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DALLAS-The preferred builder for Family Dollar Stores Inc. has spent in the mid-$400,000 range for about 2.5 acres in the upscale Highland Village neighborhood of Dallas.

The site purchase drives a plan by the discount retailer to move away from freestanding locations to anchoring small shopping centers. The strategy starts on a tract on the northwest corner of Kingsley and Plano roads, where the plan is to build a 21,000-sf center.

HSI One LLC of Edmond, OK bought the site from Tarragon Realty Investors of Dallas. Ground will break in early first quarter 2003, Gerry Fields of Henry S. Miller Commercial in Dallas tells GlobeSt.com. He and Henry S. Miller Commercial’s Dan Spika represented the Oklahoma builder. Westy Young of the Frey Group in Dallas negotiated on the seller’s behalf.

Fields says the Highland Village center will be one of the first to roll out in the retailer’s changing strategy. The Henry S. Miller team, which gets the leasing job as well, is talking to another national retailer for 6,000 sf in the project.

Fields says Family Dollar has taken at least 25 freestanding sites in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, but is now looking at several locations for the shopping center strategy, aimed at developing 20 to 25 centers per year in the Southwest markets. In other words, stay tuned because more land buys loom.

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