May 12, 2008

Burlington Northern Santa Fe buys land at Dallas Logistics Hub

By Sheryl Jean and Brendan Case

A unit of Fort Worth-based Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. has purchased 198 acres of land at the Dallas Logistics Hub in Lancaster and Dallas, the developer Allen Group said Monday.

The rail company also has an option to buy additional 164 acres. The price and terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Patrick Hiatte, a spokesman for BNSF, confirmed the transaction but declined to say what the railroad might do with the land.

“It is a property acquisition, and at this point, no more than that,” Mr. Hiatte said. “I wouldn’t want to speculate on any uses to which that property might or might not be put.”

Mr. Hiatte said it would be “inappropriate” to assume that the railroad would build an intermodal facility on the property.

But Vann Cunningham, BNSF’s vice president for economic development, said earlier this year that an intermodal facility in southern Dallas County would complement the railroad’s operations at AllianceTexas development. BNSF has the land under option with Allen Group since April 2007.

The BNSF property provides more than 9,000 feet of rail frontage and represents a portion of the 2.5 miles of BNSF track frontage within the Dallas Logistics Hub.

“The momentum is definitely happening in South Dallas,” said Jon Cross, a spokesman for California-based Allen Group, which is development the 6,000-acre Dallas Logistics Hub in southern Dallas County. “I think this is important for folks in the supply chain and logistics world to improve the goods movement in and out of Dallas, which is becoming one of the nation’s leading trade centers. It will be an important step at the Dallas Logistics Hub creating further opportunity for development.”

The Union Pacific Railroad already operates an intermodal facility in southern Dallas County. A BNSF facility would offer shippers more rail options, which could draw more investment to the area.