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Arlington approves $15 million to redevelop 'functionally obsolete' shopping center

An aerial view of Lincoln Square, a north Arlington shopping center located along Interstate 30 and near Collins Street. The center holds a bricked building with vendors including PetSmart, Ulta Beauty and Michael's.
Courtesy Cushman & Wakefield
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Lincoln Square in north Arlington has seen fewer customers and rising vacancy rates over the past 20 years, Arlington city council members said Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Arlington City Council approved a $15 million grant for the likely new owner of Lincoln Square, a nearly 40-year-old shopping center.

The vote and sale are the latest developments for a shopping center city officials say has declined over the last 20 years.

Trademark Property Company CEO Terry Montesi says his company would like to turn the brown-brick shopping center into a better offering of retail, office space and mid-rise apartments. Lincoln Square's location along Interstate 30 would make the shopping center a powerful regional gateway, he says.

"This is a great piece of real estate that just hasn't evolved. We'll figure out what needs and wants to be here and, with y'all's help and direction and partnership, we think we can do something very special," he says.

The 30-year agreement requires that Trademark invest at least $150 million into the property in the next six years and collaborate with locals and leaders on redevelopment plans. The company is on the hook for $9 million in grant funding if it fails to meet the agreement requirements. The city drew $14.75 million grant from its Innovative Venture Capital Fund.

Helen Moise, who represents north Arlington as District 1 council member, says she and her constituents have been waiting a long time for the right person to redevelop Lincoln Square.

"All of us in north Arlington know what we had and we can see when we visit other cities what we could have," she says.

Council members approved the grant 7-0. District 4 council member Andrew Piel and District 7 council member Bowie Hogg were absent from the meeting.

City Manager Trey Yelverton told council members during an afternoon meeting that the square's vacancy rate sits at about 44%. He says the once-thriving center has become "functionally obsolete" and its previous owner, ShopCore Properties, did not invest in redevelopment.

Yelverton says the sale of Trademark had not yet been finalized as of Tuesday afternoon. However, the company was listed as top bidder for the project, and city officials put in a word on behalf of the company. Trademark has invested over $4.5 billion in projects across the country, some of which include Galleria Dallas and Westbend in Fort Worth.

Real estate group Cushman and Wakefield listed Lincoln Square for sale on behalf of ShopCore Properties in October. The center was built in 1983 and holds about half a million square feet of leasable space. Realtors advertised the space as “exceptionally well-positioned for redevelopment.”

“This is a generational opportunity to create the next generation, high-density, mixed use retail destination in the third largest city in the Metroplex, and there is certainly a void for such a place,” Cushman and Wakefield representative Chris Harden said in a statement in October.

Lincoln Square sits near the edge of Arlington’s entertainment district, where developers are building an 888-room hotel and convention center, National Medal of Honor Museum and One Rangers Way, a mid-rise luxury apartment complex. Choctaw Stadium, formerly Globe Life Park, will also gain Spark Coworking, a shared office space.

Got a tip? Email Kailey Broussard at kbroussard@kera.org. You can follow Kailey on Twitter @KaileyBroussard.

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Kailey Broussard is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). Broussard covers the city of Arlington, with a focus on local and county government accountability.