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DALLAS-Well-known Dallas wholesaler Sam Moon is trading in an eight-month-old center for a neighboring $15-million project, including land, at one of the few remaining undeveloped corners between two primary arteries in Dallas.

The Sam Moon Trading Co. opened its doors on 50,000 sf in January to a packed house that prompted the owner to start looking for nearby land to build a parking lot. That need led his broker, Eddie Liebman of Dallas-based Weitzman Group’s investment properties division, to Oklahoma City and talks with Mathis Bros. Furniture Co., owner of a 10.4-acre tract bought a year earlier.

“No” turned to “maybe” and then a “yes” as the wholesaler and the furniture company cut a deal for more than $10 per sf or roughly $5 million for the northeast corner of LBJ Freeway and Harry Hines Boulevard. “Virtually everything between Stemmons and Central is developed,” Liebman explains to GlobeSt.com about the lay of the land that led him to lobby for a property that wasn’t about to come to market anytime soon.

Moon and eight tenants, including his Quizno’s franchise, will move across the street to the 125,000-sf center when it delivers in late 2003. Meanwhile, Moon’s deciding whether to re-tenant the $6-million building on the southwest corner of the high-traffic intersection with more wholesalers or convert it into a grocery-anchored Asian center.

Moon, as before, is getting ready to build with a 100% pre-leased positioning made possible by a strategy to anchor the center with his wholesale business. “I have a lot of people who want to be around me,” he says.

The popular Sam Moon Trading Co. now occupies 27,000 sf at 11635 Harry Hines Blvd., but will be taking 40,000 sf in the new center. Similarly, the wholesaler will be filling 18,000 sf in a 38,000-sf center that he’s building on 3.6 acres on the ring road for the 1.6-million-sf Stonebriar Centre in Frisco. That $6.5-million project broke ground a month ago and will deliver in March 2003. It too is fully pre-leased.

Moon’s father founded the wholesale business in 1984, staying for 19 years in 10,000 sf just a half mile south of the two corners that Moon now controls. The business started out with handbags and jewelry and now boasts a high-volume inventory of fashion accessories and a sister store that only sells luggage.

Mathis Bros. has been leasing the 10.4 acres to WW Tree Farm, but move-out is coming in 30 days. Although Moon has some city channels to get through, he says city permits should be in hand so site work can begin in late November. Dallas’ Hodges & Associates is the project architect. A general contractor has yet to be selected.

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