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Hunt Power unit to build ultra-reliable business centers

DALLAS, Texas, June 12, 2001 — Hunt Power, an affiliate of Hunt Consolidated Inc., will begin construction of a 75,000-square foot facility in McAllen and Mission, Texas, in what will be the first in a series of easily modifiable business centers designed for call centers and other technology-intensive tenants.

The facilities — to be known as Sustainable Technology Business Centers (STBCs) — will feature options for reliable on-site power generation and redundant telecommunications feeds.

Hunt Power said its McAllen/Mission site and the other STBCs it expects to build will enable tenants to continue operations regardless of what occurs to external power services.

“The California energy crisis has put the issue of power reliability squarely on page one,” said Hunt Power Vice President Hugh Baker, Jr. “We’re aiming to serve technology-intensive tenants who simply cannot tolerate power outages.”

Baker stressed that the STBCs will represent a strategic opportunity for tenants.

“Many facility decisions are made tactically,” Baker said. “Businesses often mold themselves to the available space. We will offer space that can be a part of the tenant’s corporate strategy while providing them the flexibility to accommodate change over the lease term. We believe the STBCs will appeal to a wide range of users with knowledge-based work forces, including call centers, data centers, biotechnology research and development enterprises, software developers, media and entertainment companies, and high-tech manufacturing companies.”

Baker also said that Hunt Power formed a new subsidiary, CentraTek, L.P., to develop the STBCs.

The first STBC site, located on the large Sharyland Plantation mixed-use development straddling McAllen and Mission, Texas (www.sharyland.com), is intended for occupancy in early 2002. The location is one of the nation’s prime sites for call centers because of the availability of a young, trainable and bi-lingual workforce.

The building will consist of three 25,000 square foot modules, each of which will include expansive 50 X 60-foot bays that will accommodate up to 200 workstations. Four-foot windows in each module will allow natural light to deeply penetrate the building interior to enhance worker productivity.

Hunt Power also said today that it has retained noted Pittsburgh, Pa., performance design specialists Kingsland Scott Bauer Associates (KSBA) as architects for the Sharyland STBC project. KSBA (www.ksba.com) has an international reputation for its research-based business solutions approach to the design of call centers and similar operations facilities.

KSBA Principal Roger Kingsland, AIA, said that the Sharyland site will feature a highly flexible design to enable tenants to quickly modify their spaces as business conditions dictate.

“A commercial building typically lasts 40 years, during which time the facility’s users will experience many different business cycles,” Kingsland noted. “We set out to design the STBC product so that users could easily support change in their labor force, technology and business processes.”

A 6-foot-wide structural “equipment rail” will allow tenants to add additional air conditioning and other special equipment during the lease term without structural modifications. Raised access flooring throughout houses modular cabling, power distribution and energy-efficient heating and cooling while offering maximum flexibility for quick reconfiguration of the interior space.

An optional feature at the Sharyland STBC facility will be on-site generators to serve as the primary source of electric power, with the public utility serving as the backup power source. One optional system is known as “cogeneration,” through which electric power and thermal energy are simultaneously produced.

“When taking into account the energy savings and the typical requirement of on-site backup power, our economic analysis shows that this concept will work in Texas where utility prices have been low and the reliability has been excellent,” Baker said. “That means this concept should be a real winner in states with high energy costs and supply problems.

“With power and telecommunications reliability being key components for the success in a technology-intensive environment, this is the right time for new thinking and innovation in real estate development,” Baker said.

About Centratek & Hunt Power

CentraTek, L.P. is a newly created subsidiary of Hunt Power, L.P., a project development organization that seeks out and takes advantage of opportunities in the utility marketplace. Hunt Power also provides utility-related consulting services to other entities in the Hunt Consolidated family of companies. Other Hunt Consolidated affiliated companies include Hunt Oil Company, Hunt Realty Corporation, Hunt Private Equity Group and Hunt Ventures. Hunt Consolidated is a Dallas-based privately held company directed by Ray L. Hunt. More information: www.huntpower.com.

About KSBA

Kingsland Scott Bauer Associates (KSBA) is a pioneer in the emerging specialty of research-based architectural design of information technology-dependent facilities, such as call centers and other technology-intensive office space. Founded in 1984, KSBA has completed hundreds of projects in the information technology arena for clients worldwide. The American Institute of Architects has recognized the firm for the excellence of its work. More information: www.ksba.com.