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GRAPEVINE, TX-With two of four office buildings sold, a local developer has jumped into spec construction on 50,000 sf of retail and “for lease” office space. The 38-acre Grapevine Station has been on the drawing board at least two years.

Westwood Group Ltd., which has built and redeveloped several properties in town, will deliver the spec buildings in mid-2007. Soft openings will be followed with a commemorative event in September 2007 in sync with the unveiling of the city’s 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial at the mixed-use project’s edge. Dirt work is under way at the corner of Texan Trail and Texas 26; the spec buildings should be going vertical in the coming month.

Al Burtin, Westwood’s COO, says the company bought the land from five property owners in 2000, getting a hard “Main and Main” corner in a retail and hospitality pocket with Grapevine Mills Mall, the 200,000-sf Bass Pro Shop and the 1,508-room Gaylord Texan. Since then, the Madison, WI-based Great Wolf Resorts Inc. bought acreage right across the highway for a 400-key resort with an 80,000-sf indoor water park that also will in fall 2007.

Unlike its neighboring retail strongholds, the Grapevine Station developer is planning a tourist-type tenant base for the five-acre hard corner in the 38-acre development. “With the Gaylord and Great Wolf, it’s a win-win situation,” says Sue Hageman with Dallas-based Weitzman Group, who’s teaming with Kyle Robertson to prelease the project.

Hageman tells GlobeSt.com that talks are under way with Starbucks, an upscale Italian restaurateur, Western-wear clothier, Southwestern-style furniture retailer and souvenir operator. The project’s quoted rent is the high $20 per sf to low $30 per sf for retail space and $22 per sf for the second-floor offices.

Burtin says Grapevine Station’s design reflects the vintage buildings in the historic Downtown. “It will be earth tones and quaint,” he says. The two-story buildings will put 25,000 sf of street-level retail and 25,000 sf of second-floor office space at a high-profile intersection with a daily traffic count exceeding 30,000 vehicles.

Grapevine Station’s “for sale” office product is being handled by Glacier Commercial Realty LP of Dallas. Wrightman Petroleum Co. opened its headquarters in one 10,000-sf structure in April and Freedom Pipeline Co. has just moved in to its 10,000-sf headquarters building.

BGO Architects Inc. in Dallas designed Grapevine Station. The construction team, all from Dallas, includes Dobbs Construction Group Inc., GSEI Structural Services, Caffey Engineering Inc. and Graham Engineering.

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