Tuesday, August 16, 2016

THE STAR IN FRISCO (Dallas Cowboys World Corporate Headquarters and Multi-use Event Center)

91-acre, mixed-use 66 acres retail, privately developed 5-acre headquarters, privately developed 20 acre multi-use event center, publicly developed Potential development impact: 1,708,000 SF Two hotels with 480 rooms Potential 4,500 new jobs at full development Multi-use indoor stadium 12,000 seats The Ford Center at The Star: HQ and MUEC opening late summer 2016

Developers Are Building Frisco's $5B Mile as a Spec Project

As Frisco's '$5 Billion Mile' begins to take shape in the one mile stretch of roadway off the Dallas North Tollway, the Dallas Business Journal held a Corridors of Opportunity event focused on the 549 acres slated for high-end development. The event Tuesday morning brought in more than 660 North Texas executives and professionals looking to learn more on the projects behind the $5.4 billion of real estate investment. Frisco Economic Development Corp. President Jim Gandy told me the event was the biggest real estate event he's seen in Frisco in the past two decades. Even as the Dallas Cowboys-anchored development with the football club's headquarters and new practice facility underway, developers are bullish on the corridor and are preparing to begin construction on speculative office space within the mile. The Cowboys plans to lease about 280,000 square feet of office space spanning two towers overlooking the practice fields, said Joe Hickman, CEO of Frisco-based Blue Star Land LP, who was one of four panelists at the event. “Jerry wanted to put black-out windows on the building to make sure the Redskins don’t lease space,” he added, laughing. Other panelists included Stan Thomas of Thomas Land & Development (Wade Park), Barry Hand of Gensler (The Gate) and Ran Holman of VanTrust Real Estate LLC (Frisco Station).

729-acre residential development planned for East Frisco

A 729-acre master-planned community is in the works on the east side of Frisco on property owned by the Gartner family.
American Newland Communities and North America Sekisui House, also called NASH, announced June 15 the acquisition of the land in a joint venture to develop single-family and multifamily housing, office space and retail space. The development will stretch from north of Main Street to Rolater Road and from Independence Parkway to Custer Road. The property, owned by one of the largest land owners in Frisco, covers more land than all of the $5 Billion Mile developments combined. Construction is expected to begin later this year with a grand opening slated for 2018. When complete, the community is expected to include approximately 1,800 single-family homes and up to 1,400 apartment units. Newland and NASH are also developing Hollyhock, and 20-acre residential community off of Teel Parkway and south of US 380.

West falls Village Frisco, Texas Details

This month’s featured neighborhood is Westfalls Village. The neighborhood is located south of Main Street and west of Teel Parkway. Some of its amenities include a pool, a playground and a private pond. Featured Neighborhood: Westfalls Village Build-out year: 2005 HOA dues (estimated): $500 annually Amenities: Pool, playground, private pond, greenbelt Schools: Sparks Elementary School, Pioneer Heritage Middle School, Reedy High School Nearby attractions: future Grand Park, Frisco Square Square footage: 2,217-4,881 Home value: $268,000-$581,000

Frisco, Texas Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th is now open

Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th opened its doors Aug. 11 at the Centre at Preston Ridge in Frisco, 3251 Preston Road, Ste. 400. The new 29,000-square-foot store features an on-trend selection from more than 800 brand names of clothing and accessories for women, men and kids at lower prices than Saks Fifth Avenue stores. The first 50 shoppers to arrive at the store each day through Aug. 14 will receive a treat that may contain a golden ticket. Winners can exchange their golden ticket for a $100 gift card to the store. The Frisco location is the fourth store for Saks Fifth Avenue in North Texas. The three other locations include Dallas, Grapevine and Grand Prairie. Two other off-price retailers, Nordstrom Rack and J. Crew Mercantile, are also planned for the shopping center

