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(Ian Ritter is national online editor for GlobeSt.com/RETAIL.)

MANSFIELD, TX-Forest City Enterprises and two local developers plan to break ground here next fall on the first phase of Grist Mill Crossing, a 1.2-million-sf lifestyle center. Grist Mill is one of two recent projects, as well as one in Dallas, that mark Cleveland-based Forest City’s entrance into Texas.

Forest City is building Grist Mill with Texas-based developers Waterstreet Development Partners and Richard and Nathan Bontke, and executives expect to complete its first phase in the fall of 2007. The retail component will be part of a 100-acre, larger development that will include residential, office and hotel uses. Retailers will include a mix of big-box, department and specialty stores.

Baltimore-based RTKL Associates will design the center in a Main-Street style. Among the other projects in the state the firm has worked on are Mockingbird Station, in Dallas, and the expansion of General Growth Properties’ Woodlands (TX) Mall.

Forest City’s Dallas project is a renovation of the 1.1-million-sf Mercantile Bank Building that will convert it into 225 rental units and 30,000 sf of street retail. That development is scheduled to break ground on that project in the spring.

Forest City’s Texas projects are two of many retail-related developments the firm is working on West of the Mississippi. In Lehi, UT, south of Salt Lake City, it is building the $180-million, 1.2-million-sf Terrace at Traverse Mountain. The developer is also opening centers in Stapleton, a master planned community it is building in Denver, as well as two regional developments in that city’s suburbs. It is redeveloping the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall in that city’s Downtown with the Australia-based Westfield Group.

Forest City owns 41 regional malls and specialty centers across the country. The company also develops other major commercial properties such as the New York Times’ headquarters, which is under construction in Midtown Manhattan, and residential developments.

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