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FORT WORTH-After 12 years of building a topnotch retail research firm, Buxton is venturing into the development world. The locally based firm, with a black book of high-profile national clients, plans to buy land and build one-off stores and shopping centers alike.

Founder, president and CEO Tom Buxton has hired a long-time co-worker and friend, Bryan Spain, as president of the newly formed, full-service development division. The duo worked together years ago at RadioShack Corp. Spain most recently was senior vice president of procurement and development for Dallas-based Dave & Buster’s Inc.

Spain tells GlobeSt.com that the in-house team will number five to 10, but the plan is to outsource design, construction management, engineering and possibly leasing for multi-tenant developments, which are planned to be at least 200,000 sf. The goal is to build a one-stop shop from entitlement to ribbon cutting.

“I’d like to have a project under way by year’s end,” Spain says, adding he’s sizing up sites in-state and out-of-state. “What we’re looking for is to determine where there is a lack of retail and a need for retail.”

According to Spain, financing is in place to carry out the mission. “It’s not going to be a problem,” he stresses.

What has yet to be decided is whether or not Buxton will be merchant building or developing a portfolio to hold. Spain says one-off developments will carry first rights of refusal for retail tenants.

Not only will Buxton cater to its black book of national and regional names, but Spain says he’s going to chase “up and coming” retailers who want to expand, but lack in-house real estate teams to do the work. He’s also going to court companies with in-house divisions that might be stretched to the max due to fast-paced expansion plans. “Who better to outsource it to than the one who has identified quality locations for them,” Spain says. “Why not trust them to do the development too.”

Buxton’s staff has 450 years of retail experience and nationwide data stored on a server with more capacity than the one at the Library of Congress. The award-winning Buxton team is nationally recognized for its analyses of demographics for retailers’ site selections and has special products targeting communities and industries. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t capitalize on that,” Spain says.

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