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CEDAR HILL, TX-With the Las Vegas retail show just days away, the MGHerring Group plans to court the crowd with an 800,000-sf, mixed-use plan for a just-bought 73-acre tract in South Dallas County. Eyeing a spring 2008 delivery, the Dallas developer will showcase Uptown Village at Cedar Hill with two national names in hand.

Gar Herring, president of MGHerring Group, tells GlobeSt.com that site work will get under way in two weeks on a project that’s been on the drawing board nearly two years. The first to sign has been Little Rock, AR-based Dillard’s Inc., which will buy a tract to build a 165,000-sf store, and Barnes & Noble Inc. of New York City, which preleased 28,000 sf of the 350,000 sf of shop space, all mapped out as inline to play up a pedestrian-friendly, urban design for a suburban pocket that locals have dubbed the Hill Country of North Texas. Uptown Village’s plan includes 27,000 sf of second-floor office space to top off the developer’s vision. The plan allows room for one more “future department store,” Herring says.

Uptown Village at Cedar Hill is an open-air center with no pad sites and the value equivalent of a regional mall. The build-out value could top $100 million. The development site has frontage along Uptown Boulevard, FM 1382 and Pleasant Run and Cedar Hill roads. MGHerring acquired the land in off-market deals with James Pogue, who lives across the road from the Uptown Village site, and the Gaubert family of nearby Desoto.

CMH Architects Inc. of Birmingham, AL designed Uptown Village; CDI Construction Co. of Little Rock, AR will build it. MGHerring’s in-house team will lease, manage and market the development as it’s doing with the rest of its four-million-sf pipeline in North Texas and Augusta, GA.

“We always want to create an experience for the customer,” Heather Herring, the firm’s marketing director, explains of the hybrid design. “A lot of research was done on this.” To build in “uptown” character, the village design includes internal parking spaces as well as curbside.

In the past two years, nearly two million sf of retail space has gone up in the Cedar Hill trade area. “We’re just taking that up to the next level,” Heather Herring says, adding the family-owned development group views Uptown Village as a definite long-term hold.

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