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GARLAND, TX-DLC Management Corp., landing a backfill for a dark grocery store, is poised to invest nearly $5 million into upgrading the 273,000-sf Whiterock Marketplace. Work will begin in 60 to 90 days on the center and its newest anchor, a 30,000-sf Ross Dress for Less.

Adam Ifshin, president of the Tarrytown, NY-based owner, tells GlobeSt.com that the deal with Ross Stores Inc. of Pleasanton, CA has been in the works about one year, swinging into motion roughly six months after a 50,000-sf Tom Thumb was shuttered by its parent, Safeway Inc., also headquartered in Pleasanton. The 17-year-old Whiterock Marketplace, sitting on 16.3 acres at 11255 Garland Rd., is now 70.9% leased.

The 20,000-sf balance of the grocery store box is being marketed for $11 per sf, triple net. Ifshin says other inline openings range from 1,100 sf to 7,200 sf while two pad sites are up for grabs, including Tom Thumb’s former fueling station.

“We’re doing a real redevelopment here,” Ifshin stresses. “After the supermarket closed, some inline tenants went away.”

DLC Management, marking its eighth year as owner, is rebuilding its roster with value-oriented retailers. When Ross opens in first quarter 2009, it will be rounding out a mix with Marshalls, Anna’s Linens, Big Lots and Dollar General. Whiterock Marketplace includes Home Depot, a 102,370-sf corporate-owned box on 11.8 acres.

“We have very value-oriented tenants. That’s where the consumer is today,” Ifshin points out. “It’s the right names for the economy we’re in right now.” And, he says he’s holding a letter of intent for an 8,000-sf national shoe retailer as yet another value-placed bet.

Ifshin says plan is to paint the power center and put new facades on the former grocery store and Marshalls. In addition, all common areas will be upgraded. The objectives are “redevelop and greatly improve cash flow,” but not sell it, according to Ifshin. “We made a good buy when we bought it,” he adds. “It’s been a very good center for us.”

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