Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sports, entertainment complex planned on Stemmons Freeway

A former industrial tract on Stemmons Freeway is being planned for a sprawling sports, entertainment and mixed-use complex aimed at North Texas' large Hispanic population.

LRS Real Estate has tied up more than 26 acres at Stemmons and Viceroy Drive, about six miles northwest of downtown Dallas, for a development called Foro Dallas.

Plans call for restaurants, retail and several hundred apartment units.

"Yes, we have a new development planned," said LRS president Robert Peinado Jr. "It's about building a town center for the Latino market.

"So far, we've been trying to keep it low key."

But word of the big project has been spreading in the Stemmons business corridor.

The Interstate 35E site was cleared recently.

"There was a 371,000-square-foot building that we took down to clear the site," said Dean Flowers, the real estate broker who's handling the land sale. "The land over there is worth more than the building was."

The property is owned by a trust and is valued for taxes at more than $5 million.

Mr. Flowers confirmed that LRS has the land under contract but has not closed on the deal yet.
"It's almost 27 acres – you can't find that much land anywhere in that area," he said.

LRS hired Dallas architect HKS to design the Foro complex, which will have 20 covered, multi-use courts for such sports as soccer, volleyball and tennis. Plans also call for a banquet hall and hospitality suites.

And about 250,000 square feet of total retail space is included.

Mr. Peinado said the first phase of the project will cost $50 million and should start by the fourth quarter. The first anchor tenant will be a 30,000-square-foot Famsa appliances and furniture store.

The developers hope to do similar Foro complexes in other markets.

They estimate that the Dallas project could attract more than 3 million visitors a year.
Mr. Peinado touts more than 25 years' experience in real estate in the U.S. and Mexico, including more than $30 million in investment and development in this country.

By STEVE BROWN

The Dallas Morning News