Nebraska Furniture Mart Sparking Land Deals in The Colony

Nebraska Furniture Mart site in The Colony.

A partnership formed by Legacy Capital Co. and Standridge Cos. has snapped up two parcels totaling 33 acres along State Highway 121 in The Colony. They include a 19.6-acre tract near Blair Oaks and a 13.7-acre tract at Paige Road and Memorial Drive, across from the future Nebraska Furniture Mart site.

The Omaha, Neb.-based company recently acquired four parcels totaling 433 acres at S.H. 121 and Plano Parkway in The Colony for its fourth and largest store.

Peter Aberg, principal of Legacy Capital, said in a statement that he and his partners had targeted the sites for their “stellar location,” even before the Nebraska announcement. “The ongoing construction of Highway 121 and subsequent bankruptcy of the land’s prior owner were the primary factors that delayed this property’s development,” he said. “With the completion of Highway 121 and the likelihood that Nebraska Furniture Mart will draw huge crowds, we believe our timing is very fortunate.”

S.H. 121 is “already known as one of the strongest submarkets in North Texas, and we expect that these ready-to-build sites will be very appealing to restaurants and other pad users who can benefit from high visibility and great access,” added Stacy Standridge of Standridge Cos., which will oversee marketing.

Nebraska Furniture Mart, meanwhile, is finalizing arrangements for its the mega-store in The Colony, which, according to city documents, would total nearly 2 million square feet of retail, warehouse, and office space. Additional plans for entertainment venues and other retail and amenities could push the project value to $1.5 billion or more.

Bob Batt, executive vice president and grandson of Nebraska Furniture Mart’s founder, Rose Blumkin, said the company has began looking for the right market for its fourth location ever since opening its 1.1 million-square-foot store in Kansas City, Kan., in 2003. “We are very patient,” he said. “We had a list of criteria that had to be met; we had to absolutely ensure that it was the right deal for all involved.”

North Texas fit the bill for a number of reasons, Batt said: “It’s amazing when you go from city to city and look at the economic health and vitality and even the karma of different markets. Some are doing great, like North Texas; others have a sense of emptiness. Because we don’t build 20 stores in a market, we needed to have one big place, and we wanted to be in an area that has a strong outlook. When you come to North Texas, you immediately know that things are different here—you can feel the passion and the fun and the energy.”

The Venture Commercial Real Estate team of Larry Leon, Jonathan Cooper, and Bob Moore assisted Nebraska Furniture Mart in its land acquisitions, providing site selection and market analysis services. The largest of the four land parcels is a 308-acre tract sold by the Maharishi Global Development Fund. David Davidson Jr., also with Venture, and David Davidson Sr. of Davidson Real Estate, assisted the venture team in assembling surrounding land parcels to round out the 433-acre site.

Batt said the site in The Colony will allow Nebraska Furniture Mart to draw from its expansive trade area, which extends out in a 250-mile radius. “People come from far and wide to see everything we have to offer,” he said. “It also came down to location, location, location. There is great access and exposure—it’s just a wonderful piece of property.

“I was amazed that so much land is available in such a big metropolitan market,” Batt said. “We also found the road-building capability in Texas to be the best we’ve ever seen. … You can have the best location in the world, but if it’s a pain to get there, people aren’t going to come. This site makes it easy for the customer and, for us, everything revolves around them.”

Here’s press-release information on the players involved:

• Nebraska Furniture Mart was founded in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska by Rose Blumkin in the basement of her husband’s pawn shop with a $500 investment.  In 1983 investor Warren Buffett purchased a majority interest in Nebraska Furniture Mart and made it part of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies.  Today Nebraska Furniture Mart has locations in Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City, with plans for a future expansion in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

• Venture Commercial Real Estate LLC is a leader in retail brokerage services, with more than 17 million square feet of retail properties throughout Texas and more than 150 tenant representation accounts. Co-founded in 2000 by Mike Geisler and Ken Reimer, the company’s services include landlord and tenant representation, land sales, disposition. The Venturetainment group provides strategic market planning and site selection for firms in the food and beverage hospitality and entertainment industry. Venture Commercial is the D-FW partner of X Team International, an international alliance of retail real estate advisers.

Legacy Capital Co. is a real estate land investment and management company.  Legacy targets commercial or mixed-use land parcels that have high potential for appreciation through pro-active management of a variety of pre-development issues. Since its inception in 1992, Legacy and its partners have made 33 purchases totaling approximately $86.2 million and 61 sales totaling approximately $133 million. Legacy and its partners currently hold real estate valued at approximately $37.1 million.

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