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CARROLLTON, TX-The Billingsley Co. is evaluating whether to beef up retail acreage along Park Boulevard after sealing a 38,000-sf ground lease with a fast-food restaurateur, the second freestanding eatery to come on board at International Business Park.

“The opportunity for retail has just skyrocketed for us,” Feliz Jarvis, Billingsley vice president, tells GlobeSt.com. “We are evaluating carefully to put in additional retail.”

Whataburger Inc. has inked the 38,000-sf, 15-year pact for a spot at the southeast corner of Midway and Park Boulevard. Under construction on an abutting pad site is a combo KFC/Pizza, which holds a 20-year ground lease. Starbucks too has signed up, taking a 10-year ground lease, according to Lou Miranda of United Commercial Realty/ChainLinks in Dallas. Whataburger and Starbucks plan to open in spring 2002 and KFC/Pizza Hut in November.

The United Commercial Realty team of Miranda, W. Thurston Witt Jr., Lou Miranda and Darrell Hernandez is handling the retail leasing on behalf of Billingsley, better known as an office and industrial developer. Miranda says there are six acres of frontage dedicated to retail development, including a strip center, for the Billingsley project, which is fetching $18 per sf to $22 per sf for retail space. To date, three acres have tenants waiting in the wings for openings.

Even Billingsley’s office projects are attracting interest from the restaurant crowd. The News Cafe will open in January in 4120 International Parkway. The opening is set to closely follow the Dallas office relocation of 85,000-sf tenant, Intracorp, based in Philadelphia, into the abutting 4100 International Parkway. A bagel kiosk has just set up shop at 6504 International Parkway.

Jarvis says the consideration for additional freestanding retail sites is two-fold: increased traffic due to the nearby Shops at Willow Bend and more office tenants in the business park. At this stage in the review, it’s not certain how much more land might go the way of retail at the park that straddles the borders of Plano, Carrollton, the Colony and Lewisville.

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