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October 22 , 2007

Retail expanding in Mansfield

October 22, 2007 - By ANDREA AHLES

Mansfield residents' shopping choices continue to expand with a new $23 million development slated for the growing city.

A Circuit City and a Bed, Bath and Beyond are two of the anchor tenants for Mansfield Pointe, which will break ground next month. Developed by the Retail Connection of Dallas, which also built the Arlington Highlands project, Mansfield Pointe is the latest retail center planned for the busy U.S. 287 and Debbie Lane intersection.

"It's a market that had a lot of recent retail development, but it didn't have the product type that some of our key clients were looking for," said Steven Lieberman, chief executive of the Retail Connection.

Plans for the development: The 155,000-square-foot shopping center will have 12 to 15 retailers, including four anchor tenants. The center will also have five restaurants ranging from counter service to sit-down concepts, said Chad Bradshaw, developer of the Retail Connection.

What it means: About 600 jobs will be created; the project is expected to generate $51 million in sales, according to the city.

Incentives for infrastructure: The Retail Connection is seeking $500,000 in tax incentives to pay for road, water and sewer improvements for the 18-acre site. The City Council plans to vote on the incentives at its meeting tonight.

Who will open up shops: So far, Sports Authority, Circuit City, and Bed, Bath and Beyond have signed on as anchors. And the fourth anchor, PetSmart, plans to build its larger-format store, which includes an overnight boarding facility called PetsHotel. The developer is also in talks with Sleep Expert and Inkshop.

Why build in Mansfield: Bradshaw said several of his company's national retail clients were interested in expanding to Mansfield but could not find suitable space in other developments, most of which are 100 percent leased.

And although a few national chain restaurants have come to Mansfield recently, many residents are still driving to south Arlington to eat out.

"The city is very underserved in terms of its restaurant options right now and there is a lot of demand," Bradshaw said.

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