A walkable, urban development with new retailers Dallas has never seen – that’s the plan for the 42-acre site at the northwest corner of Walnut Hill and Central Expressway.

“We are talking with some very cool tenants that aren’t in the market right now,” says Leon Backes, president and owner of Provident Realty. The company is partners with the Missouri-based Kroenke Holdings, which bought up the land in fall 2010.

Backes cannot comment yet on any specific tenants interested in the development, but it includes housing, a bank, “very nice restaurants” and a “relatively small” anchor. It has been rumored that REI is moving in, but he says that’s not the case.

“I can tell you that we are not in negotiations with REI at this time. It’s just a rumor. We have been in the past.”

The property is owned by billionaire E. Stanely Kroenke, also the husband of Walmart heiress Ann Walton, which has had some people wondering whether those ties would mean a new Walmart for the Walnut Hill development. Backes says no and, in fact, he confirms there will be no big-box stores at all, minimal surface parking and a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere with a plaza, water features and high-quality landscaping.

So, this won’t be another strip center.

“It’s going to be nothing like what’s in Preston Hollow today.”

Backes says some tenants may be confirmed in two to three months. The development will happen in stages over the next several years. The first stage will make up about one-third of the project.

Walnut Park is considered one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in Dallas. Last month, Kroenke also bought the 80-acre Midtown Park site on Meadow just east Central Expressway.

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