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ALLEN, TX-General Growth Properties Inc. will hit the Las Vegas convention runway with one more North Texas site firmly in hand for the retail circuit. In a long-anticipated closing, the high-powered developer has pulled 238 acres under wing for the one-million-sf showpiece development, Allentowne.

The Chicago-based developer picked up acreage at the junction of Texas 121 and US Highway 75 to secure Allentowne’s place on its drawing board beside Circle T, a joint venture with Hillwood, and last an as-yet, unnamed development in Frisco, which was announced last week for another suburb in the far northern tier. Allentowne, like Frisco, is slated to break ground in 2007.

Allentowne’s components and their sizes are still being calculated, says a General Growth Properties’ corporate contact. The tentative plan focuses on delivering retail, entertainment, restaurant, office and residential space. As for preleasing, the groundwork is still being laid.

In addition to the North Texas plans, General Growth also is under way with a 10,000-acre, master-planned community in northwest Houston. Its Bridgeland development is starting with single-family, but will be getting condos, townhouses, retail and office as it moves toward build-out. The first homes deliver this summer.

“Texas is fast growing in population and income,” the contact says. “There are great opportunities for us in that state.” The four Texas projects will hold a prominent spot in General Growth’s presentations at this year’s International Council of Shopping Centers convention, set for May 21-24 in Las Vegas, as it takes this year’s theme of “breaking new ground” to heart. “I suppose we’re going to spend a fair amount of time talking about Texas,” the contact tells GlobeSt.com.

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