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[IMGCAP(1)]FORT WORTH-Fine Line Diversified Development has started its hunt for a buyer or development partners for 279 acres of prime commercial land beside the Texas Motor Speedway. And if the price is right, the Barnett Shale mineral rights could go on the table.

Fine Line is a Fort Worth-based investment partnership led by Ed Bass, who acquired the commercial site, with entitlements in place, in February from its master planner, Frank W. Harrison III, president of Dallas-based Beechwood Co. The acreage has one mile of frontage along Interstate 35W and two miles along Texas 114, with the NASCAR track right next door. As would be expected, there’s no price tag attached, but the build-out potential is 1.5 million sf of retail, 800,000 sf of office and high-density residential in an estimated $500-million development making its rounds as Champions Circle.

After nine months of massaging the plan, Fine Line has started to court the market with a flexible offer to sell all, part or co-develop. “One of the more attractive things in our ownership of this land is our willingness to consider a lot of options,” William V. Boecker, Fine Line’s president and CEO, tells GlobeSt.com. “And we will use it to our advantage.” And, he says, Fine Line is “open for discussion” about including the Barnett Shale mineral rights.

[IMGCAP(2)]At the captain’s wheel of the marketing campaign is James Vanderslice, senior vice president of Grubb & Ellis Co. in Dallas, who’s supported by eight-member team. In recent months, a few select national players have been introduced to the deal, but Vanderslice says “we thought it was time” for a full-court press.

Boecker says Champions Circle’s development concept is focused on traditional retail in a plan similar to La Frontera in Round Rock, TX and an office park. A 38-acre tract at the heart of the tract is entitled for high-density residential, but the jury’s still out as to whether or not it will stay that way. He says preliminary inquiries have prompted the team to consider enlarging the office component.

Boecker confides that a letter of intent was being negotiated with national player, who had too many other irons in the fire to complete the deal. “Will they come back? They might,” he says, adding that the retreat, though, has led to Vanderslice and the hard push to get Champions Circle in front of as many developers as they can.

“It’s going to be very, very important for us to have quality developers on that site,” Boecker says. Several fairways of the Doral Tesoro and Golf Club cut a 500-foot swath across the development site, with 20 acres situated due west and the balance at the hard corner leading to the 286-key hotel at 3300 Championship Pkwy. O’Connor Architecture in Fort Worth mapped out the site plan.

Boecker says Fine Line is employing a strategy much like it did with the 327-acre La Frontera in Round Rock, 120 acres near Sea World in San Antonio and 280 acres in Railhead Industrial Park in Fort Worth. The investment group will acquire, entitle and build in infrastructure before taking the development dirt to the market with an offer for a lock, stock and barrel sale or co-develop it with one or more partners. La Frontera’s land passed to several developers; the San Antonio land went to Archon to co-develop with a local partner; and USAA Real Estate claimed Railhead, also keeping a local partner in place.

Since February, Boecker says the former Beechwood land has brought dozens and dozens of inquiries. “With Jim’s strength, it has better prepared us at this point to deal with the interest that’s been expressed,” Boecker says.

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