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[IMGCAP(1)]SOUTHLAKE, TX-With the deed now in hand, Houston-based Hines will rework a longstanding plan for Newland Communities’ Aventerra II, changing the name and adjusting the game for 281 raw acres at the city’s core. The acclaimed developer has acquired the commercially zoned site from a six-year owner after a quietly orchestrated marketing to a select few.

Hines’ new claim in the metroplex is the northeast corner of Texas 114 and White Chapel Road. Earlier this year, the San Diego-based Newland sold 56 commercially zoned acres, labeled Aventerra I, to a local developer, Vaughan Commercial, who got the next Texas 114 intersection at Dove Road. Newland’s third site in the city, with more than 200 acres, previously was sold to Gateway Church.

Hines, though, has gained control of the largest undeveloped site in the city, situated five miles northwest of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, eight miles east of Alliance Airport and caddy-corner from the award-winning Southlake Town Square. [IMGCAP(2)] “We just closed on a great piece of undeveloped land. We’re really looking forward to working with the city,” Rob Witte, Hines vice president tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s premature to get into the plans for the land.” But, he confirms the Hines team will redo the planned-use development that was in place when Newland staked the claim. “And, we will be renaming it as we move down the road,” he adds.

Hines is eyeing a build out with class A office, retail, restaurants, a hotel and high-end single-family residential, much like what was in place when Newland acquired it from Mobil Land Corp. In line to be changed are the sizes of the components. The only certainty is there will be roughly three acres deeded to the city for a performing arts center. Witte says Hines has been “aware” of Newland’s land bank for a couple years. But, it wasn’t until roughly nine months ago that “we focused on it,” he says.

“Hines is one of the best, if not the world’s at least the nation’s, real estate developers. It’s exciting that they have an interest in developing in Southlake,” says Greg Last, the city’s economic development director. “I don’t see how it could be a better fit.”

Last says developers have been eyeing Newland’s land for several years. “You never know who’s serious until it changes hands,” he says. The next step will be to develop the concept plan, process entitlements and rezone the acreage so work can begin.

As with all Hines’ deals, the private company closely guards acquisition costs. Local real estate sources peg the raw dirt’s price at $5 per sf to $6.50 per sf given the size of the tract, uses and positioning.

Earlier this year, Gerald Hines issued an edict that future office development would be all green space. Witte says it’s too early to say how much space, or what besides the office component, will be LEED blessed or how quickly construction can begin. The goal is to create the premier live, work, play destination in the city, which has one of the highest per capita income brackets in the metroplex’s suburbs.

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