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Commercial Real Estate

Checking in on HEB’s Plans for the Old Albertson’s in Uptown

The property at Lemmon and McKinney remains undeveloped despite years of announcements and renderings that depicted a $295 million, 25-story mixed use development anchored by a Central Market. What's going on?
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The Central Market at Preston and Royal, which was rebuilt after being destroyed in a tornado.

No one wants to discuss what is happening with the vacant Albertson’s at Lemmon and McKinney avenues, after years of excitement about a massive mixed-use project anchored by a Central Market.

The property remains vacant at one of the busiest corners on the eastern outskirts of Uptown, with its high fence and deteriorating parking lot begging for redevelopment. After a much-hyped announcement about a residential tower near the upscale grocer, it appears most likely that the property’s future will be a Central Market built on the existing footprint of the old Albertson’s grocery store.

Two years ago, the ambitious proposal made headlines. The Dallas Business Journal reported in February 2022 that developer KDC would break ground that April on the $295 million project, which, according to a filing with the state of Texas, was supposed to include 1.7 million square feet of total space with three stories of office and another 23 levels of multifamily. Five stories of multifamily was also in the plans for an adjacent mid-rise building. The anchor tenant was a Central Market and included a four-story underground parking garage. 

Now two years later, there has been no movement on a project that was supposed to be finished in 2025. First announced by developer KDC in 2018, the original plans included an office tower and hotel. Next, it was set to be part of Central Market parent company HEB’s expansion into North Texas. HEB has opened several stores in North Texas suburbs, and still has plans for a Central Market in Oak Cliff near the Bishop Arts District. The company is also building several of HEB’s discount locations, Joe V’s Smart Shop. 

But no one had much to say when D CEO checked on the Uptown development. KDC says it is no longer affiliated with the project but wouldn’t say why or when that relationship ended. 

The Dallas Central Appraisal District values the land at more than $21 million. It is owned by a company called Pan Coastal Management, which shares an address with another company called Southstate Management Corp. Pan Coastal and Southstate have almost no online presence other than an address in Florida. A representative for Southstate declined to comment. An HEB representative says HEB is not the owner of the property and are leaseholders only.

HEB had few details but says it still plans to build a store on the land. “We are currently exploring our options to build a store within the existing footprint of the property. We hope to have more information to share in the coming months.” The comment, though short, seems to indicate that there are no plans for a 25-story development but rather a traditional Central Market location where the Albertson’s once was. 

Over the last couple of years, higher interest rates have made raising capital difficult for developers and likely played a factor in the decision to slow or change the project. High financing costs and stricter loan standards have also slowed development.

Uptown Tower on North Central Expressway near the Lemmon property declared bankruptcy in 2023, but Dallas’ commercial real estate environment continues to be more robust than other markets, due to regional population growth and lower land prices.

At Central Expressway and Carroll Avenue, De La Vega Development and StreetLights Residential are at work on a 27-acre mixed-use development. Deeper into Uptown, Crescent Real Estate has proposed building a 30-story apartment high-rise with roughly 215 units at the northern edge of The Crescent.

The future of the neighborhood’s Central Market, meanwhile, is still up in the air.

Author

Will Maddox

Will Maddox

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Will is the senior writer for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…
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