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RICHMOND, TX-A Houston developer today will begin work on a 2,000-acre mixed-use development. The $1.5-billion Aliana’s first phase will be residential development, with up to 500 acres set aside to support two million sf of commercial space.

Aliana will sit on the east side of Grand Parkway at its intersection with FM 1464, just west of Sugar Land. The first commercial development will be a 150,000-sf H-E-B grocery store with a fueling station as the anchor for 15,000 sf of inline space. The San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Grocery Co., which bought 21 acres, plans to open the store in about three years.

“We’re marketing a large power center there and are currently talking with a number of large retailers,” says Paul Cheng, president of Aliana Development Co. He tells that with early emphasis on the residential component and horizontal development, commercial activity most likely will gel within the next 18 months. The commercial component has a build-out value north of $500 million, with plans calling for office, retail, spa, hotel and restaurants as well as a Polo Club. “We’ll do some of that development ourselves,” Cheng says.

The residential component will consist of townhouses, condos and single-family residences. Townhouses and condos will start at $200,000.

Cheng estimates the build-out will take 10 to 12 years. Although he’s developed smaller mixed-use projects in Houston, Aliana represents his first project of this scope. But he’s up to the challenge, especially given Fort Bend County’s growth. “We’re trying to raise the bar with this development,” he adds.

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