Macy's Is going Down

Macy’s Inc. announced Aug. 11 that it will close about 100 of its full-line department stores out of the company’s total portfolio of 728 stores, with most closing at the beginning of 2017, said Jim Sluzewski, senior vice president for corporate communications and external affairs, in a news release. “In a number of cases, stores will be closed as the value of the real estate exceeds their value to Macy’s as a retail store,” he said in the release. The company will inform its store closing decisions directly with the staff of the facilities being shut down and Macy’s associates may be offered positions in nearby stores, the release said. However, Sluzewski declined to comment on which specific stores will be closed until final decisions are made. No timeline was proposed for this announcement. The actions are part of a corporate-wide initiative to increase Macy’s profitability and shareholder value going forward, the release stated. Plans for the company also include adding products exclusive to the department store, redesigning Macy’s physical stores to highlight its high income potential departments such as fine jewelry and reallocating investments to “the company’s highest-growth-potential stores and digital businesses,” it stated.

A 2nd Billion Dollar Frisco, Texas Real Estate Project

Construction is underway on many of the developments along US 380, especially on the Prosper side of the highway. Frisco, on the other hand, has only planned developments that have not started construction. According to commercial real estate agents,
real estate investors and city officials, US 380 has been talked about for a long time as being the next major corridor for commercial development. In March, Frisco City Council set its top 10 priorities for 2016, which included winning the US 380 battle. This means attracting more development to the Frisco side of the highway. Frisco City Council Member Bob Allen said luring Stonebriar Centre to Frisco’s side of SH 121 was a catalyst for Frisco. “Overnight it took the city in a different direction and gave it an investment,” Allen said. “US 380 is the same thing, and it would be great for us to take advantage of that location. Whichever [city] gets the biggest draw for revenue from outside the community is the one that will benefit the most from it.” Rex Real Estate owner Rex Glendenning said US 380 is just now beginning to experience the growth SH 121 has already experienced in the past decade. “We finally have enough rooftops up in the Prosper area and the North Frisco area to facilitate the retail growth and retail demand along US 380,” Glendenning said. When Dallas attorney and real estate investor Donald Godwin bought his first tract of land along US 380 in 1991, he said he envisioned development along the highway that would go from Denton to McKinney. Godwin now owns about 400 acres of land at the US 380 and Dallas North Tollway intersection. Godwin’s land is for sale, and he said a substantial number of buyers are interested. “There is a lot of current activity on the Prosper side, but I believe personally that’s going to change in the coming months and certainly this time next year,” Godwin said. “We’re going to start seeing development on both sides of US 380.” Why not Frisco? Although plenty of land is still available to develop along US 380, development announcements on the Prosper side of US 380 are becoming much more frequent than the Frisco side. Some of Prosper’s established developments include a Kroger grocery store and Windsong Ranch, a 2,030-acre master-planned community. Other projects are under construction. In Frisco, one commercial development with a Wal-Mart Supercenter and a mixed-use development are planned at FM 423. A movie theater will also soon be under construction at the DNT. Glendenning said it might seem that a lot more activity is happening on the Prosper side than the Frisco side, but that is because Prosper is playing catch-up. “Prosper has been retail starved until Kroger opened in Prosper this year, its first grocery store,” he said. “So it’s been a