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DENTON, TX-With 15 deals in various negotiating stages, Whataburger Inc. has broken ground on its latest acquisition, a one-acre tract at a 488,000-sf power center in a two-university town north of Dallas.

The 3,500-sf Whataburger restaurant will be open in 90 days, filling a pad site with Loop 288 frontage at Denton Crossing, according to W. Thurston Witt Jr. with United Commercial Realty/ChainLinks in Dallas. He and UCR’s Darrell Hernandez are steering the site search for the Corpus Christi-based fast-food chain. Dallas snared the expansion focus about a year ago when the chain hired a real estate executive for the region, Witt tells GlobeSt.com. In Dallas/Fort Worth, most of the chain’s real estate is corporate owned.

Jamie Streeter and Tony Filley, both with Princeton Partners in Dallas, represented the seller and shopping center owner, a joint venture between Tokyo-based Orix Real Estate Equities and the Dallas-headquartered Hunt Properties. The $50-million Denton Crossing, with a 53-acre foothold off Interstate 35, opened doors in November. Aside from the national shop line-up, out-parcels are held by Walgreens, Golden Corral, Popeye’s and Kroger Gas.

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