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SAGINAW, TX-A Dallas developer, with a penchant for standing in Wal-Mart’s shadow, is prepping seven acres for a 45,460-sf retail project that’s ready to go with 67% of the inline space already preleased. Tenant keys will start to turn in August for the $8-million Cross Pointe Retail Center in northeast Tarrant County.

A Dallas-based joint venture between Cross Development Co. and Today Realty Advisors Inc. is developing the shopping center at the hard corner of Bailey Boswell Road and US Highway 287. Today Realty put up $760,500 of equity capital to go along with a $6.8-million construction loan from Hibernia Bank’s Dallas office to get the project moving.

“There were a lot of people chasing this site,” Casey Shires, president of Cross Development, tells GlobeSt.com, adding the win came from a longstanding relationship with Wal-Mart, which sold the abutting acreage with a cross-access parking lot agreement about a year ago. At the 2004 close, the two-year-old company had a portfolio with four shopping centers, mostly Wal-Mart neighbors, but has stepped up activity so much that Shires expects to have 20 projects in various development stages in the Southwest by first quarter 2006.

Todd McNeill, senior director for Dallas-based Metropolitan Capital Advisors Ltd., says the New Orleans-headquartered Hibernia Bank beat seven other lenders for the deal–representing a 90% loan-to-cost–because it offered a 30-day Libor-based rate and no floor. The 36-month loan, with an interest rate of 250 basis points over Libor, kicks off with a 4.1% interest. Other lenders, he says, priced their package on the prime interest rate.

“It’s amazing what happens to the lending community when you show them that you share a parking lot with Wal-Mart,” McNeill says. “That’s the magic to the deal.”

Tegrity Contractors Inc. of McKinney is building the center, designed by Cross Architects of Plano. The center’s anchor is Dollar Tree, a 9,300-sf lease recently negotiated between Shires and Jim Weir of Fort Worth-based Woodmont Co. Other tenants will be Cato, EB Games, Cingular Wireless, Sally Beauty Supply and RadioShack. Inline space is fetching $19 per sf. Shires says the price of the lone pad site is no longer important because it’s already under contract.

“Wal-Mart has been a catalyst for this side of Saginaw,” Shires says. The 200,000-sf-plus Supercenter is roughly six months old.

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