catch-up campaign for Prosper to get retail that’s been nonexistent until now.” Glendenning said Frisco has always had retail options readily available elsewhere in the city, so it had no need to put a rush on the developments the way Prosper has. Allen said Frisco has already made the investment in roads and infrastructure along US 380 to attract developers. He said it was important that the city have utilities such as water and sewer lines in place so the land would be ready for any potential developers. “We’re looking for development partners to do things [on US 380],” Allen said. “We’re no different than other cities, but the difference is that we have made an upfront investment, and we are prepared to move quickly when those opportunities present themselves.” Frisco Director of Development Services John Lettelleir said the city is actively pursuing development opportunities for US 380 now that the infrastructure is in place. “There is always friendly competition for retail [with other cities] and that does become challenging along the borders where retailers are seeking the best deal,” Lettelleir said. Frisco development In 2015, City Council approved plans for a Wal-Mart Supercenter to anchor a commercial development at US 380 and FM 423. The development includes fast-food restaurants, a convenience store, a bank and retail buildings. The Wal-Mart is expected to open in 2017. In March, the City Council approved a mixed-used development called Frisco Crossing. The 83-acre development on the southwest corner of US 380 and FM 423 is planned to have retail, restaurants and residential space. Lettelleir said he expects the project to break ground sometime next year. Frisco North was one of the first developments planned for the Frisco side of US 380. The project was intended to be a 320-acre mixed-use development at the southwest corner of US 380 and the DNT with Cinemark Theatre anchoring the project. Frisco City Council approved the plans for the project in 2012, but the original developer, Forest City Inc., pulled out of the project in 2013. The property has remained without a developer since. Because Cinemark still owns the property for the new theater on the land, it plans to continue the project. Construction on the theater is expected to begin later this year. According to the city’s development reports, there are still plans for three retail buildings within that same property. Prosper development and growth Earlier this year, Kroger opened its first store in Prosper at the intersection of Preston Road and Prosper Trail. Kroger recently broke ground on a second location at the intersection of US 380 and Gee Road near the Windsong Ranch community in Prosper. A third Kroger location in Prosper is planned on US 380 at Custer Road. Lowe’s Home Improvement is under construction at the same location at Custer Road. A Wal-Mart Supercenter is under construction at the northeast corner of US 380 and Preston Road also in Prosper. This site is part of the mixed-use development The Gates of Prosper by Jerry Jones-owned Blue Star Land Co. development firm. The development is planned to accommodate more than 570,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the 93 acres. Texas Health Resources is building a 65,000-square-foot health care campus in Prosper on US 380 west of the DNT. The Home Depot submitted a zoning application to develop a store on the northwest corner of US 380 and Windsong Ranch Parkway in Prosper. John Webb, Prosper director of development services, said based on the attractive market along Preston Road, US 380 and the future extension of the DNT, Prosper is expected to experience a growth rate similar to Frisco’s. “But we anticipate our build-out population to be around 72,000—much less than Frisco,” Webb said. “Unlike Frisco, we will be a lower-density community with less focus on the high-density residential developments as seen in Frisco.” When Prosper’s comprehensive plan was adopted in 2012, it was anticipated that the US 380 corridor would attract major commercial development that would benefit the town, Webb said.

