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N. RICHLAND HILLS, TX-Realty Capital Corp. has just acquired 5.7 acres, used for decades as a residential property, that will be groomed for a multi-building office project for build-to-suit or “for sale” space.

Ground most likely won’t break until next year. Today’s land prices, though, are offering ample opportunity for developers, such as Grapevine, TX-based Realty Capital, to position for the next construction wave. “It’s a time for developers to snag the land, make the plans…and wait,” Bryan Holland, Realty Capital’s vice president, tells GlobeSt.com.

A 5,000-sf to 7,000-sf office spec project most likely will jumpstart the project in 2004, Holland says. Until then, the team is focusing on razing a few structures, cleaning up the site and waiting for the design to be crafted by Khiet Nguyen of CNK Architects in Grand Prairie. A monument will mark the development spot at 7100 Davis Blvd. when the clean-up is done.

The development partnership is Realty Capital Hillside Partners, a name gleaned in part from the wooded acreage that the involved parties describe as the high point in North Richland Hills. The acreage is near a top-draw retail corridor, just north of Texas 121.”It’s close to ground zero of North Tarrant Parkway and Davis Boulevard,” says Richard Myers, Realty Capital’s president, who confides that he found the land during a lunchtime drive in search of development sites in the North Richland Hills corridor. Ninety days later, he was holding the deed.

The sale by Borahn Dalloul of Damascus, Syria ended more than two decades of family ownership, says David Martin of Dallas-based Henry S. Miller Commercial’s Arlington office. He and Mark Skinner, also in Henry S. Miller’s Arlington office, represented the seller. Phillip Bressinck of Park Realty Group in Grapevine bargained the terms for the buyer.

Martin says the property had been on the market for a year, attracting some interest before Realty Capital came along. “The timing wasn’t right until now,” he tells GlobeSt.com about the $412,000 land sale.

When it’s time to build, Myers says the class A project will contain buildings in the 5,000-sf to 10,000-sf range, both build-to-suits and spec product. “I think there’s an untapped market in North Richland Hills for professional office space,” he says, adding that the up-front “for sale” plan is a deviation from the firm’s usual development pattern.

Holland likens the build-out to Realty Capital’s Georgetown Park in Southlake, a mix of six buildings with a somewhat larger design, but still capitalizing on the region’s steady demand for professional office space in high-growth suburban submarkets. The build-out capacity for the North Richland Hills site and the name are still being determined.

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