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MURFREESBORO, TN-Cousins Properties Inc. and Faison Enterprises have been tapped to develop the retail anchor to a 400-acre master planned development off the soon-to-be-completed Manson Pike interchange on Interstate 24. The joint venture has optioned the land for the project from C.M. Gatton, owner of all 400 acres, and expects to reveal development specifics and committed tenants “in the near future,” according to a Monday announcement.Generally, Cousins and Faison say they will develop the land under Cousin’s “Avenue” brand. Cousins is working on one other such project in Tennessee, the Avenue Carriage Crossing southeast of Memphis. Slated to open in October, the 787,000-sf development will be anchored by Dillard’s, Parisian and Barnes & Noble. Neither Cousins nor Faison could be reached for further comment on the Murfreesboro project.The overall master plan for Gatton’s land includes retail, office, residential and hotel development. The site is connected by the newly opened Medical Center Parkway with the nearby Murfreesboro Gateway project, which was developed by the City of Murfreesboro and includes a new 300-bed hospital and medical and professional offices. In explaining the company’s interest, Faison Enterprises senior managing director Mike Cohn says Rutherford County is the fastest growing county in Tennessee in terms of population growth. It also has the highest comparable job growth in the country, he says.”This site features its own interchange access from Interstate 24, one of the busiest interstates in the region, along with high visibility and close proximity to the new Highway 840 loop,” Cohn says. “With the success the City of Murfreesboro has already had with its Gateway project and the change in traffic patterns under way around the site with the opening of the new Medical Center Parkway, the class A office developments that are under way and the new Marriott Hotel and Conference Center that is to be built, we believe this development will become a dominant draw… .” Gatton was represented in the pending land transaction for the retail portion by Thomas Smith of Stonegate Commercial. Cousins/Faison was represented by Jerre Montgomery of Parkside Realty.Faison Enterprises of Charlotte, NC, is a privately held real estate and investment company that owns and develops retail, commercial and residential projects across the South and Mid-Atlantic states. Atlanta-based Cousins Properties’ portfolio consists of interests in 10.4 million sf of office and retail space and about 2,000 acres of land held for sale or future development. Cousins also provides leasing and management services to third-party investors.

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