Signs are strong for Hillwood‘s growth at Alliance

Posted Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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North Texas residents shouldn’t miss the significance of this week’s tandem announcements from Hillwood Properties about what it’s doing at the 18,000-acre Alliance development in far north Fort Worth.

“Hillwood continues to see increased demand in the industrial market,” Hillwood President Mike Berry said in a news release. It’s not uncommon for a developer to say that business is strong — in fact, you can count on it.

But then came the payoff punch: Hillwood has leased a 1.2 million-square-foot industrial building it announced in March and now is announcing it will build two more speculative buildings totaling 1.3 million square feet.

As strong as the Alliance development is, Hillwood hasn’t built speculative space there since the economic recession took hold in 2008. Now it has leased one huge building it started “on spec” and is going for two more.

Hillwood is as sophisticated a company as they get in the industrial, office and retail development business, and it’s a safe bet its executives know what they are doing in testing the speculative market again.

Recent activity at Alliance has given them reason for confidence.

In August, Flextronics began making the Moto X smartphone in the 450,000-square-foot former Nokia factory on Alliance Parkway. Flextronics is a manufacturing partner for Motorola Mobility, which is owned by Google, and the custom-made Moto X phones are a hot item.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt attended a special opening celebration at the new Alliance facility in September. Google is another company whose executives know their business well, and Schmidt’s attention-getting visit put Alliance in a spotlight.

There has been more.

Hillwood recently competed a 1.1-million-square-foot distribution center for online retailer in the Haslet section of Alliance, and Wal-Mart has opened a 788,000-square-foot online fulfillment center at 5300 Westport Parkway.

Hillwood also is currently constructing a build-to-suit facility for Mooresville, N.C.-based Carolina Beverage Group next door to Flextronics.

The U.S. may still be in a state of slow economic growth, but Hillwood’s signs of strength at Alliance are more than just encouraging. They’re exciting.

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