"We're still nine months away from breaking ground," AlanPatton, Morgan's president, tells GlobeSt.com. The plans remain sopreliminary that architectural renderings have yet to be made."We're working very closely with the city to see what's going toget approved," he says.

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Austin's permitting process is tough, but Patton says so isSouthern California, and the developer has five projects under itsbelt there. "It takes awhile to get from point A to point B," saysPatton. MGI's first projects in Austin most likely will closelyfollowed by developments in Dallas, another first for the company."We're nosing around," says Patton, adding that MGI has found somesites that have piqued corporate interest.

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MGI initially anticipates spending $150 million to $200 millionfor projects in Dallas and Austin. Patton says it will take "two tothree years," but the long-range plan is to do three deals a yearin Austin and two per year in Dallas. "Once we've entered a city,we further define other sites," he says.

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Southern California and Denver are prime examples of MGI'sinfluence on an area. With two luxury complexes delivered inSouthern California, the company is planning to break ground onthree more in the next six months while two Denver starts are alsoplanned for the same time period. Just this week, MGI broke groundon Marina Place in San Diego.

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Meanwhile, MGI has completed three Denver projects and isworking on a 518-unit project, The Estate at Park Meadows inLittleton, a Denver suburb. The company, founded in 1959, hasdeveloped seven properties in Houston, excluding a 229-unit, thePlaza in The Museum District. MGI also has completed projects inTennessee, Kansas, Florida and Arizona.

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MGI's sudden interest in Austin and Dallas has been sparked bythe prevailing strong economies fed by strong and consistent jobmarkets. "Dallas always had its share of supply without us beingthere," says Patton. "And Austin, until the past three years, hasnot performed well." But, the times have changed and MGI hasfeelers out for land that meets its criteria of urban infill sitesin both cities.Patton, a Houston native, says "it's gratifying tobe a Houston-based developer and anticipating us building in Austinand Dallas."

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MGI has mastered the "New Urbanism" concept, building high-endunits in close proximity to retail, parks, sports arenas andentertainment districts. The complexes all feature signatureclubhouses, replete with theater-style seating, surround sound andstate-of-the-art fitness centers.

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