Labor market drives urban living in Frisco

When it comes to new apartment development in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Frisco is one of the hot spots, according to information from Axiometrics, a Dallas-based research company with a focus on apartment real estate. As of July 18, the Uptown Dallas market had the most apartment development in the area, with 3,073 new units to open this year, followed by the Collin County and Richardson markets. Frisco has 1,727 new units that are either up for lease or will be up for lease later this year as well as an additional 1,580 units under construction, bringing the total to 3,307 new units that will be open within the next few years. Labor market drives urban living in FriscoAMLI Frisco Crossing near the Dallas North Tollway and Gaylord Parkway is contributing 325 units to that total. The complex’s community manager Ashley Dodds said she is not worried about filling up those units. Frisco’s apartment occupancy rate is 95.7 percent. “We definitely think there’s enough demand, especially with all of the development in the area,” Dodds said. “We recently just completed a project in West Plano that’s about three miles down the road. That was the fastest lease up in AMLI history. We stabilized in about seven and a half months.” This multifamily development growth is being spurred by job growth in the area, said John Lettelleir, Frisco director of development services. Many new apartments in Frisco are concentrated in or near the $5 Billion Mile and other mixed-use developments where new jobs will be located, he said. “When I’m talking about jobs, I’m thinking of these mixed-use urban centers, such as Frisco Station, Wade Park,” Lettelleir said. “This is where you have the office component, but you also have the residential component.” Labor market drives urban living in FriscoThe apartment trend Most apartments coming into Frisco are urban-living units, which are on average denser than traditional garden-style apartments and are typically placed on a street grid with the building adjacent to the sidewalk. Urban-living apartments also have parking garages, whereas garden-style apartments have surface parking. These types of apartments can typically be found in mixed-use developments, such as Frisco Square. The demographics driving the urban-living development are young, single professionals and senior citizens. The similarity between both groups is that neither have children, said Tim Nelson, Realtor and Frisco City Council member. FRS-2016-08-01-01-3“Those with kids are usually looking for something else with a little bit more space, a little bit more flexibility, parks, backyards, play sets, pools,” Nelson said. “…We have quite a diverse inventory of that type of space. But if you think about it, for someone who’s single in this town, there aren’t really a lot of options.” Single professionals are moving to Frisco for the jobs available, whereas senior citizens are downgrading from a single-family home to an apartment often to be closer to family, Nelson said. Apartment developer JPI, which is building the 424-unit Jefferson Stonebriar project at Warren Parkway and Ohio Drive, decided to build in Frisco because of the job growth in the area. “The $5 Billion Mile and Legacy Business Park developments have solidified Frisco as one of the highest job density areas in Dallas-Fort Worth, especially with the corporate relocations of Toyota, FedEx and Liberty Mutual, among others, which alone are forecast to bring over 9,000 new jobs to the area,” said Matt Brendel, JPI’s senior vice president and development partner. Many new mixed-use developments and office parks, such as the developments within the $5 Billion Mile, are including multifamily living in their plans, Lettelleir said. Existing office developments, such as Hall Park, are also looking to add multifamily living. “The office parks of yesteryear were where people would come in the morning, they would leave in the evening and then it’s dead,” he said. “The labor market is desiring to be in these types of urban, mixed-use areas. Not everybody, but most of them are, and companies are taking note of that.” The average rent in urban-living apartments is typically one of the most expensive because it costs more to produce one of these complexes, Lettelleir said. The current average rent for established apartments in Frisco is $1,249 per month, according to Axiometrics. For the new apartments up for lease this year, the average rent will be $1,446 per month. Urban-living effects Frisco City Council member Will Sowell said he has had concerns in the past with the density that apartments can create in the city, adding that he sees single-family home development as more of a priority. Do you think more apartments should be built in Frisco? Yes, any type of apartment Yes, but only urban-living apartments No, there are too many already View ResultsVOTE However, he said urban-living apartments do make sense within certain developments, such as along the $5 Billion Mile. “We certainly need to provide opportunities for great and unique living spaces in Frisco for people who are searching for jobs in Frisco, who may be younger and not quite ready to buy a house,” Sowell said. “I think we all recognize that. But I do think that we need to make sure that we moderate that versus single-family.” Urban-living apartments have one of the highest assessed values when it comes to property taxes, Lettelleir said. Assessed values of urban-living complexes are on average about $5.4 million per acre while garden-style apartments are assessed at about $1.5 million per acre. The property values generate extra money for the city, Lettelleir said. Urban-living apartments could also have a positive effect on the business community, said Tony Felker, Frisco Chamber of Commerce president. Multistory urban-living complexes can be built to have the first floor dedicated to commercial space, which can draw restaurants, retailers and office space. These apartments can also house the workforce for companies moving to the area or already established in the area, providing employees easy access to work, Felker said. “I hear a lot of people saying having an apartment where they can live, work and play is a good thing,” he said. “As we’re looking at the workforce coming into town and looking for places for them to live, urban living is going to be a good option for them.” Urban-living apartments can pose both a problem and solution for transportation. The higher density of the complexes could lead to more road congestion as more people move in. Lettelleir said to manage congestion, the city needs to look into traffic management solutions. One thing that helps is to make sure these developments are concentrated along major highways, such as the Dallas North Tollway, so minor thoroughfares are not overwhelmed with traffic, he said. “It’s not a simple fix,” Lettelleir said. “What it comes down to is when everybody wants to use the road at the same time, you’re going to have a traffic problem.” On the other hand, urban-living developments could ease congestion by allowing residents the option to not use a car as often, Nelson said. Having a multifamily complex where residents can walk to work or retail and dining options may reduce the need for a car or lead people to share vehicles, he said. “I fundamentally believe that in my lifetime here, there will be people who won’t own cars,” Nelson said. “They’ll share cars. We already have cars that can drive themselves basically. You have Uber. People are going to be able to just get cars on demand.” Though the residential aspect of Frisco has been known for its single-family housing, not everyone wants to live in a house, which is why the city is focusing on providing more diverse housing options, Nelson said. “[Frisco] is not going to stay a town of 150,000. It’s not going to stay a town of 200,000. It sure as heck isn’t going to stay that town of 25,000 when I first moved here,” he said. “You have to understand that that’s a natural progression of the city. And we are a city; we’re not a town. I think we’re doing our best to do it right.”

