McKINNEY, TX-In a long-awaited construction start, Santa Monica, CA-based O&S Holdings LLC plans to break ground in mid-Q1 2008 on a 211-key Westin Hotel and Heavenly Spa, the centerpiece for its $200-million Bridge Street Town Centre. The following summer, the developer expects to be under way on roughly 400,000 sf of retail and 100,000 sf of office space.

Bridge Street Town Centre has been on O&S’ drawing board about three years. In summer 2006, White Plains, NY-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. agreed to anchor the project with a Westin-flagged hotel. Since then, the developer, architects and city officials have been working to advance the Bridge Street development, which will take up an 82-acre corner of US Hwy. 75 and Texas 121. O&S’ development site abuts Collin County Community College, which has just signed off on a plan to build a 150,000-sf administration building.

“We have played around with the site plan because we are building something that everyone is going to be proud of and will be the gateway to the city,” says Chris Shane, O&S’ vice president of acquisitions. He tells that the plan, right now, is to deliver all the retail space in the first phase, half of the 200,000-sf class A office component and the Westin, which is penciled for completion in late 2009.

In the coming weeks, Shane says the project will get another shot of adrenalin from a “significant” deal with a national retailer, but he’s not tipping his hand until the deal gets its final seal of approval. In addition, O&S plans to alter its MO by bringing on a third-party leasing team to help find and sign retail tenants for the upscale mix.

To date, O&S has signed Monaco Pictures for a 14-screen, first-run theater outfitted with plasma screens, concierge-style interior box office, oversized luxury seating and upscale concession area. The 15-year-old theater chain is a division of O&S Holdings.

In November 2006, O&S had reported commitments were in hand for Coldwater Creek, Coldwater Creek Spa, White House/Black Market, Gordon Biersch and Cantina Laredo. Negotiations reportedly were in the final stretch with Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Books-a-Million, Silver Fox Steakhouse, Aeropostale and Lucky Brand.

Shane isn’t saying how much retail space has been preleased to date, but the office component is 30% committed. He is certain, though, that the town center’s construction will get under way next summer. O&S previously expected to break ground this year. From Shane’s perspective, the project is on track. “There have been different hurdles for different aspects of the project,” he says. “But, we’re off to the races.”

Perkowitz + Ruth Architects Inc. of Costa Mesa, CA designed Bridge Street Town Centre, patterning it after classical architecture from the Tuscany region of Italy and Provence region of France. ForrestPerkins of Dallas has just been brought on as the interior designer for the Westin Bridge Street Hotel McKinney, which will include a signature 6,000-sf Heavenly Spa and about 50,000 sf of convention center space. MBH Architects Co. of Newport, CA is part of the design team.

Bridge Street McKinney is O&S’ first project in Texas. It’s also under construction on a 1.5-million-sf Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville, AL, where a 210-room Westin will open in early 2008.

“We’d like to do more in Texas, but right now our focus is to do what we’ve already promised,” Shane says, crediting City of McKinney officials for their role in making the project a reality. “This could not have happened without their assistance and partnership,” he says. “We don’t want to be your standard run-of-the-mill shopping experience. We want to stand out.”

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