E-commerce logistics park going up next to DFW airport

Large parcel next to airport where logistics park will be built.

The e-commerce infrastructure race continued its torrid pace this week with news that construction is underway on more than 1 million square feet of warehouse space adjacent to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and conveniently accessible to major interstate and state highways.

Perot Development Co. — no, not that Perot — is leading the project, which will eventually total more than 2.4 million square feet on 196 acres in Irving, on property owned by the airport outside the airfield.

The first phase of the DFW Park 161 project, scheduled for completion in 12 months, will encompass three fulfillment centers. The largest of the buildings will be 646,190 square feet with 136 dock doors and 171 trailer positions.

CEO Pat Perot said the company is targeting e-commerce companies for those facilities “because of proximity to the population base and to the labor since we’re located in the middle of the metroplex. It’s conducive for last-mile deliveries, plus you got cargo coming in at the airport” and by truck, he said in an interview.

It is being built on a speculative basis due to strong market interest in infill sites centrally located in major metropolitan areas with significant international trade volume, he said.

The site fronts the President George Bush Turnpike, with access via two exits. Other advantages include proximity to FedEx and UPS regional hubs, the U.S. Postal Service bulk mail center, and major freight forwarders, as well as Foreign Trade Zone benefits and local tax exemptions.

Phase two of the project will feature smaller leases of 50,000 square feet or more, built to suit for any logistics purpose.

Perot Development specializes in air cargo and warehouse/distribution facilities, with nearly 5 million square feet of logistics space in close proximity to DFW built and leased in the past seven years, including two massive Amazon fulfillment centers. It also built the regional UPS hub at Houston International Airport.

The greenfield site is being graded with support from the airport authority, and Perot is installing streets and utilities, Perot said.

E-commerce is reshaping demand for industrial property and how warehouses are built. It accounts for about 10% of total retail sales and has been growing nearly three times faster than traditional store sales for the past decade.

A 2018 study by real estate services and investment firm CBRE found that about 30% of new distribution space leased to tenants is attributable to e-commerce and that for each incremental $1 billion growth in e-commerce sales, an additional 1.25 million square feet of warehouse space is needed.

Demand for efficient logistics space that supports quick delivery to consumers has necessitated design of new warehouses that are larger in size and height. The average new warehouse in the U.S. increased by 108,665 square feet, or 143%, in size and 3.7 feet in height when compared to high-development periods in the previous 20 years, according to CBRE.

Perot Development is not related to Hillwood Development Co., founded by Ross Perot Jr. and the driving force behind the Alliance global logistics hub in Fort Worth.

 “We’re the little guys,” Pat Perot said.