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[IMGCAP(1)]FRISCO, TX-With work under way on two hotels, ground will break in November on the residential component of the $130-million second phase of the Centre at Preston Ridge. Coming next year will be 80,000 sf of restaurant and retail space, timed to deliver in 2009 with the 655-unit mid-rise multifamily complex.

“We’re excited. We think it’s the next phase for Frisco and Frisco Bridges with this mixed-use lifestyle development,” says Justin Allen with Oakridge Investments Inc. The Dallas-based developer and its Australian-based partner, Centro Properties Group, have sold 13.5 acres to Westwood Residential Co., also from Dallas, for the multifamily project.

Oakridge Investments has 15 acres left from the 172 acres that it assembled in 1997. The first phase, completed in 2000, was the 904,450-sf Centre at Preston Ridge in Frisco Bridges, a 700-acre vision jump-started by the 1.6-million-sf Stonebriar Centre. As other developers joined in, Frisco Bridges’ retail pocket bulged to 3.5 million sf. And there are “very few openings” left in the market today, Allen says.

Westwood and the Oakridge team have been working on the residential plan for one year. To make it a reality, the developer had to amend its master plan with the city. “Everyone realized this is the route to go to finish out the park,” Allen tells GlobeSt.com. “With all the retail that’s there, it makes sense to bring in residential.”

[IMGCAP(2)]The Centre at Preston Ridge’s 30-acre second phase got under way earlier this year with a 117-room Hilton Homewood Suites, a development of Magnolia Lodging LLC of Dallas. The hotel will deliver at year’s end. In recent weeks, work started on a 136-key Starwood aloft, an $18-million project of Dallas-based Champ Hospitality LP that’s ticketed to open by midyear 2008. The Centre at Preston Ridge’s master planner was Charles Hodges of Hodges & Associates in Dallas.

Westwood president John Carmichael says the two-building complex will be 70% one-bedroom units, ranging from 500 sf to 950 sf. “We were just trying to serve the young households that live and work in that area, in the offices and the shops,” he says. The remaining units will be two-bedroom designs from 1,050 sf to 1,275 sf and lofts that average 1,200 sf. The average rent will be $975 per month. The complex will feature two parking garages and interiors with nine-foot ceilings, garden tubs and faux wood floors.

Westwood Residential is a merchant builder by trade. “But, we think we’re going to hold this one five to eight years,” he confides. “It’s such a dynamic location. It’s hard to find locations like this.” The Centre at Preston Ridge was designed by Archon Corp. of Dallas, with another Dallas firm, EnviroDesign Inc. as the landscape architect.

Westwood’s development site is across the road from Frisco Sierra, a 36-acre multifamily project that got under way this week. Champion Partners of Dallas and Atlanta-based Post Properties Inc. are rolling out 300 of their 600-unit plan. And Dallas-based Hicks Sports Group has 37 acres banked for 1,000 residential units, office and retail to surround $114-million Frisco’s entertainment and sports complex.

With residential projects now under way or poised to come off the drawing board, Allen says Oakridge will focus in 2008 on pulling together deals and starting construction on its last 80,000 sf of retail space. “This is the last major retail site in Frisco Bridges,” he says, adding that no decision has been made regarding the leasing team.

Allen points out that the 700-acre Frisco Bridges has gone according to plan. “Some don’t work out, but this one really worked out as it was planned,” he says.

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