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FRISCO, TX-DMc Properties of Dallas has turned to WorkPlace Urban Solutions, more notably its leader Art Lomenick, to steer a 27.6-acre project being designed as the gateway to Frisco, one of the fastest-growing regions in the state and US. The New Urbanist project will cost upward of $50 million and could top out at $200 million depending on the mix, J. Stephen Dieb, DMc president, tells GlobeSt.com.

WorkPlace was selected from a field of five candidates. Dieb says the deal was sealed because of the New Urbanist reputation of the WorkPlaceUSA division’s leader, Art Lomenick, a former lead exec with Post Properties.

Sterling Village will be located at the juncture of the Dallas North Tollway and Texas 121. David McDavid, a prominent DFW businessman, former Mavericks owner and vehicle dealer, is the lead joint venture partner of the development company. McDavid, who is naming the project after his daughter, acquired the land in April from Dallas-based Tower Group.

Not only will Sterling Village be the four-year-old group’s first mixed-use project, but it most likely will be the first to be anchored by a 100,0000 sf-plus vehicle dealership. The dealership will take up 10 of the 27.6 acres. Dieb says the franchise dealer has been selected, but the identity is being kept under wraps until the project progresses further. McDavid currently owns 18 dealerships in Texas.

Lomenick and Dieb confirm talks have begun with Frisco to rezone the acreage and set the stage for a flexible development. Dieb says the plan right now would bring 500,000 sf of office, at least 100,000 sf of retail in addition to the dealership, 500 to 600 for-sale and rent live-work lofts or even a hotel. The office and residential components, Dieb says, hinge on market conditions.

New Urbanist projects are cropping up all across North Texas. But, Lomenick tells GlobeSt.com, “there’s a difference in using the words and phrases and actually building it…The good news is there are a lot of people talking about it.”

Because the land needs rezoned, it could be six months to a year before a ground-breaking. “We’re all going to have to hope the development patterns change,” explains Lomenick. “It’s not just a developer’s effort, but a municipal effort as well.” Frisco, he says, is “very proactive about how to change the development pattern over the next 50 years.” The idea is to replace strip development with pedestrian-friendly, multi-uses in high-density packaging.

Sterling Village’s first phase ribbon cutting is being plotted to coincide with the late 2002 or early 2003 opening of a new stretch of road leading to the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport. Lomenick is ramping up a six-member team for the assignment. Duncan Fulton of Good, Fulton & Ferrell of Dallas has completed the preliminary conceptual design for the undertaking, including multi-modal transportation amenities.

Dieb says the team is operating with a seven-year build-out plan. The final cost hinges on the final mix, but it’s sure to best $50 million based on preliminary designs. Kick in a hotel, if the market improves, and the ticket realistically could reach $200 million before all is said and done, says Dieb.

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