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TERRELL, TX-A Dallas developer has gotten control of 53 acres for a mixed-use development along Interstate 20 in Kaufman County. The bet is being placed that the city, best known as home for Walker Texas Ranger, will push west and not east.

Charles Anderson, principal in Fulton Anderson Realty Advisors, tells GlobeSt.com that plans are on the drawing board for up to 200,000 sf of retail on freeway-fronting acreage at the junction of Spur 557 and FM 148. He anticipates the development plan will be ready to turn into the municipality for action in early 2005. If all goes well, ground could break next year.

Anderson bought 16.8 acres from Kenneth Mitchell Investments of Dallas, which built 280 townhouses on adjacent land. And, Anderson has put dibs on another 35 abutting acres. The build-out potential, based on 20% coverage, would be 500,000 sf, according to the developer’s calculations. Land in the Terrell area is selling for $1.75 per sf, on average.

Anderson says he’s already talking to national and local retailers and restaurateurs, hoping to catch the first anchor by year’s end for a development tentatively named Terrell Crossroads. Meanwhile, some hotel developers already have knocked on his door for some of the 4,000 feet of interstate frontage. The first to rise, he says, will be retail and restaurants although industrial or medical office, possibly even a hospital, are possibilities for the balance of the land.

Anderson’s plan has been in the works nearly 18 months, but got derailed for 10 months due to a city moratorium on development. With that now lifted, it’s full steam ahead on a plan being designed by PSA Engineering of Dallas. Realty Capital Partners Inc. of Grapevine provided equity for the land acquisition.

Anderson says the Dallas development firm chased a listing to get the land. “It’s hard to find sites in the metroplex…at a full diamond interchange with everything in place,” he says. “I just don’t think that many people were focused on the listing.”

The development site sits on the city’s west side in the direction of Dallas and across the freeway from Terrell’s Metrocrest Business Park, a distribution hub anchored by an 800,000-sf facility for the Akron, OH-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and 600,000-sf port for Bentonville, AR’s Wal-Mart. “I think the growth is going to occur on the west side,” Anderson says, placing a bet on a location 32 miles east of the Dallas line.

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