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RICHARDSON, TX-Promising more information in a couple weeks, an eight-year-old real estate development firm on a repositioning path for nearly eight months has debuted as a public company. The upcoming news will focus on the takeover of a 25-year-old, Dallas-based company.

Carlton W. Fleming, president of Opus Communities Inc., tells GlobeSt.com that an acquisition is pending for a local company “that will put us on the map.” He says the acquisition plan and push to go public have been in the works about a year. Fleming now offices at 811 S. Central Expressway in Richardson, but plans to move when the company takeover is complete. He says the acquisition will “shock” Dallas and bring “a significant change in management” at all executive levels.

As the acquisition nears the closing, Fleming yesterday debuted Opus Communities on over-the-counter markets. According to the New York City-headquartered Pink Sheets, the company stock opened and closed at $1.05 per share. Fleming, the majority owner, says Opus Communities launched with a $63-million capitalization rate. The new company is not affiliated with the Minneapolis-based industry powerhouse, Opus Corp.

Fleming says Opus Communities will focus on residential-and-retail developments in the US and abroad. “In select locations, some will be from the ground up,” he says, adding other projects will deliver retail space to existing residential communities. “We’re not building strip centers. That’s not what we do. We want to build communities.”

Fleming will team with the Blackard Group Inc. of Frisco to build the $120-million McKinney Harbor Market Village on 45 acres in the 5,000-acre Stonebridge Ranch development in McKinney. According to Opus Communities’ website, Fleming intends to buy a 60% interest in the European-style village proposal, designed with 72 waterfront villas and townhouses, 298 multifamily units and 600,000 sf in a 50-50% split between office and retail space. The building plan includes a for-profit chapel on a private island in a 55-acre lake. Blackard also owns a 1,500-room, resort-style hotel on the Adriatic island of Brac.

Fleming says the company he’s buying isn’t Blackard even though he’s deep into a joint venture. The plan calls for additional JVs. The website says talks have begun with another Dallas company for a 70% interest in a 69-acre planned residential development with roughly 36 acres dedicated for commercial use.

Fleming has been a residential homebuilder since 1996. The Missouri native moved to North Texas in 1990 and initially worked in securities investment banking. The Opus Communities rollout includes Casey Boaz as senior vice president of construction and Dane McDaniel as vice president of sales and leasing.

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