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Development Is Thriving In SW Dallas – All Thanks To Distribution Industry

Learn why companies like FedEx, Procter & Gamble and JCPenney are growing their logistics and distribution operations in Southwest Dallas and Northern Ellis counties.

By Bill Lewis on August 19, 2016

The warehousing and distribution industry is booming in the Best Southwest Partnership region, where Southwest Dallas County and Northern Ellis County are attracting companies with household names like FedEx, Procter & Gamble, JCPenney and Quaker Oats and stimulating growth in other sectors, including home building, retail and entertainment.

The region is the destination of choice for a growing number of distribution and logistics operations, thanks to its location along three major interstates – Interstate 20, I-35 and I-45 – and proximity to the International Inland Port of Dallas, airports and rail service provided by the nation’s two largest railroads, Union Pacific and BNSF.

More than 7 million square feet in industrial development is underway, as distribution and logistics firms take advantage of land availability and convenient highway, rail and air connections. Those connections would improve further with the proposed Loop 9 linking I-20, I-45 and I-35 around the region and reducing traffic congestion.

Projects like Procter & Gamble’s 1.4 million-square-foot warehousing facility are having a huge economic impact, says Casey Burgess, mayor of Wilmer, where Ace Hardware, Unilever, Whirlpool and other companies have logistics operations.

“They have not only expanded our tax base, but have led to the construction of new homes and periphery businesses,” Burgess says. “We are in the planning stages for new hotel, restaurant, medical and retail projects as a direct result of the large distribution centers. Our estimates are that Wilmer’s daytime population is more than double its full-time population of around 4,000.”

Infrastructure Advantages

In addition to offering an unparalleled logistics infrastructure, the Best Southwest Partnership region has a job-ready workforce, says Jeremiah Quarles, CEO of the DeSoto Economic Development Corp.

“The Best Southwest region offers a reliable, skilled and educated labor force along with great partnerships with local universities and community colleges,” he says.

DeSoto is home to Wal-Mart Logistics & Manufacturing and Kohl’s e-commerce fulfillment center. Additionally, San Francisco-based Williams-Sonoma Direct, Inc., a premier specialty retailer of home furnishings, leased 242,283 square feet of warehouse space for e-commerce in the Eagle Industrial & Business Park in DeSoto.

An abundance of affordable land, infrastructure, pro-business policies and sensible incentives are helping to make the region the busiest industrial building district in north Texas, says Ed Brady, economic development director for the City of Lancaster in Southwest Dallas County.

United Natural Foods, Inc., BMW Group, Mars Petcare, National Freight, Inc., Quaker Oats and MOBIS, which transports parts for Kia and Hyundai, have operations in Lancaster.

“The location of companies like these stimulates and grows the local economy, and provides fundamental ‘primary payroll’ jobs that often lead to the creation of secondary payrolls like retail, service industries and home building,” Brady says.

Other high-profile companies with operations in the region include Home Depot in Duncanville as well as American Standard Brands and Georgia Pacific in Hutchins, where the FedEx Ground Hub recently completed a 100,000-square-foot expansion. QuikTrip, Toys “R” Us and Target have operations in Midlothian, and JCPenney is in Cedar Hill.

Intermodal Development

The region’s advantages include the International Inland Port of Dallas (IIPOD), which is home to Union Pacific’s Dallas Intermodal Terminal. The active IIPOD impact area encompasses more than 7,000 acres where than 12 million square feet of warehousing space has been built or is under construction.

Hot spots for new industrial development in and around the port include:

  • The 530-acre Southport Logistics Park development, with up to 9 million square feet of space for buildings
  • 3 million square feet of space at the Mountain Creek business park, with warehouses for Kimberly-Clark and Ulta
  •  A new 1.1 million-square-foot speculative building at the 157-acre Southfield Park 35 in DeSoto
  • The Southpointe Logistics & Commerce Center under construction in Hutchins

Mike Rader, president of Prime Rail Interests, is working with Duke Realty to provide a build-to-suit facility for Shippers Warehouse, a third-party logistics company that services Unilever in the Sunridge Business Park.

The new facility in Prime Pointe will provide expanded rail service as Shippers Warehouse grows.

The growth of third-party logistics will stimulate economic development, Rader says.

“Many times the economics of employee, inventory, distribution and other business activity can be more efficiently provided by a third party, leaving the company to focus on other facets of their business,” he says.

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