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SUGARLAND, TX-Local developer Planned Community Developers Ltd. has snagged its first tenant for the retail component of its master-planned, mixed-use Lake Pointe Town Center. Whole Foods Market Inc., headquartered in Austin, will utilize approximately 55,000 sf of the proposed 225,000-sf retail space to be built on the 190-acre project located at Texas 6 and US 59.

The project, which will break ground within the next three months, is structured as a 20-year ground lease, with an option to renew. While exact construction and lease figures were not available, sources estimate that, at an estimated value of $5 per sf and depending on the actual land size, lease consideration could range between $4.4 million and $6 million. Delivery and opening is anticipated for September 2007, with Whole Foods absorbing most of the construction costs. PCD will oversee construction of the parking lot and the pad site.

“Whole Foods is the first tenant to sign up in the center,” says Bruce Frankel, director of retail leasing and sales with PCD. “We have about 40 appointments to talk with others, and with ISCS coming up, that’ll add to it.” Frankel tells GlobeSt.com that the deal represents Whole Foods’ fifth store in the Houston area, and the first one to open in the area during the past seven years.

Steve Ewbank, PCD’s executive vice president, explains that Whole Foods was attracted to the area following an Internet campaign, which resulted in a huge demand for the mega health food store in the area. “Once we got Whole Foods’ attention, the deal went pretty fast,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “I think what might have sold Whole Foods was the site, too. It’s a prominent core for Sugarland.”

Lake Pointe Town Center, an urban master-planned community, will include more than one million sf in office space and 225,000 sf for retail, as well as low- and high-density residential projects. Stan Creech of Stan Creech Properties in Houston represented Whole Foods Market in the lease transaction. Frankel represented PCD.

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