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DALLAS-The Staubach Co.’s Dallas team is guiding the first major development to come out of the ground along an older but high retail section of Harry Hines Boulevard in Dallas. The 15-acre site is ticketed for 210,000 sf of retail and a hotel sporting up to 150 rooms in piggyback projects.

The first phase of the New World Center, pegged at about $10 million, will break ground in late September and deliver in spring 2002. The acreage, though flanked by built-up parcels, has sat vacant through the years, but was bought about six months ago by a prominent local businessman, who chooses to remain anonymous, Brett Witzig, Staubach’s project manager, tells GlobeSt.com. “There is a revival in that area,” he says, “and it’s becoming a hotspot for shopping.”

The 210,000-sf retail project is more than 50% pre-leased, the bulk of which has been signed by the property owner, according to Witzig. Six single-story buildings will be positioned on the site at 11530-11580 Harry Hines Blvd. near its intersection with Denton Drive. When that’s done, the second phase immediately gears up. Witzig says talks already are under way with possible hotel operators for a 100- to 150-room hotel that will include conference rooms.

“New World Center will be the premier retail center in the area,” says Scott Riddles, executive vice president of Staubach Retail Services’ Dallas office. “In addition to providing a prime spot for national retailers, the center will be anchored by a grocery store, bank and several restaurants.”

The project is unfolding at time when most developers are sitting back and waiting for better days. Advancing the project now drives a plan to capture market share and then some before Harry Hines Boulevard is widened and DART builds its rail station right across the street.

Witzig says it’s the first time in a long time that a project of this size has been undertaken in the area, which largely attracts cash-conscious shoppers seeking bargain-basement savings from the numerous wholesalers along the stretch. “Based on the activity on weekends, it’s kind of a mecca for that,” he says.

Witzig confides that New World Center Ltd.’s first project has secured its first round of site plan approvals from the city and believes a permit will be in hand before a month passes. Staubach Design & Construction Consulting Services is handling the project designed by NCA Architecture of Dallas. While awaiting officials’ final signoffs, Staubach will solicit bids for the general contracting work so construction can rev up as soon as possible.

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