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Air and Space

     In February 2004, Vought Aircraft Industries began consolidating its manufacturing operations in Dallas, where the company keeps its headquarters.
      The decision transfers about 1,400 workers from soon-to-be-closed Vought plants in Tennessee and Florida and will spur creation of 1,600 more jobs over the next five years, company officials say. Vought intends to create new engineering and design jobs in Dallas as well, through a strategic relationship with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). In response to the company's runway needs, the City of Dallas and State of Texas will re-open 820-acre (332-hectare) Hensley Field, a shuttered Naval Air Station adjacent to the firm's site. "Texas is
Bell Helicopter is putting sales, marketing and training programs into a former Gulfstream facility at AllianceTexas.
becoming a major center for aerospace," says Gov. Perry, whose Enterprise Fund is giving $35 million in support of the Vought consolidation.
      In neighboring Fort Worth, Bell Helicopter Textron, already expanding in Amarillo, is relocating its Commercial Business Unit's worldwide sales and marketing offices to a building at Alliance Airport, along with its Bell Training Academy. Previously occupied by Gulfstream, the nearly 161,000-sq.-ft. (14,957-sq.-m.) building is being leased from Hillwood Properties under a 15-year agreement. The building dates only to 1999, but underwent a $3-million series of improvements in 2002.
      "It's a great location in a new building, and it's considerably bigger than what we had before," explains Mike Cox, a spokesman for Bell Helicopter. The marketing center will host non-military customers from around the world, and the training site could attract as many as 5,000 pilots a year. There is an obvious job creation factor also. "There will be 300-plus people working here when all is said and done," according to Cox.
      Other recent additions to the elite roster of tenants at the 15,000-acre (6,071-hectare) Alliance Airport include DaimlerChrysler, which bases North American leasing and financial services operations at a 130,000-sq.-ft. (12,077-sq.-m.) office building there. AmerisourceBergen, the Pennsylvania-based drug wholesaler, will soon complete construction of its 295,000-sq.-ft. (27405.5-sq.-m.) regional headquarters on a 30-acre (12.14-hectare) parcel at Alliance. In July 2004, Hillwood officials completed customization of a 450,000-sq.-ft. (41,805-sq.-m.) spec building that will soon serve as an import distribution center for The Home Depot.
      In June 2004, Del Monte Foods became one the most recent companies to base distribution operations in Fort Worth. The company selected a 47-acre (19-hectare) property at Railhead Industrial Park on which it will build a 700,000-sq.-ft. (65,030-sq.-m.) facility. The park, which is served by both Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Union Pacific Railroad, already has 3.5 million sq. ft. (325,150 sq. m.) of space, all of which is currently leased. Developers of the 600-acre (242.8-hectare) park plan to break ground in spring 2005 on additional space in the form of a 300,000-sq.-ft. (27,870-sq.-m.) speculative building.
      The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has the nation's sixth highest concentration of Fortune 500 headquarters, with 17 of the country's top companies basing top executives there.

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