A 77-acre parcel in south Tyler is a step closer to becoming what could be the largest commercial development the city has seen in 20 years, showcasing new retail, restaurant and entertainment choices, officials said.
The land is near the South Broadway Avenue and Market Square Boulevard intersection, bordered to the south by Gander Mountain and Citizens National Bank.
Mark Whatley, broker for Burns Commercial Properties, represents the landowner, and said The Retail Connection, L.P., a Dallas-based company, is still in a feasibility period, doing its due diligence on the property it intends to purchase.
Whatley serves on the Tyler City Council but abstained from the vote on the site plan on Wednesday.
He said Thursday the land surveys are complete, but inspections are ongoing, as is site engineering for grading the property and constructing the buildings.
He predicts that work will probably go through the end of the year.
“At this point, they're moving toward purchasing” the property, Whatley said.
If all goes according to plan, construction could begin next year and potentially wrap up by 2014, Ms. Nick said.
The site plan approved Wednesday for Cumberland Park proposes 12 buildings containing about 500,000 square feet of space for retail, 75,000 square feet for restaurant, 58,000 square feet for indoor entertainment and 42,000 square feet of cinema, Ms. Nick said.
The development is expected to be at least 400 feet from any residential property to the north and east, officials said.
David Wilson, with Retail Connection, L.P., in Dallas, has been working with Bob Garrett, of Fair Oil Co. and Broadway South Development, which owns the land sandwiched between Gander Mountain and Academy Sports + Outdoors.
“We're very excited about being here in Tyler,” Wilson said Wednesday, noting there is strong interest in Tyler from outside retailers.
He said the completed Cumberland project could be similar to Arlington Highlands in Arlington, which features choices ranging from The Container Store and Brighton Collectibles to Dave & Buster's.
The Retail Connection works with about 40 brokers representing about 225 tenants that include entities such as JC Penney, Bed Bath & Beyond, buy buy Baby, The Sports Authority, Nordstrom Rack, Equinox, JoAnn's and JP Morgan Chase.
The company also represents many of the leading investment companies in the business, with 23 million square feet of retail project assignments, including more than 2 million square feet of its own developments.
Wilson said the company started looking at the property several years ago, but the economic downturn put a halt to pursuing it.
With conditions improving, it's time to move forward, he said.
“Tyler is a very good market,” he said.