(Read more on the multifamily market.)

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[IMGCAP(1)]DALLAS-With demolition under way on a 70-acre infilltract, Prescott Realty Group is ahead of schedule for the$300-million-plus Lake Highlands TownCenter in Northeast Dallas. If work stays on track, thesite will be completely scraped by March, infrastructure completedby year-end 2008 and vertical construction ready to begin inJanuary 2009 on the transit-oriented development.

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Prescott executives and Dallas officials are holding aceremonial groundbreaking this morning for the long-awaitedredevelopment. Coming down are 1,400 apartment units at theintersection of Skillman and Walnut Hill roads, where demo work isabout 20% done. Going up will be 1,700 residential units, 280,000sf of retail, an 80,000-sf to 100,000-sf office building, roughly100 townhouses, 11 zero lot-line dwellings and a publicamphitheater.

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"This is a ceremony for the neighbors who've been very excitedabout this project," says Vance Detwiler, president of theDallas-based development group. "It's what the neighborhood haswanted for the past six or seven years."

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[IMGCAP(2)]Detwiler says negotiations are under way with retailanchors and multifamily developers for tracts when the land's readyfor vertical construction. In the first phase, the developer plansto build the majority of the retail component, which will be toppedoff with about 40,000 sf of office space and 600 residential unitson buildings' upper floors. The initial phase includes townhousesand zero lot-line houses.

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Detwiler tells GlobeSt.com that Dallas-based Retail Connectionexpects to have the anchors in hand in the first quarter and hewill have the multifamily deals ready to announce by midyear."We've been very happy with the reception we've had," Detwilersays.

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The office assignment has yet to be awarded. The freestandingbuilding will be part of the second phase, which Detwiler says willstart to come out of the ground "closely after the first phasestarts."

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The 1,100-unit balance of the residential component will bedeveloped in phases in 300- to 600-unit increments, according toDetwiler, whose company plans to develop 60% of the residentialproduct on its own. Condos and high-end apartments will come online as for rent and for sale product.

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The 20 to 22 months of infrastructure work will add lakes, 20acres of parks and trails, streets and utilities. "There's a lot ofdirt work," Detwiler emphasizes. Due to the lay of the land, thefirst construction will be south of Walnut Hill Road and east ofSkillman.

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Despite the extensive groundwork, Detwiler points out that LakeHighlands Town Center is a true mixed use. By the Urban LandInstitute's definition, it takes three different uses to pass thelitmus test, but Lake Highlands Town Center is sporting five.

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