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ROUND ROCK, TX-Developers of La Frontera, a 328-acre urban center being created from barren ranch land, have their sights set on the future with the opening of the 809,748-sf retail component just barely a week old.

Come December, the Kennedy-Wilson Development Co. will break ground on a 198,000-sf office building, Dan Listrom, La Frontera’s exclusive broker from First Regional Properties Inc., tells GlobeSt.com. The project start for 301 Sundance Parkway falls within months of San Antonio-based Koontz McCombs’ ground-breaking on a three-building, 200,000-sf office complex that is being erected on 17.9 acres of La Frontera. The Koontz-McComb complex will deliver in summer 2001.

Meanwhile, deals are waiting to be sealed on another 60 acres that could accommodate more than two million sf for one or more corporate campuses and a 40- to 60-acre tract for a specialty high-end retail center, says Listrom. “We have things working on those… in both areas,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

La Frontera Village is being developed by Cleveland-based Developers Diversified REIT and David Berndt Interests of Irving, TX. La Frontera is the largest mixed-use development without an industrial component to be constructed in the Austin area. In all, it will bring more than five million sf of retail, office and residential space to the strapped Austin market. And, it carries the backing of Ft. Worth developer Ed Bass, who through his Sundance Square ventures, is responsible for revitalizing Ft. Worth’s CBD. La Frontera officially is owned by 35/45 Investors, LP of Austin.

The 114-acre La Frontera Village, which is 99% leased, has at least eight more retailers prepping for fourth-quarter openings. The upcoming retail openings range in size from the deli-restaurateur Schlotsky’s to a big box Sam’s Club. The retail component has lured nationwide chains as anchors, including Lowe’s Home Improvement, which has just opened doors on a 135,000-sf structure. In all, there will be 46 stores and restaurants in the project.Amid the openings, dirt’s already flying on a 300-room Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, which carries a May 2001 opening, and the five-story, 411-unit the Enclave, an upscale multifamily development that will be ready for occupancy in the winter.

The development is positioned at the intersection of Interstate 35 and FM 1325 and is readily accessible to Interstate 45 and Austin’s MoPac Boulevard. The I-35/FM 1325 point is home to Dell Computer’s headquarters, Boardwalk, Target and Garden Ridge Pottery, a combination that is being touted by local officials as generating more sales tax than any other intersection in the state.

Upon completion, an estimated 2,200 new jobs will evolve from the development, predicted to pump more than $5 million a year in sales tax revenue and about $1.7 million in property taxes into municipal coffers. La Frontera’s completed value is expected to be at least $500 million.

The project has been two years in the making, with the first ground-breaking occurring just a year ago. RTKL of Dallas had the lead role on the master plan concept for the undertaking, which is boasting an internal network of high-tech connectivity that is critical in the Austin market. The project contains a regional fiber-optic switch and fiber ring for the incoming high-tech community. “Our market is still driven almost frenetically by the tech industry’s infatuation with Austin,” Listrom tells GlobeSt.com.

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