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LAS COLINAS, TX-Atlanta-based Cousins Properties will float RFPs in 30 days to would-be developers for a 200-acre first phase to a 600-acre undertaking in the northeast sector of tony Las Colinas.

Charles Cotten, Cousins’ senior vice president, tells GlobeSt.com that developers definitely should be on board within 60 days, driving a groundbreaking goal by the end of 2002 for the “live-work-play” project. The development, first announced in mid-January, still bears no name and no parameters for the number of single or multifamily residential units or sf of office and retail space. That will come after developers are selected, says Cotten. “We don’t need a name until we start selling it,” he said after Tuesday’s breakfast hosted by the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors at the Las Colinas Marriott along Las Colinas Boulevard.

The New Urbanism project is under the guiding hand of Andres Duany, principal of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. of Miami. The Dallas office of Princeton, NJ-based Hillier Group is working with Duany to steer the project. Ft. Worth-based Carter Burgess is the project engineer.

Cotten says there has been strong interest from residential developers, which has not been as hardy from the office and retail sector. The RFPs will definitely determine who’s interested in jumping on board the rollout of the largest undeveloped land tract left in the 12,000-acre upscale community that has been steadily evolving since the mid-1970s.

Cousins Properties, as the Dallas-Ft. Worth real estate circle knows, is the development manager for Las Colinas LP, the entity responsible for turning farmland into a high-rolling urban center surrounded by a freeway network that makes the community readily accessible to the entire metroplex. Still to come will be a multi-modal transit mall that will be anchored by a light-rail system. Las Colinas comes on line with the rest of the DART light-rail system by 2008 and the DFW International Airport link will be in place by 2010. Officials said some $60 million has been committed to the light-rail project while $119 million in infrastructure support is dedicated to the northeast quadrant, where the 600 acres are located.

Urban Center planner Paris Rutherford, vice president and director of RTKL Inc., says the transit mall is the needed link to future development of vast pockets of raw land surrounding Las Colinas. “Washington, DC, before it was built was just a marsh,” he told the NTCAR members. Development to date has followed Texas 114, the main artery to the airport, but all that will be changing.

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