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ARLINGTON, TX-In a two-phased takedown, an Arlington investment group has assembled a site for retail and office development. The final closing on land earmarked for a 24,000-sf shopping center comes within weeks of the key-turning for an office building renovation.

Tom Nguyen of Ace Realtor Group Inc. in Arlington and two investors from Kennedale are tackling the redevelopment at 1101 E. Arkansas Lane near the Collins Street intersection in a retail corridor filled with older buildings, some holding thriving businesses and others dark for some time. The joint venture’s all-in costs will exceed $3 million, he tells GlobeSt.com.

Nguyen says the 22,000-sf office building on about four acres, acquired in January, will be ready to occupy in the coming weeks. While the renovation was being done, Nguyen pushed office pre-leasing to 60% for a makeover with a 4,000-sf end cap for retail.In July, the JV expects to break ground on an 88,732-sf tract for the Txuan Kieu Plaza, designed by SP Architecture and set to be built by Valley Spring Construction Co., both in Dallas. The development will deliver in early 2005.

The plaza represents the first ground-up project for the JV. “We are very nervous,” Nguyen says. “It’s like having a first baby.” Nguyen has the project 50% pre-leased to a furniture store, nails supply shop, restaurant and insurance company.

Both properties were bought from Cinnabar Properties Inc. of Atlanta, which bought them in October 2003 from the state. The building was emptied three years ago by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

Jerry Reis and Jason Miller with Property Advisers Realty Inc. in Irving represented Cinnebar Properties while Nguyen brokered for the JV. The assets were on the market for close to $1.9 million.

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