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(For more retail coverage, click GlobeSt.com/RETAIL and the multifamily market, click here.)

FORT WORTH-Transwestern is picking up the play to develop more than two million sf for a Las Vegas-based investment group that bought a 388-acre mixed-use site last spring in North Fort Worth. The agreement with Diversified Asset Planning also extends to a 328-acre project in South Houston and a 128-acre plan for Northwest Austin.

Transwestern principal Steve Williamson tells GlobeSt.com that the Presidio will break ground and be going vertical by year’s end, ending all speculation about the project’s ability to compete against two neighboring development plans, the under-construction 1.5-million-sf Alliance Town Center and Margaux Development Co. of Dallas, which has yet to break ground on its 330 acres at the confluence of Interstate 35W, US Highway 287 and North Tarrant Parkway.

“We’re in discussions with a half dozen retailers,” Williamson says. “The location sells itself. There’s plenty of room in that corridor because the spacing is good.”

Diversified Asset Planning is keeping the Presidio’s name in place and applying it as well to plans for Austin and Houston. The Fort Worth project is the furthest along in the planning, Williamson says. It is mapped for 1.4 million sf of retail, 1.5 million sf of multifamily and 500,000 sf of corporate office and hotel space.

Transwestern and Diversified have nearly one mile of frontage along the under-construction extension of the North Tarrant Parkway and roughly that much along Interstate 35W. Williamson says the duo is “working on different scenarios,” including selling some tracts to other developers. Hodges & Associates PLLC of Dallas is the Presidio’s architect. Halff Associates Inc., also from Dallas, has been put in place as project’s engineer, with the focus right now on keeping the horizontal work moving in sync with the road project, which is ticketed for a summer completion.

Transwestern was working with the former four-year owner of the land, Legacy Capital Co. of Dallas, during its talks with Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group and continued after Diversified Asset Planning bought the site in May 2006. Williamson says Transwestern definitely will be developing the retail in Fort Worth’s Presidio and possibly some other components. The team’s role with Diversified’s other holdings is to get entitlements in place and fine-tune the development plans. He says it’s undecided at this stage if Transwestern will be part of the build-out team for the Austin land, situated near the intersection Texas 45 and US Highway 183, and the Houston site, which is south of Pearland at the junction of US Highway 288 and Texas 6.

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