Structures are beginning to take shape on the 4.3-acre lot on the corner of Fry and Hickory streets, where Cool Beans is the lone occupant. It's all part of the Sterling Fry Street project, which is redeveloping the lot to be a mixed-use space that will include apartments, retail space and a parking garage.
The project is scheduled to be complete by August 2012 and so far it's on schedule, said Brad Dinerstein, executive vice president of Dinerstein Cos.
The parking garage, which faces Oak Street, is 40 percent done and will be the first part of the development that will be completed by the end of the year, he said.
The framing for building one, which faces Fry Street, is expected to wrap up in the next month and will be complete in June. After building one is framed, framing will begin on building two, which faces Welch Street, and it is expected to be complete by July.
"Leasing has already begun," Dinerstein said of both the retail and residential spaces.
The apartment complex will have 194 units with 614 beds and is geared toward students.
"We anticipate this to be a student deal to serve UNT," he said. That's why the development company decided to rent the apartments by the bed.
Student housing works best that way if tenants only have to worry about their rooms, Dinerstein said.
The development company has a leasing office set up on the corner of Fry and Oak streets for people interested in leasing an apartment.
Besides the residential units, there will be 10,500 square feet of retail space.
"Retail sparked a lot of interest," Dinerstein said. "It's going very well."
There are six to seven potential retail spaces in the development, most of which are expected to be food-type businesses, said Alex Payne, principle broker with the Axis Realty Group, which is handling the retail side of leasing.
The realty group has already begun speaking with potential retail tenants and hopes to have some leases confirmed in the next 30 days.
"I certainly have a very long list of perspective tenants contact us," Payne said. "It's been that way even before there was a sign of construction."
He expects there to be two restaurants with patio space on the corner of Fry and Hickory streets next to Cool Beans.
There's been a void in that area, he said, and it will be good to fill it.
"And I think it will only serve to benefit the other businesses in the area," Payne said.
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.