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Topic 62 of 64: Bastrop Texas

Fri, Dec 26, 2003 (15:20) | Paul Terry Walhus (terry)
Bastrop is changin' Growin' and blowin'

The quiet little historic town 30 miles East of Austin on Hwy 71 is about
to feel a few growing pains. Like the Simon Mall.


2 responses total.

 Topic 62 of 64 [austin]: Bastrop Texas
 Response 1 of 2: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Dec 26, 2003 (15:21) * 92 lines 
 
Simon sets sights on Bastrop

Retail developer plans up to 1M square feet on 145-acre site

Giselle Greenwood and Mary Alice Kasper

Austin Business Journal Staff

Simon Property Group Inc. plans to build a retail center in Bastrop that
could be as much as 1 million square feet.

Simon [NYSE: SPG], one of the country's largest retail developers and
owners, has 145 acres under contract for purchase at the southeast corner
of State Highway 71 and Highway 304.

Simon executives say they hope to begin construction in 2004 and open a
first phase in the fall of 2005.

"Over the next several months, we'll be working to get the appropriate
approvals from local and state agencies," says Les Morris, a spokesman for
Indianapolis-based Simon.

The land, called Pecan Crossing, belongs to the Brundage and Morrison
families. They are represented by San Antonio-based NAI/Rohde Ottmers and
Siegel. In 2001, the Brundage and Morrison families, who develop
mini-storage centers, bought the land with the goal of building roughly
$40 million worth of retail space.

Tom Rohde, president of NAI/Rohde Ottmers and Siegel, declines to comment
on the deal.

Simon is planning a community center-style retail development, an open-air
project that includes "big box" retailers such as Home Depot and Target.
Tenants haven't been lined up for the project. Big box retailers usually
occupy tens of thousands of square feet of contiguous space.


An example of a "community center" as built by Simon is Lakeline Plaza in
Far Northwest Austin. It features 345,000 square feet occupied by
retailers such as Old Navy, Best Buy and OfficeMax.

Simon has been aggressively positioning itself in the Austin area's
outlying communities over the past few years. For instance, it is breaking
ground in December on a 750,000-square-foot, $100 million retail center in
Georgetown.

Simon also has confirmed putting roughly 200 acres off Loop 4 and I-35
under contract for a mixed use development in Buda. Furthermore, it has
agreed to purchase 133 acres in Round Rock to develop a
750,000-square-foot retail development that includes hotel, office and
residential components. That site is at the northeast corner of FM 1431
and I-35.

Joe Newman, president and CEO of the Bastrop Economic Development Corp.,
says Bastrop has been awaiting a retail explosion.

"A lot of people go to Austin now for their shopping needs," Newman says.
"I think it's great that we're attracting more retail."

The Pecan Crossing tract is near other major retailers, including
Wal-Mart, HEB and Home Depot.

"Ever since we were listed as the 30th fastest growing county in the
nation, more and more developers have been paying attention to us," Newman
says.

Newman is referring to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau about Bastrop
County's population growth from April 2000 to July 2001. During that
period, it was the eighth fastest growing county in the state.

The Texas State Data Center at Texas A&M University projects the county's
population will reach 73,108 in 2005, up from 63,934 in July 2002.

Lance Morris, director of brokerage in the Austin office of The Weitzman
Group real estate firm, says outlying communities in the Austin area have
garnered plenty of retail attention because of their population growth.

"Retailers and developers are recognizing them [outlying communities
including Bastrop] as other submarkets of Austin," Morris says. "While the
jobs might be in Austin or Round Rock, the outlying communities offer a
great place to live."

Bastrop is about 30 miles southeast of Austin.

Simon's interests in the Austin area include Barton Creek Square, Highland
and Lakeline malls.

Email Giselle Greenwood at(ggreenwood@bizjournals.com) and MARY ALICE
KASPAR at(makaspar@bizjournals.com).

From bizjournals.com



 Topic 62 of 64 [austin]: Bastrop Texas
 Response 2 of 2: Admin Guy 2004 (admin) * Thu, Feb 12, 2004 (13:34) * 1 lines 
 
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