With roads and railroads leading to the ports of Houston, Long Beach, Calif., and Los Angeles and connected to north-south interstates 45 and 35, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is where most, if not all, trade routes lead to, according to analysis from GlobeSt.com, a New York-based commercial real estate news and property resource. What gives the area its global edge is that leaders and developers have added infrastructure and improved on what was already there.

That investment has paid off. It is estimated that the area brought in $60 billion of international trade in 2007. That's not too shabby for an area not in a port or on a border. Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores built a 1 million-square-foot warehouse at the Houston port and backed it up with a similarly sized, rail-served structure in Sanger, a town near Interstate 35 just 52 miles north of Dallas.

To encourage other companies to position distribution centers in the area, developers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex — the nickname given to the region of about six million residents anchored by Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington — are building even more warehouse space, despite the possibility of a national recession. In fact, the region plans to develop the largest amount of warehouse distribution space of any of the country's 54 markets tracked by Boston-based Property & Portfolio Research, up 12% from last year to 18.6 million square feet.