LEWISVILLE, TX-A North Texas developer is ready to forge ahead on an 80-acre retail development for a 411-acre mixed-use plan that’s now under way after a near five-year wait. The retail component will add 500,000 sf to 750,000 sf with a build-out value of more than $75 million.

Tim Barton, president and CEO of JMJ Development Inc. in Dallas, says the Centre at Crossroads plan was dusted off about a month ago after sitting on the drawing board until the development partnership perceived the market to be ready for the added space. He tells GlobeSt.com that another 47 acres on the north side of Texas 121 are under contract for eventual build-out as commercial or possibly more retail space.

Barton says he’s interviewing “the three best brokerage houses in Dallas” to prelease the Centre at Crossroads, gateway retail to a residential development of townhomes, apartments and single-family houses. He says the decision will be made in a couple weeks so a full-court press can be ready to lob at the Las Vegas convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers in May.

A multifamily developer has just broken ground on the first wave of residential space, 150 townhouses. JMJ, which also developed Frisco Bridges and Stonebriar Mall, has a 20-acre tract under contract to develop 175 townhomes. Two other developers are in line to buy another pair of multifamily tracts from the five-year owner, Baruch Properties of Dallas, he says. Meanwhile, its neighbor Centex has sold out its residential lots and the Bright family’s Castle Hills is “going very strong,” he says, explaining that the fast-paced residential growth is reason enough for JMJ to start working its land.

Barton says it most likely will be a year before ground can break on the retail development on the north side of the intersection of Texas 121 and Parker Road. The plan is to market a freeway-fronting site to a big-box retailer for a 120,000-sf to 130,000-sf building. Additional construction will include a grocery-anchored project and a town center-style mix bordering the residential component and under-construction school for the Lewisville Independent School District. The plan is to deliver the first retail space in 2007, eyeing retailers with 20,000-sf to 200,000-sf formats.

The Centre at Crossroads site sits between two malls, with retailers’ required five-mile radius on each side. “It’s the last great corner in that corridor,” Barton says, “and it’s in the middle of Vista Ridge. It’s the big hole in the doughnut between two regional malls.”

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