Expectations big as Logistics Hub set for opening

Dallas County: Developer offering look at 'huge' southern-sector facility
Dallas Morning News- April 13, 2007

After years of planning and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, the Dallas Logistics Hub is about to become a reality and a potential economic boom for southern Dallas County and North Texas.

The Allen Group, a California real estate developer, will host a grand opening today at the Lancaster Municipal Airport for the 6,000-acre hub. The facility is expected to eventually employ about 30,000 workers in as much as 60 million square feet of distribution, manufacturing, office and retail facilities.

The hub, adjacent to the Union Pacific intermodal rail terminal, is located almost equally in southern Dallas, Lancaster, Wilmer and Hutchins. Officials say that as much as $2.5 billion could be added to the tax rolls of the four cities.

"It's huge," said Joe Johnson, president of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. "Its benefits to the southern Dallas County region are going to be incredible."

Edward Romanov Jr., president and chief operating officer of The Allen Group, said the company has been focused on acquiring the necessary land and in designing infrastructure to support the hub. It soon will begin turning its attention to building and leasing.

Richard Allen, founder and chief executive officer of The Allen Group, said the Dallas Logistics Hub – which has been compared to Alliance Airport in Tarrant County – is in an almost ideal location for distribution of goods from throughout the world. The area not only had a large amount of available land, but it also has easy access to three interstate highways – Interstate 35E, Interstate 45 and Interstate 20 – as well as the proposed Loop 9, the Lancaster airport and the Union Pacific intermodal terminal. Southern Dallas County also has a large available labor force, he said.

Mr. Allen said his company began looking at the site about 3 ½ years ago after learning about the Union Pacific intermodal terminal. Within a short time an initial land acquisition of 100 acres had grown to 2,600 acres and then the eventual 6,000 acres. Improvements on the land so far total about $350 million, he said.

Mr. Allen described Dallas as the "gateway to the population centers of the East."

"We're very, very excited and extremely enthusiastic about being here," Mr. Allen said.