News Article | 4/27/2007

Best Buy Gets Front-Row Seat in $800M Plan

FORT WORTH-After six months of negotiations, Best Buy Co. Inc. has signed for an anchor spot in the 600,000-sf-plus power center of the $800-million Alliance Town Center in Northeast Tarrant County. The 30,000-sf electronics store will be part of the spring 2008 deliveries.

The South Richfield, MN-based Best Buy is the fourth anchor for the power center, where national retailers are jockeying for position in a development with a half-mile of frontage along Interstate 35W. The staged roll-out has already marked openings for a 103,000-sf J.C. Penney’s and 7,800-sf Cheddar’s. A 60,000-sf Hobby Lobby opens its doors in the fall. And anchor Belk Inc.’s 96,000-sf store will come on line at the same time as Best Buy and 240,000 sf that’s in hand as signed letters of intent or committee-approved deals from shop tenants and junior anchors.

“We have so much leasing momentum in letters of intent or committee approved that we’re moving now. Because we have Penney’s and Belk’s and all the infrastructure in place, we’re getting the tenants,” Terry Montesi, president and CEO of Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Co., tells “Best Buy looked at the competitions’ sites across the freeway. The critical mass is on our side.” And Best Buy, he adds, gets a ground-leased pad site right along I-35W.

Trademark and Hillwood are joint venturing on 1.3 million sf of retail for the 300-acre, mixed-use Alliance Town Center. In addition to the power center, the plan calls for a 150,000-sf grocery-anchored center, 500,000 sf of retail in the town center proper and 250,000 sf more that’s being developed by Sam Moon Trading Co., a Dallas-based retailer of brand names at discount prices that created its own shopping cult in the region. The town center also includes office, hotel, entertainment and residential space along with an HCA medical campus.

The five-mile trade area now holds 190,000 residents. The annual growth rate is 15%. J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Cheddar’s Casual Cafe “both opened to outstanding numbers,” Montesi says. “They’re very, very pleased.”

After years of building the base, Hillwood starting rolling out retail last year to support its 17,000-acre AllianceTexas, an employment center with more than 140 companies. As Hillwood developed the footprint, it also brought in rooftops. Retail was always envisioned as the last piece of the development pie for the former pastureland, now supporting 25,000 full-time jobs and more than 6,200 single-family homes.