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HOUSTON-In an off-market transaction, joint venture partners Eastbourne Investments, Wellington Development Co. and Fidelis Realty Partners Ltd. have picked up 12.3 acres at the corner of FM 529 and Fry Road.

Frank Egan, president of the Williamsville, NY-based Eastbourne, tells GlobeSt.com that the southwest corner will be built out with retail. “We’re hoping for big-box retail there and are looking to kick off development during sometime next year,” he adds. But, he says, it’s too early in the planning to be specific about a groundbreaking date.

The acquisition is the investment group’s second land buy in the area. In November 2003, Eastbourne and its local partners purchased more than 40 acres on the southeast corner of FM 529 and Fry Road–also banking it for future retail development.

Egan says the attraction to the area is two-fold. First, residential development is exploding in the area, meaning more attraction for retail. That, coupled with the extension of Fry Road to US Highway 290, has led to a “pretty dynamic area,” he says.

Even with the appeal of the area, it’s not Eastbourne’s intent to own the entire intersection. “We’re not going to buy any more corners on that intersection,” Egan says. “We paid considerably more for the parcel of land now than we did then for the other Fry Road transaction. The quoted rate of land in that area is, on average, about $4.50 per sf to $5 per sf.

An in-house broker for Eastbourne handled the land acquisition negotiations. The local seller, DKD 529 II LP, also used in-house negotiators.

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