Wednesday update: Got an email from Costco, per the bit in the final paragraph in this post: "Our corporate policy is to not comment on specific markets." But I also found a reference in a 10-K filing, which goes to the SEC, that Costco opened only 15 stores in fiscal 2009 and 2010, which is about a quarter of the new store rate earlier in the decade. So, unless something dramatic happens, we won’t see Costco at Northwest Highway and Abrams or at the Sam’s Club site on Park Lane.

A few thoughts about the news last week that developer Trammell Crow finally found enough money to start the Timbercreek development on Northwest Highway:

· If powerhouse Trammell Crow, with two nationally respected retailers like Walmart and Penney’s as anchors, took four years to put a deal together (and has to do the project in stages), what does that say about how difficult it is to finance development these days? And what does that say about the future of any other development around here, like theTown Center?

More, after the jump:

· We’re told, by almost every expert in the world, that large, shopping center-style developments are a thing of the past, and especially for in-town areas like ours. Plus, we’re supposed to be interested in shopping more locally, and not with large, multi-national chains. Is Trammel Crow putting this thing up just in time for it to fail?

· We will have three Walmart-owned stores and three Targets, all within about six or eight miles of each other. I’m not sure how this jibes with this quote from a Trammel Crow executive: "East Dallas is an underserved market and has seen very little retail investment."

· Is this the beginning of the end for Medallion Center? Target almost certainly won’t keep its store open there; its reason for being was to keep Walmart out, and that reason is gone now. Can Medallion survive without Target?

· It also means we’re probably stuck with two large and significant empty pieces of land — the current Sam’s Club at Greenville and Park Lane, which Walmart says it’s closing, and the old Steakley Chevrolet lot on Northwest Highway. The real estate types I talked to said those parcels will be almost impossible to develop (even without taking the recession into account). The Sam’s Club property is too big and in too bad a neighborhood to do anything with, and the only company that would go for the Steakley property with Walmart down the road is Costco. And it’s not supposed to be coming.