ProLogis develops Metroplex build-to-suit for Mackie Denver-based ProLogis is developing a 492,500 sq. ft. build-to-suit distribution center for Oshawa, Ontario, Canada-based Mackie Automotive Systems in the Great Southwest submarket of Arlington, Texas. Mackie Automotive will lease the entire facility and anticipates a July occupancy.

Mackie selected ProLogis to expand and consolidate its assembly and distribution efforts from two existing ProLogis-owned facilities in the Great Southwest submarket, adding more than 200,000 sq. ft. of industrial space. The new facility will be used to assemble and distribute automotive parts to the General Motors Corp. sports utility vehicle plant in Arlington.

To the West and to the East, Opus expands its presence Phoenix-based Opus West Corp. and Bethesda, Md.-based Opus East LLC have embarked on development plans to expand holdings in the Southern California and Philadelphia area industrial markets. Both Opus West and Opus East are a part of The Group of Cos., Minneapolis.

Opus East has acquired an additional 30 acres to begin construction of phase two of The Crossings near Allentown, Pa. Phase two will include 506,660 sq. ft. of cross-docked distribution space. Opus East is targeting 100,000 to 300,000 sq. ft. space needs with phase two. Phase one of The Crossings totals 315,000 sq. ft. and is fully leased. Upon completion, The Crossings will total 1.4 million sq. ft. of industrial space. New York-based Cushman & Wakefield serves as leasing agent for the development.

In Foothill Ranch, Calif., Opus West has begun construction of Foothill Business Center, a three-building spec industrial project totaling 246,072 sq. ft. The three buildings will be built simultaneously and completed by July. Opus West acquired the property for Foothill Business Center from Denver-based ProLogis Trust in August 1999.

In Northern California, Opus West will build Monterey Business Center in San Jose, Calif. The six-building, 430,000 sq. ft. development will include two buildings each devoted to manufacturing, warehouse and R&D use. The 25-acre site will include two 77,000 sq. ft. buildings for manufacturing firms, two 33,125 sq. ft. R&D buildings and two 104,000 sq. ft. structures for warehouse space. The San Jose development is located in a State of California Enterprise Zone.

Binswanger wrangles Texas, Louisiana and Alabama deals Philadelphia-based Binswanger has negotiated a number of transactions in Texas and Louisiana, among them Irving, Texas-based Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc.'s sale of a 624,473 sq. ft. semiconductor wafer fabrication facility in Irving's Las Colinas Development.

San Jose, Calif.-based Atmel Corp. acquired the facility, and plans to expand its production operations in the United States. Asking price for the semiconductor facility was $85 million, but the sales price was undisclosed.

In San Antonio, Binswanger negotiated the sale of a 314,000 sq. ft. brewery and warehouse on behalf of Detroit-based Stroh Brewery Co. Stroh sold the building to Lone Star Brewery (LSB) Acquisitions of San Antonio and Austin, Texas. The sale price was not disclosed. LSB Acquisitions is developing a plan for the facility and intends to lease the warehouse to a new tenant.

Moving east, Binswanger has negotiated the sale of a 405,670 sq. ft. grease and lubricant blending plant in Metarie, La., on behalf of Houston-based Equilon Enterprises. New Orleans-based Merrick Enterprises acquired the property.

Binswanger also represented Motorola in the sale of a 263,050 sq. ft. industrial facility in Huntsville, Ala., to Huntsville-based the Westminister Group. Westminister will redevelop the three-building facility into a multi-tenant project, Research Place.

Duke-Weeks continues to roll in Indianapolis, Cincinnati Indianapolis-based Duke-Weeks Realty Corp. is building two industrial/distribution centers in the northern Kentucky submarket near Cincinnati and another in suburban Indianapolis. At Skyport 275 near Cincinnati, Duke-Weeks is building a 473,000 sq. ft. build-to-suit for Seattle-based Pacific Coast Feather, a company presently occupying 192,000 sq. ft. at Duke-Weeks' Southpark Industrial Park. Pacific Coast Feather's distribution center is expected to be in service by May. Specifications of the building include 43-by-40 ft. column bay spacing, 30 ft. clear height ceilings, 32 docks and three drive-in doors.

Also at Skyport 275, Duke-Weeks has already completed Skyport 4, a 72,000 sq. ft. spec warehouse/showroom facility.

At Lebanon Business Park near Indianapolis, Duke-Weeks will double the size of Pamida Inc.'s distribution center. Pamida, which recently was acquired by Green Bay, Wis.-based Shopko Stores, currently leases 200,000 sq. ft. in Indianapolis. Built by Duke-Weeks in 1996, the building will be expanded by 218,000 sq. ft. and completed by June.

SubmitOrder.com: Remember this name As if e-commerce doesn't have you salivating already, Columbus, Ohio-based SubmitOrder.com is on the verge of gobbling up literally millions of square feet of industrial space all over the world, with the backing of some of Silicon Valley's highest flyers. Silver Lake Partners, a $2.3 billion buy-out firm that is associated with Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, along with Jim Barksdale's The Barksdale Group, also of Menlo Park, recently acquired about half of SubmitOrder for $75 million. Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape Communications and former COO of FDX Corp., will take a seat on SubmitOrder.com's board.

The move makes Silver Lake and The Barksdale Group big players in the e-fulfillment business and gives SubmitOrder.com the financial muscle for rapid expansion. Not even a year old, SubmitOrder.com was spun off from Digital Storage last summer.

As an outsourcer for fulfilling e-commerce orders and customer service, SubmitOrder.com operates four leased distribution centers in Columbus, Ohio, two of which are owned by Indianapolis-based Duke-Weeks Realty Corp.

"We're not a vertical, one market-category type of company," says J.T. Kreager, SubmitOrder.com's president. "We really address the needs of pure-play dot-coms, click-and-mortar retailers and branded manufacturers that want to sell their products over the Internet. The infrastructure that we provide allows them to do that in a real speed-to-market fashion that enables them to build their brand online and scale their sales volume up through all the surges that come throughout the year."

The Silver Lake team and Submit Order.com both spent most of 1999 looking at partners before agreeing to a deal at the end of the year.

Now, SubmitOrder.com is formulating its expansion strategy with intent to lease millions of square feet across North America, Europe and Asia, Kreager says. Generally, the company is looking for big-box leases of 500,000 sq. ft. or more.

"What we're embarking on here is building a service company faster than one's ever been built," says Kreager. "The financial backing that we have - the influx of capital that we have - is strategic in and of itself because it allows us to invest in technology, overall infrastructure and people faster than we might have been able to on our own. It also applies to the experience [Barksdale and Silver Lake] have in operations and information technology and networking and contact relationships that they have built.

"We really see this as a global opportunity because the Internet and e-commerce are global," Kreager continues. "We will need to have distribution centers and customer response centers around the world."

And with SubmitOrder.com's demands for flexible, highly automated distribution space, the company will probably need newer structures. Here, the infancy of the Internet is sure to bring about new challenges.

"Some of the main differences are going to be the speed at which [developers] move and the flexibility needs," says Kreager. "Everyone is going to have to be able to adapt and change at a rate that's just unpredictable at this point. It's a young business, and there's no clear track to follow.

"It's obvious to a lot of developers, but there are intense needs from an information technology standpoint - having fiber come into the park and more electricity for PCs and those kinds of things," he adds. "[These are] basic infrastructure components that are critical for a company like ours to operate."