November 20, 2007

Starting Gun Fires for 445-Acre Stake in Hub

By Connie Gore

WILMER, TX – The Allen Group is ready to draw down 445 acres from its 6,027-acre Dallas Logistics Hub. The market’s been buzzing for weeks about the upcoming sales campaign, which kicks off today for four tracts situated within a half mile of the main entrance to Union Pacific Railway’s intermodal yard in southern Dallas County.

Daniel J. McAuliffe, president of Allen Development Texas LLC, tells that the San Diego-based developer plans to invest about $6 million into additional infrastructure as part of the offering agreement for tracts of 36.35, 95.57, 156.33 and 156.68 acres with a combined 6,910 feet of frontage along Pleasant Run Road. The sales dowry includes bringing utility lines to the tracts’ edges plus securing entitlements and annexation of roughly 300 acres so the entire site is part of the City of Wilmer. Under the master plan, the dirt could hold up to 7.5 million sf of light-industrial space.

The no-ask offering’s call for offers is Feb. 8. “We’ll let the market dictate the price,” McAuliffe says. This year, prices for entitled dirt, with utilities, have been fetching $2.25 per sf to $2.50 per sf. Colliers International Inc.’s executive vice presidents Tom Pearson and Chris Teesdale are in charge of the sales campaign.

McAuliffe says “one of the real winners in this is going to be the City of Wilmer” because the annexation will put all the land into its tax base. The acreage is part of a land assembly bought last year from five sellers.

McAuliffe says the owner wants to “repatriate” some of the gain back into Dallas Logistics Hub’s continued development. “We want to liberate some of the capital we have invested to put those dollars back to use for horizontal and vertical projects,” he explains. “We have selected tracts large enough to attract some bigger players in the market, but to position them in locations so they can establish their own identities.” A lock, stock and barrel buyer is preferred, but not required.

In the past three years, McAuliffe says the Allen Group has been approached on numerous occasions about selling a piece of Dallas Logistics Hub, which already has drawn a large number of industrial developers to southern Dallas County. “Our competition is there throughout that market,” he stresses. “We don’t see it as eroding any of our market foothold that we have in that market.”