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ROCKWALL, TX-St. Ives Realty Inc. has jump-started work on an 88-acre development, the last undeveloped corner at the crosshairs of a “Main and Main” Interstate 30 intersection. The Dallas-based developer has reserved 18 acres for townhouse construction, 20 acres for conservation easements and the 50-acre balance for retail.

St. Ives, an affiliate of Bridge Realty Partners Inc., is bound by a confidentiality agreement so its executives won’t disclose the anchor for Rockwall Corners. However, Issaquah, WA-based Costco Wholesale Corp. has received the city’s nod for a 153,000-sf store on 20.2 of the 50 retail-designated acres at the interstate’s junction with Texas 205, which is under construction to make the local road into eight lanes and the I-30 overpass into six lanes. St. Ives’ plan is to divvy the rest of the retail land into five pad sites, including a two-acre tract for an 18,000-sf strip of inline space.

Dale Bryant, the developer’s leasing point man, tells GlobeSt.com that he will be starting talks this week with retailers who quickly jumped onto the project’s waiting list as word hit the street. Meanwhile, he says talks are under way with two multifamily developers who are jockeying for that land.

St. Ives, acquiring the site in early 2007, controls the last undeveloped corner at the suburban city’s “Main and Main” of the retail corridor, Bryant says. The intersection has a Travel America truck stop on the southwest corner, Hobby Lobby at the northwest quadrant and a Chevrolet dealership on the northeast.Gale Roberge, senior project manager for Dallas-based Falcon Construction Advisors, says infrastructure will be completed by the end of November, allowing Costco to take over its development site for vertical work to begin. Falcon is St. Ives’ construction manager.

Roberge says St. Ives’ site has 1,000 feet of frontage along I-30′s service road. “It’s a lot more exciting of a project, but at this stage, it’s just the infrastructure and laying the groundwork for development,” she says.

Bryant says the developer acquired the land from two property owners. “The site had been overlooked for years, primarily due to topography and drainage issues,” he explains. “We were able to work that out with the city.”

According to the Weitzman Group of Dallas, Rockwall’s retail market now totals 1.4 million sf in centers larger than 25,000 sf. Its second-quarter analysis shows the city’s retail is 91.8% occupied and class A rates average $26 per sf. In comparison, Dallas’ 28 submarkets average $24.30 per sf for class A retail space.

“It was one of those opportunities where people had passed it over. Eventually those sites will be developed and now is the right time,” Bryant says. “It’s a good corner. It will lease because there’s a story behind it. It doesn’t appear there’s going to be any problem on the pads or retail.”

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