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HOUSTON-The bulldozers are busily leveling a choice parcel of land called West8, demolishing all existing structures except the 11-story, 250,000-sf West8 Tower at 10205 Westheimer Rd.

Kathy Richter of Richfield Investments told GlobeSt.com that a massive retail center will be constructed on part of the site, with an opening being eyed for 2001. “I don’t like the term ‘mall,’” she says. “The exact size is yet to be determined,” says Richter, adding that other projects ticketed for the site are still in planning stages as well. “It will definitely be a multi-use site when it is done.” The rest of the site will see the rise of “a hotel or an office building, or more likely both,” she says.

Richfield last year had purchased the West8 site–about 100 acres–from Baker Hughes for an estimated $50 million. The property fronts along the east side of Beltway 8 all the way from Richmond to Westheimer.

Grubb & Ellis has been hired to lease the existing West8 office building as well as the adjacent Richfield-owned 40,000-sf Meadowglen Building at 10011 Meadowglen. The two buildings represent some of west Houston’s largest chunks of vacant space.

Grubb & Ellis also will handle the leasing for the adjacent 180,000-sf Carillon Center retail property at 10001 Westheimer Rd. The shopping center, another Richfield holding, will house retail tenants on the first floor and medical offices on the second.

West8 has been the subject of considerable speculation, principally because of its prime location. Visionaries have suggested that, whatever is built there now, the land will, in 10 to 20 years, be home to a 50-story tower or something equally spectacular.

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