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PLANO, TX-A North Texas developer is ready to break ground on the second phase of a $32-million townhome development in the far north sector. If the development schedule stays the course, Chase Oaks Village’s 17 acres will be fully built out by the end of next year.

Positioned in the 6000 block of Chase Oaks Boulevard near the Legacy Drive-Central Expressway intersection, Chase Oaks Village rose as replacement product for an office development plan scuttled by 9/11. Chase Oaks’ first phase came on line in the spring. Since then, Mitchell Vexler, president of Mockingbird Properties in Flower Mound, has sold 17 of the 26 townhouses in the first phase and eight in the 34-unit second phase, which starts to rise this week. “It was the perfect infill spot to do this,” he says.

Vexler says buyers’ profiles, though, are starting to show that Plano is no longer just a suburb of Dallas, but rather a full-blown city ready for infill urban development. He says the proof lies in the number of sales to empty nesters and young professionals plus last weekend’s first-time catch of a Northern California investor for a two-unit building and a pair of London buyers who plan to use their investment as vacation properties. “The sophistication of the market is changing,” he says.

Vexler says Chase Oaks is “the first significant townhome project in the city in true urban style,” abutting a 60-acre, municipal-owned recreational facility and within walking distance of shops, restaurants, theater and proposed light-rail station. “It has all the bells and whistles and it’s changing the perception of Plano,” he says.

Chase Oaks Village’s turnkey units range from 1,400 sf to 2,025 sf. Prices run from $170,000 to $240,000.

The mixed-use developer who moved to Dallas 14 years ago from Ontario says the North Texas market has matured enough that he’s shifting the development focus to condos and mixed-use urban product for his metroplex projects–like Mockingbird Properties’ strategy for Las Vegas and Miami. With another Dallas-area residential project in the pipeline, he tells GlobeSt.com that he’s selling his class A apartment portfolio in Dallas to concentrate “on the product we used to build.” Michael Wells of Dallas-based Wells Asset Management Inc. has started to negotiate with buyers for the 508-unit Barons at 2101 E. US Highway 80 and 96-unit Piazza Sienna at 3102 Kings Road.

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