent to AllianceTexas.
North Fort Worth’s industrial real estate momentum is also impressive. CBRE Research from the fourth quarter reveals that despite 3.8 million square feet of deliveries in 2018, the market absorbed 2.4 million square feet and held its vacancy rate to 5.8 percent in Q4. North Fort Worth also booked two of largest leases last quarter with Dematic taking 707,000 square feet in Synergy Crossing and Smart Warehousing snapping up 269,500 square feet in Alliance Center North 15.
Creme said the continued expansion of the Alliance Airport, progress on I-35, and 33 consecutive quarters of positive absorption continue to support spec development in the area and that rising land prices should stave off overbuilding, keeping confidence in the industrial market high for the foreseeable future.