Commercial Real Estate News and Property Resource
Last updated: March 3, 2008
Vista Property Lays
Out Plans for Retail Buys
By Connie Gore
DALLAS-The six-month-old Vista Property Co., chasing deals in the
Hispanic retail market, has planted its flag on two properties
in challenging Dallas neighborhoods and picked up a prime development
site in Central Texas. Vista's veteran team is holding a mixed
bag of properties and a binding letter of intent on yet another
to jump-start its niche play.
"Sure it's challenging, but we don't look at it that way," veteran
developer Syd Hurley, president of the Dallas-based startup, tells
GlobeSt.com. "That's what we chose to take on when we focused
in this area."
In Dallas, Vista paid about $5.6 million for a 52,000-sf building,
leased to Famsa, at 425 W. Jefferson Blvd. in Oak Cliff, and $3
million for a nearly vacant 147,000-sf shopping center, now being
primed for an estimated $10-million redevelopment at 10201 Lake
June Rd. in the Pleasant Grove area. Hurley's also in talks to
joint venture on a redevelopment of a 6.8-acre center, European
Crossroads at 2829 W. Northwest Hwy. in the Bachman Lake neighborhood.
In Central Texas, Hurley acquired 70 acres at the Interstate 35-Texas
195 junction from a local family in Georgetown. He says the land
won't be tilled for at least three years, but he's planning to
build 350,000 sf to 500,000 sf of retail when the time is right.
It has 2,000 feet of frontage along Texas 195 at the city's northern
edge, with additional frontage on the I-35 access road.
The Vista team's first hard push will be in Dallas, specifically
the redevelopment of Lake June Plaza, which was 20% occupied when
it was bought last month. The center is being renamed to Campana Vista.
Hurley says four retailers are now vying for Campana Vista's
two key spots to kick off the full-body makeover. "If any
one hits, we'll start on the redevelopment phase," he says.
Two grocers are pitted against each other for a 46,000-sf spot
and two soft-lines retailers are jockeying for the 20,000-sf junior
anchor opening. "We are on pace to begin construction at the
end of June or early July," Hurley says.
Hurley explains that he looked at the nearly empty shopping center
and saw another Sierra Vista, which was a 140,000-sf inroad into
the Hispanic market that he and his former partner developed in
Oak Cliff. "Everybody looks at these as challenges. I see
them as a 'Sierra Vista' in waiting," he says.
As for European Crossroads, Hurley says he expects to have all
joint venture terms ironed out with a private investor from Fort
Lauderdale by late third quarter. Plans are still being fine-tuned,
but he expects the shopping center will be about 75,000 sf when
the redevelopment is done.425 W. Jefferson Blvd.
The Famsa buy fits Vista's strategy in that it creates another
bond with the Hispanic retail sector although it's a single-tenant,
net-leased asset and not tied to Hurley's specialty, which is development
and redevelopment. Hurley says its ranking as the 37-store chain's
leader in gross sales and "no big field of parking" was
the drawing card for the infill buy.
Underwriting the purchase from locally based Lincoln Property Co.
is Famsa's 20-year lease with 18 years left on the term, Hurley
says. "That was just bought for investment purposes," he
To help advance Vista's growth, veteran Marion Hicks has been brought
on board as director of acquisitions and project financing. The
hire pushes Vista's team to nine, all "cornerstone-type people
in each of the principles," Hurley says. "Our plan is
to build a substantial portfolio and when we're done, then we'll
look at what's the best thing to do [hold or sell]."
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