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FORT WORTH-A Dallas development group has taken the field as the back-up buyer in a four-year process to sell a former steel company’s 27-acre site in southwest Fort Worth. With the land deal closed, an $18-million, mixed-use project is primed to break ground in May.

Surety Bank sold the 3917 Hemphill St. land to PDLA Partners, primarily a residential developer that’s now poised to tackle its largest commercial project to date. Luis Pina with Dallas-based Henry S. Miller Commercial, the bank’s broker, says contracts with three other would-be buyers fell out through the years in the plan to convert the site into mixed-use space.

Pina tells GlobeSt.com that the Plaza de Las Americas project of retail, professional office and cultural space will include a 100,000-sf, grocery-anchored shopping center tailored to Hispanic consumers. Pina, who’s now on the other side of the fence, is helping to negotiate a 55,000-sf anchor lease with a top-name Hispanic grocer. The balance of the land will be divvied into four pad sites. Estimating the all-in development cost at nearly $18 million, he says the first retail space will deliver by the end of November.

The development site is tucked into a residential pocket with a large Hispanic population. It is flanked by single-family housing and La Grande Mall, a one-million-sf retail and entertainment venue. Commonwealth Properties Inc. of Dallas represented the buyer in the land transaction.

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