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Wal-Mart Supercenter opening on southeast side

01/30/2013 8:42 PM

01/31/2013 8:34 AM

Another Wal-Mart Supercenter will open bright and early Friday morning in Fort Worth, but this one will operate on the southeast side, an area that major retailers have avoided for years.

Wal-Mart will host a grand opening ceremony at 7:30 a.m. for its store in Renaissance Square, a shopping center under construction in Mason Heights, along U.S. 287 near East Berry Street, between Vaughn and Mitchell boulevards.

The 187,000-square-foot store will be open every day from 6 a.m. to midnight and employ about 300 workers.

Wal-Mart is the first of several stores and restaurants planned for the shopping center.

About 100,000 square feet of space is under construction just west of the Wal-Mart and will house six or seven other retailers beginning this summer, said Robert Smith Jr., president of Lockard Development. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, company is a partner in Renaissance Square with Midland-based Moriah Real Estate Co. Additional small shop space is under contract to a number of restaurants along Berry Street as well, Smith said.

Development of the center is about six months ahead of schedule, Smith said.

"We started out on this project in the depth of the global financial crisis," Smith said. He said Wal-Mart was a major factor in getting it open sooner and with several other retailers lined up.

Many retailers had wanted to open in southeast Fort Worth, a largely underserved neighborhood, but the opportunity wasn't available until now.

"Retailers want to be next to another retailer," Smith said.

The Wal-Mart store will feature a full line of groceries, a bakery, deli, fresh meat and produce sections, and beer and wine. The store has 30 merchandise departments, a garden center, pharmacy and digital photo processing center. Subway and First Convenience Bank have locations in the store.

Store manager Alan Donaldson said Wal-Mart "looks forward to serving the people of our community."

Lockard has said Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, Shoe Carnival, Dots, rue21, Dollar Tree, Rainbow Fashion, McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Jack in the Box, GameStop, T-Mobile and RadioShack are among the retailers committed to the center.

Wynne plans Bird Cafe

in Sundance plaza

Longtime Sundance Square restaurateur Shannon Wynne, owner of the Flying Saucer and 8.0, plans a new concept downtown called the Bird Cafe.

The 6,400-square-foot restaurant will open in October and include 2,300 square feet of patio space in the new Sundance Square plaza, using some of the space formerly used by the Flying Saucer.

"We couldn't be happier with Shannon's new concept," said Johnny Campbell, president and CEO of Sundance Square.

Bird Cafe will be incorporated into the existing Land Title Building, built in 1888, as well as the new Commerce Building, which is under construction. The L-shaped restaurant will use 3,883 square feet in the Land Title Building and 2,586 square feet in the Commerce Building, creating a blend of new and old, Campbell said.

A patio will extend from the Commerce Building to the Land Title Building creating a sizeable outdoor dining area. The patio will be split between two levels with the ground level featuring 1,824 square feet and another 496 square feet on the second floor.

"We are keeping the decor under wraps until we are ready to open, but we are incorporating the historical significance of the Land Title Building into the design while creating an interior that has a current sensibility," said Wynne. "It will all come together when we open and I think patrons of the Fort Worth art scene will dig it. While pretty upscale, we will be very approachable at lunch and dinner."

Wynne closed 8.0 last year to accommodate the Flying Saucer, which had operated in the Land Title Building since 1995. The 8.0 opened in 1993.

The Commerce will flank the new plaza on the east and the Westbrook on the west. The north side of the plaza along Third Street will be framed by the historic Jett Building and a new multipurpose pavilion. On the south end of the plaza, an allee, or double row of trees, will define the nearly 1-acre site.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718

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