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FORT WORTH-After testing the brand in the Woodlands near Houston, Trademark Property Co. is bringing the Market Street concept to its backyard with a $250-million plan for a pair of suburban mixed-use projects. About 1.3 million sf of retail, residential and class A office space will be developed by the end of 2007.

The Fort Worth developer has gamed out 50-acre projects in Lewisville and Allen, situated about 22 miles apart and roughly 25 miles north of Dallas. Terry Montesi, Trademark’s principal and CEO, says the Lewisville land is under contract and the Allen acreage is in hand. The Lewisville acreage, set to close within four months, is being acquired from two sellers, one of which is Denver-based ProLogis.

Montesi says the first phase to the $150-million, 600,000-sf Market Street-Montgomery Farm will break ground in early 2006 at the corner of US Highway 75 and Bethany Drive in Allen. First to rise will be 350,000 sf of retail, 50,000 sf of office space and 200 multifamily units. A midyear 2007 delivery is penciled on the calendar.

Montesi says he’s talking to a theater developer for the $100-million Market Street-Lewisville, set to go up at the junction of Interstate 35 E and FM 407. Ground should break in mid- to late 2006, with delivery eyed for late 2007 on a first phase with 425,000 sf of retail, 30,000 sf of office space and 200 multifamily units.

Riding the crest of success from Market Street-Woodlands, Montesi says the North Texas projects will be much of the same: specialty grocers and retailers, a cut above the crowd that’s in place in both cities. Trademark’s preleasing team is holding one signed letter of intent for Montgomery Farm and has several pending. Lewisville’s campaign is still in its infancy.

“Certainly, we’re talking to the same people,” Montesi tells about tapping Woodlands’ retailers for the pipeline. “Those people understand what we do. But, we don’t have any in our pocket.”

Montesi hired J’Amy Owens of Los Angeles and Commarts Design Group of Boulder, CO to “feminize” the town center concept, including some changes for the Woodlands. He says he brought the female consultants on board to tweak the concept after realizing “every developer of lifestyle centers and all the architects were men. When your customers, who make 80 to 90% of the buying decisions, are females that’s a smart thing to do.”

Montesi envisions Montgomery Farm as a spa-like environment with two ponds and a creek system. The Lewisville design will rely on landscaping techniques since the land doesn’t have same natural attributes as the farm, he says. Both projects, like the one-year-old Woodlands’ prototype, will have Wi-Fi access, public art and green spaces conducive for community events. “It’s not a one-dimensional parking lot with just shopping,” he stresses. “It’s a serious commitment to public space, a real mix of uses that are centered around the public space.”

The projects, as it is in the Woodlands, will have street-level retail and second-floor office and residential units. Montesi says he’s talking to a multifamily developer to pick up that component while Trademark will be in the driver’s seat for retail and office development.

With the plan firmly rooted in Texas, Trademark’s also fine-tuning a 500,000-sf plan for Market Street-Millworks, an adaptive reuse, infill project for the Oakley/Hyde Park area of Cincinnati. The project will have office, retail, residential and a 175-room hotel.

Like Market Street-Woodlands, Montesi says the projects need public/private partnerships to become reality. Talks are under way with city officials in Allen and Lewisville. But the biggest hurdle, Montesi says, clearly is the leasing. “We want to build these if the retail community wants us to build them. We’ll find that out at ICSC and beyond.”

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