PROSPER, TX-Cross Development, up against five large retail developers, has scooped up a 39.8-acre prized tract to build a $35-million shopping center. The acreage has been mapped out for 286,000 sf of class A space and seven pad sites.

“We were able to close it within 30 days, which for nearly 40 acres is an extremely quick deal,” Casey Shires, principal and founder of Dallas-based Cross Development, tells “It was one of the most sought-after corners in the market.” The just-bought, ready-to-go dirt is the northwest corner of US Hwy. 380 and Custer Road, right on the McKinney-Prosper line.

The four-year-old Cross Development bought the land from from Forney-Wally Ltd., an affiliate of Wally Properties Inc. of Fort Smith, AR, which had its long-time broker Stephen Summers, principal of Expedition Capital Partners in Dallas, leading the sales push for a site it bought in October 2005. “It was not about price,” Shires says, “it was about who could perform.”

As the land sale pushed to the closing table, Scott Rose, leasing director for Cross Leasing Group, was courting retailers for the project, Prosper Plaza. He says three retailers in the 90,000-sf to 140,000-sf range are eyeing the development. “We’re close to a commitment from two of them,” he says. “Either one of them will kick off the center. We’ll break ground as soon as the anchor deal is completed.” He also has two pad sites under contract: a bank for a 50,000-sf tract at the hard corner and a restaurant for a 35,000-sf parcel.

“We’ve had an overwhelming amount of interest from national retailers,” Rose says, citing the four-month-old, 207,000-sf Wal-Mart Supercenter across the street as part of the drawing power. In addition, the intersection is 6.5 miles north of Frisco so it becomes the next stop for expanding retailers. “We are talking to all the anchors in Frisco,” he says. “It’s the perfect intersection for their next move.”

The development plan calls for pad site ground leases with 20-year terms. Small shop space is being quoted at $25 per sf to $32 per sf.”

Rose says Prosper Plaza will get under way no later than early 2008. “It’s definitely a 2008 project,” he says. Like others in the industry, the team is planning to use Prosper Plaza, now on the design table of Cross Architects, as part of its show-and-tell display at ICSC’s Las Vegas convention in May.

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