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DALLAS-A 42-year-old “home to the stars” in South Dallas will be razed in the coming weeks to make way for a construction start on a 135,000-sf Home Depot while the sellers push out a periphery retail development plan for another 60,000 sf of national names.

The Bronco Bowl sale, under negotiation for four months, hit the closing table in recent days with Home Depot getting 12 acres and the historic entertainment venue for less than the originally contracted $6.5 million, deal-makers say. The plan, reworked several times over, ended with seller Westmount Realty of Dallas retaining nearly seven acres.

Westmount principal Steve Kanoff says the build-out plan is still being discussed, just like the name and final selection of architect and general contractor. But, it will be retail; it will be big box; and it won’t be spec, he tells GlobeSt.com.

Kanoff and Westmount’s Cliff Booth met late last week with a general contractor to start calculating site development costs to ready their acreage for about 60,000 sf of supplemental retail space. Kanoff confides interest is running high, but they can’t “respond to proposals” until site development costs are hard. Westmount has hired the Dallas-based Weitzman Group team of Steve Greenberg, executive vice president, and Brian Glaser, senior vice president, to find and sign a national lineup.

The selling partnership, Bronco Bowl Ltd., the third owner in 42 years, ended up with two pad sites fronting the proposed Home Depot and garden center, expected to open in summer 2004, and land across Bahama Street to effectively create two hard corners at the intersection with Fort Worth Avenue. Kanoff says selling the Bronco Bowl, which went dark in recent weeks, boiled down to “opportunity” and “a prudent business decision.”

The sellers bought the property in 1996, just six months after it closed despite an extensive renovation and a grand reopening with Bruce Springsteen as the lead act. “Things have changed over the years … and the neighborhood has changed,” Kanoff says, citing increased competition from such nearby venues as NextStage.

The 3,500-seat Bronco Bowl contains 20 bowling lanes, three Hispanic nightclubs and banquet space. In the early 1950s, the Bronco Bowl seats were filled by audiences for the nation’s first televised bowling competitions, but later swung to concert use for headline acts like BB King, U2, ‘N Sync and Britney Spears.

Chris Leighton, vice president with the Henry S. Miller Commercial team representing the seller, says Home Depot surfaced as a likely buyer about four months ago, driving all other interest onto the backburner for the 2600 Fort Worth Ave. property, originally tagged at $8 million in late 2002. First, the retail giant wanted all 14 acres on the southwest corner and then started talks for part. Leighton says Home Depot USA’s corporate chiefs were reluctant to spend $6.5 million for a site that required demolition and scraping before any building could begin. The final round of talks ended with less land and a smaller buy-in to push the all-cash transaction to the closing table.

Greenberg says the Westmount-owned retail should be delivering in late 2004 or early 2005, based on interest already received for a piece of the project, situated in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood with high disposable income levels. Although it’s early in the game, he expects shop space will lease for $13 per sf to $17 per sf. He says all types of retailers are showing interest in the land near a new Wal-Mart supercenter, Lowe’s and relatively new access ramps to Interstate 30.

In addition to Leighton, the seller’s Henry S. Miller Commercial team consisted of vice president Luis Pina and associate Karen Acosta. Home Depot’s Texas broker was Michael Stevens of Steveco Commercial in Dallas.

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