News Article | 3/25/2005

Fall Start Eyed for $200M Alliance Town Centre

FORT WORTH-With the rooftops in place, Hillwood has decided the time has come to christen a town center. In Hillwood style, the “power town” project’s build-out will easily top $200 million, adding 1.5 million sf of retail, residential and office space to the 17,000-acre AllianceTexas.

Darrell Lake, senior vice president for Hillwood Properties, tells that the first wave of construction, 600,000 sf to 700,000 sf, will break ground in the fall. He says three retail anchors are getting the project moving, with the team fully confident that the shop space will rapidly fill.

Though names aren’t ready to be aired, Lake says deals have been sealed with a 100,000-sf soft goods retailer and a theater chain for 15 screens in a 75,000-sf venue. And before long, the third anchor will be signed. Hillwood plans to deliver the 60-acre first phase for Alliance Town Centre in fall 2006.

Hillwood has picked Trademark Property Co. of Fort Worth, a master craftsman of town centers in Texas, as its joint venture partner for the project. An early run at 60 possible retailers has brought an “overwhelming response,” Lake says.

With the anchors in place, Lake says the team is ready to settle down to design the Texas-size project. Good Fulton & Farrell Inc. of Dallas will be crafting a “power town” design with big boxes, a village center and native architectural lines. The breakdown of retail, high-density residential and office space has yet to be determined.

“We felt the scope and scale of this project is large enough to warrant the name, Alliance Town Centre,” Lake says. “This will become the gathering spot for the residents and business customers that we have at Alliance.” The project site is the highest point in North Fort Worth, coming with built-in views of the downtown on a clear day.

Another developer has marked a spot across Interstate 35W for an equally large retail project. But, Lake points out, the ramp will be at Hillwood’s doorstep on the east side Heritage Trace Parkway and I-35. “We don’t think there will be two projects there,” Lake assesses. “We have to be the first so we’ll break ground in the fall.”

Alliance Town Centre will be the gateway to Hillwood’s master-planned communities of Heritage and Park Glen, which have 4,000 single-family homes on 3,500 acres. “In a 360-degree trade area–four miles to the north and four miles to the south–it is pure residential,” Lake says. “This is the bull’s eye.” The area is platted for 40,000 single-family lots, with 7,000 dwellings now rising annually. The site also is three miles south of the 230,000-sf Cabela’s, set to open in May as a drawing card for four million shoppers per year.

Hillwood’s land bank has another 500 acres with I-35 frontage. Lake says talks have begun to use some of the land as vehicle dealership sites.

Hillwood’s projection is it will take six years to build out Alliance Town Centre’s estimated 1.5 million sf of mixed-use, class A space. “It will be well north of a $200-million project,” Lake says.