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FRISCO, TX-With building permits now in hand, the locally based Windmill Development LLC is ready to break ground on a $45-million addition of retail and office space to Legacy Commons. The 108,000-sf lifestyle center will begin to rise by month’s end.

Windmill initially thought it could break ground in early summer, but hit some issues at the municipal level. “We just got our building permits. The general contractor is gearing up and we’re ready to go,” says Peter Streit, who along with Ernie Blank formed the development company in 1995 to buy 330 acres in the Texas 121-Legacy Drive corridor.

“We feel very strong about the area. The projects we have are performing very well,” Streit tells GlobeSt.com. “The hotel is No. 1 in the metroplex. The office building is 95% leased. We feel very confident, otherwise we wouldn’t be putting our money into it.”The next wave of development is the icing for a 301-room Westin Stonebriar, 105,000-sf Comstock Tower at 5300 Legacy Dr., 130-acre Fazio at Stonebriar golf course and 38 acres of residential development, including the 600-unit St. Charles Apartments at Stonebriar at 5200 Town & Country Blvd.

The Legacy Commons expansion will have street-level retail and second-floor office space in nine buildings on 28 acres in front of the Westin Stonebriar. Still on the drawing boards is a five-star boutique hotel from the product line of White Plains, NY-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and another 300,000 sf to 400,000 sf of office product. The 330-acre build-out is estimated at $100 million and will take at least five more years to complete.

Windmill, for the most part, is bringing out the lifestyle center predominately as spec development. The Westin Stonebriar’s spa operator, Sharon Steele, has committed to a 9,300-sf build-to-suit for her third location in the Dallas area while talks are nearing the final stage for a bank, three restaurants and a wine store, Streit says. “We have underlying leases that we’re negotiating as we go on,” he explains about mitigating the risk of starting out with spec. Deliver is planned for mid-2005.

Sue Hageman and Robin Barrow with Dallas-based Weitzman Group are handling retail preleasing. Hageman predicts the center will be pushing the 80% preleased mark when construction wraps up. She says talks have generated letters of intent for about 15,000 sf, including an upscale restaurant. The goal, she says, is to build a base of boutique shops of local retailers with a established presence, including specialty men’s stores.

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