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Retail Project of the Year: Top Golf, The Colony

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Top Golf’s new venue in The Colony.

D CEO magazine’s Commercial Real Estate Awards program for 2014 recognized 41 finalists in 12 categories. Here’s a look at those honored in the Best Retail Project category, including winner Top Golf, The Colony.

With business booming at its two other North Texas locations, Top Golf began looking for a third site in 2012. It tapped Luke Wilson and Terry Syler of The Retail Connection to help. The brokers evaluated 15 locations, culling through piles of market statistics and demographics. The trick was to find something in the northern path of growth, but not so close as to cannibalize Top Golf’s existing facility in Allen.

Negotiations were underway on a site when Top Golf hired a new real estate director, Zach Shor. The search ultimately was refocused to the State Highway 121 corridor, particularly a stretch near where Nebraska Furniture Mart’s massive DFW store is under construction. The Colony stepped forward with a compelling incentives package, and a decision was made.

Shor says working with The Colony was a breeze. “If I could copy and paste them all over the country, I’d do it,” he says. “They’re incredibly easy to work with and a very fun group. I’m in 40 markets, and they are atypical.”

Top Golf’s venue in The Colony—its new prototype—opened in November 2013, and performance is already exceeding expectations. Along with Nebraska Furniture Mart, Top Golf is helping to create a brand new retail trade area, Shor says: “The whole area is just continuing to grow, and can only get better.”

FINALISTS:

Nordstrom Rack, Gallery on the Parkway

Back in 2007, with only one Nordstrom Rack store in North Texas, The Retail Connection began setting out to convince the company to select DFW as the next major market to expand its Rack brand. It went on to help Nordstrom open stores in Southlake, NorthPark, Arlington, and its newest location near the Galleria. Steve Lieberman led the team that put the creative transaction together—one that solved a problem for another Retail Connection client, Bed Bath & Beyond, which owns the property. In the end, the deal was a win-win for all involved.

Trader Joe’s, Inwood Village

Built in the late 1940s, Inwood Village is a landmark for its surrounding community. As such, bringing Trader Joe’s to the center was one of the most important retail projects of 2013. The deal wasn’t easy to pull together. It only happened through a series of lease expirations and relocations involving four other tenants, which combined to make room for a 14,100-square-foot store. Significant renovations were required as well, including a new facade, roadway reconfigurations, and the relocation of a water vault. Putting it all together were Monte Stratton with L&B Realty, Jack Breard and Brandon Harris with UCR Urban, and Kevin Deighan with Timberline Commercial Real Estate.

WinCo Foods, Old Orchard Village 

Grocer WinCo Foods is about to reshape Lewisville’s Old Orchard Village East with an 85,000-square-foot lease, brokered by The Weitzman Group. Originally developed for Walmart, the space was made available only after two existing tenants agreed to relocate and downsize. Herb Weitzman, who led the original leasing of the center back in the 1970s, said it was among the most complicated transactions he has ever seen. His team included The Weitzman Group’s Matt Luedtke and Blake Shipp and Cencor’s David McNeil. Don Woodbury of DWC Commercial and McGregor Converse of Venture Commercial represented WinCo.