A 599,188-sf retail project, two years in the making, in upscale Las Colinas will deliver its second phase in November, bringing at least two dozen more retailers to one of Dallas’ fastest-growing retail and multi-family submarkets.

MacArthur Park’s second phase – 198,600 sf – will be completed in November although some tenants of the nearly filled center have set October openings, says Keith Smith, project manager for developer Regency Realty, based in Jacksonville, FL. The 330,588-sf first phase opened in August 1999. The overall 55-tenant project represents Regency’s largest new construction undertaking in Texas. “It’s just a huge project,” Smith told GlobeSt.com.

The entire project is situated on 70 acres of prime land and supported by a road infrastructure that’s as impressive as the submarket that features such special touches as marble curbs in the downtown, a maze of Venice-style canals and a working movie studio lot. Smith says 70%, or 139,000 sf, of the second-phase retail tenants had signed for space before ground broke, a statistic that is up to 90% and still climbing. Within weeks, 8.5% more leases will be finalized, he told GlobeSt.com.

The 43-acre first phase broke ground in March 1998 and was considered at the time to be the largest retail project in the Dallas-Ft. Worth region, according to Smith. To develop the land, Regency has had to over-excavate the site, digging 10 feet below the fill and then moisture conditioning the expansive clay soil to stabilize the buildings. Smith isn’t disclosing project costs, but did say the extra measures have been well worth the investment.

“It’s first class in terms of materials and architects,” says Smith. Callaway Architects handled the first phase design and O’Brien Architects, the second phase. Bury+Partners is the civil engineer for both phases.

The new construction will be anchored by a 63,373-sf Kroger store. Other tenants include Linens N Things, 34,950 sf; Barnes & Noble, 22,500 sf; Gap, 10,00 sf; Hallmark, 8,500 sf; and 59,277 sf of miscellaneous specialty shop and restaurant retail. First-phase tenants include a 122,700-sf Target; 31,323-sf Office Depot; 30,167-sf Ross Dress for Less; 30,033-sf T.J. Maxx; 25,112-sf Drug Emporium; 13,006-sf Old Navy; 9,000-sf Dress Barn; 7,200-sf Rack Room Shoes; and 37,877 sf of outparcel tenants including Chase Bank, restaurants and consumer-driven support services.

For about two years, Regency has been on a building boom in the state, delivering a 500,000-sf redevelopment project, Hancock Center at the intersection of 38th St. and Interstate 35 in Austin; 95,500-sf Tarrant Parkway I, anchored by Albertsons grocery store, in northern Tarrant County; and a 114,000-sf retail component for Keller Town Center, anchored by a Tom Thumb grocery store, finished in December 1999. The REIT also has another grocery-anchored center under construction in Trophy Club, another growing Dallas suburb.

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