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FORNEY, TX-With a 183,000-sf Wal-Mart recently opening its doors, a Dallas developer is working with a stacked deck to shore up negotiations for Mustang Crossing Shopping Center, a 550,000-sf undertaking with an all-in development cost pushing $63 million.

“The user demand has been intense,” Justin Allen with Dallas-based Oakridge Investments Inc. tells GlobeSt.com,”because there’s no existing supply of retail in this section of Forney. We expect to be out of land in the next 18 months.” For previous story, click here.

Oakridge and the Christon Co., also from Dallas, are joint venturing on the powerhouse retail development. Allen says Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse Inc. has a 14.7-acre tract under contract for a 116,000-sf store, which could break ground after midyear 2006. Brinker International Inc., the Dallas-based restaurant giant, has inked a ground lease for a 5,800-sf Chili’s Grill & Bar and Posado’s Mexican Cafe has 1.4 acres under contract for a 7,000-sf eatery. The restaurants could open by year’s end, he says. Allen says talks also have begun with Wendy’s, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Chick-Fil-A and PetsMart. The eight-screen Starplex Cinema is on track to open in August.

Oakridge bought the Kaufman County land nearly three years ago, getting a foothold at the crossroads of US Highway 80 and FM 548. “The city has proactively and progressively worked with us to create a quality commercial development that will help drive the city’s growth for years to come,” George Allen, Oakridge president, says about a development putting in a ground floor of retail for a city just 20 miles east of Downtown Dallas.

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