Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Construction to start on huge northeast Dallas shopping center

After almost four years of planning and preparation, construction will start next week on Trammell Crow Co.'s huge Timbercreek Crossing shopping center in northeast Dallas. Walmart, Sam's Club and J.C. Penney stores will anchor the 40-acre retail development at Northwest Highway and Skillman Street. An additional 60,000 square feet of shops and restaurants will also be built in the complex, which opens in 2011.

Ground will be broken next week on Timbercreek Crossing, which will include Walmart, Sam's Club and J.C. Penney stores. Developer Trammell Crow endured a long, sometimes contentious zoning debate on the 40 acres that once held apartments. "We are excited to bring such a unique opportunity to the market, especially now, when value is in such demand," said Denton Walker, Crow's senior managing director. "This will be one of North Dallas' highest-traffic retail locations when the anchors are open for business.

"East Dallas is an underserved market and has seen very little retail investment," Walker said. "This is a natural retail corner with good access."

Construction will start first on the Walmart and Sam's stores in a two-story building that includes a parking garage.

"It's not your typical Walmart," Walker said. "This will be unlike anything this area has seen as far as design and quality.

"We have to do a parking garage to accommodate all the customers – there is just not enough land," he said.

The Walmart and Sam's building will fill about 320,000 square feet.

"This unique two-story design that features a Sam's Club on the first level and a Walmart store on the second level gives us the ability to meet the needs of all our customers," Walmart spokeswoman Kellie Duhr said.

J.C. Penney will break ground next year on a 104,000-square-foot store, Walker said.

Most of the development should be open by late 2011.

"Bank of America has already committed to the project, and we are talking to some small shop retailers," Walker said.

The Timbercreek Crossing shopping center replaces almost 1,100 apartments that were demolished last year. Trammell Crow sent lease termination notices to about 600 families who lived at the 30-year-old complex at the end of 2007.

Crow got approval for the retail development after a long and sometimes contentious zoning debate.

"We are coming up on our fourth-year anniversary of owning this property," Walker said. "We've had some ups and downs along the way, but it is going to prove to be a huge success."

The shopping center will be the largest retail project started in North Texas this year. Most other developments have been put on hold because of economic and credit problems.

But there has been a flurry of recent retail expansions in the area around the new Crow center.

The site is east of the NorthPark Center shopping mall, which was almost doubled in size in 2006. And developers are completing the nearby Park Lane retail and mixed-use complex on North Central Expressway.

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