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THE WOODLANDS, TX-One hundred acres at the intersection of Woodlands Parkway and FM 2978 will soon be home to retail, medical office and multifamily projects. The acreage frames the western entrance to the master-planned Terramont, which now boasts more than 650 homes.

“Now that some of the residential has filled in, this particular intersection is opening to up to commercial development,” says Greg Jordan of the Woodlands Development Co. The Bentonville, AR-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. bought 25 acres for a 210,000-sf store, its second in the Woodlands and the first retail space for the Terramont Shopping Center. The Wal-Mart Supercenter will open in early 2006.

“We’re trying to make the area pedestrian-oriented,” says Dan Leverett, the Woodlands’ vice president of commercial development, “and the Wal-Mart has specific design guidelines that include the use of flagstone, brick and planters as well as forest preserves in the parking lot.”

The Woodlands’ team says 13 pad sites, with about 20 acres, have been set up for periphery retail development. “So far demand from retailers has been huge,” Leverett says.

To date, Hibernia Bank, Exxon Corp. and Murphy Oil have closed on their sites. Jordan says six pad sites are under contract–a national drug store retailer and a developer for a 30,000-sf shopping center–and four more are under negotiation. He predicts pad site development will get under way by year’s end.

The Woodlands, selling the land for upward of $15 per sf, has another 60 acres ticketed for development at the crossroads, which is expected to draw additional big boxes. Of the remaining acreage, Jordan says eight acres are earmarked for medical office buildings and 12 acres for a 300-unit multifamily development. He says ground could break on some of the projects as early as 2006. “It all just depends on market demand,” he says.

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