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DFW Residential Market

A strong spring selling market has finally pushed Dallas-area home prices ahead of where they were before the recession. The gain in the monthly Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index isn’t much — up 1 percent from where Dallas-area prices were in June 2007. That was just before the housing

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Plano's Latest Class A Office Building

Construction has almost commenced on the $88 million office tower in Plano. Set to open this month, the building is located at 5851 Legacy Circle, Plano, TX. It will be a single tenant owner-occupied by EnCana. It's a class A, 13 story building totaling 320,000 SF. This will be the first of a three-building Plano complex that will house operations for Encana Oil & Gas (U.S.A.) Inc. EnCana is one of the largest natural gas producers in North American, with operations stretching from western Canada to Texas and Louisiana.

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Tenant Representation Shop In the North Dallas Office Market

I am Josiah Ford.
After a long enough wait. I have branched out on my own in Commercial Real Estate. Why have I branched out on my own at 26? Because I see the opportunity to provide something others do not provide. True customer service. We all have had a bad experience somewhere, even recently where we felt as though we were not giving the best service possibile. I can imagine that it left you wondering if you recieved the best product or service possible.

My firm will change that by providing dilgent and effective tenant representation geared toward the tenant in the Plano/Frisco office sub-markets. These two sub-markets show huge growth potential, quality office space and various incentives for the business. I have invested the time and money to get the same real estate market information as the large shops. Therefore, when I come to your office I will be able to provide you with every bit of information available for your business to make the best decision its real estate needs.

If you are ready to get great service contact me at my direct line 214-425-3525

Be sure to frequently visit my blog as I will be frequently updating it with market insights.

Thanks DFW,

Josiah Ford - President
JFI Brokerage

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Dallas Convention Center celebrates receiving LEED EB Silver Certification

Dallas, TX - The Dallas Convention Center announced today that they have been awarded the LEED® EB (Existing Building) Silver Certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

Interim Director Al Rojas said “The LEED Certification exemplifies our commitment to providing the highest quality space for our customers and employees. We understand the importance of these efforts which not only lower costs but improve the environment for generations to come.”

LEED EB addresses the operation and working of existing buildings. Upgrading an existing building to “green standards” is far more difficult than designing and building an entirely new building to operate in a way that it has less impact on the environment.
This rating system helps building owners and operator’s measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale with the goal of maximizing operation efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. Building upgrades and improvements were combined with an aggressive adjustment to the operational procedures to earn the credits leading to the certification.

The Convention Center’s green building programs and features include: alternative transportation options, energy efficient lighting with reduced mercury content; environmentally sensitive cleaning products and practices; reduction of indoor potable water through low-flow fixtures and the replacement of one cooling tower; and a comprehensive recycling program.

The Center has achieved a remarkable 58.7% saving on electricity consumption and 55.6% savings on the consumption of natural gas since the start of the project.

The Dallas Convention Center’s LEED EB® Silver Certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and the Dallas Convention Center serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

The Dallas Convention Center is a 2.2 million sq. ft. facility that has demonstrated a constant commitment to service, technical and culinary excellence, as well as environmental sustainability.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The 17 Seventeen and Park 17 project, designed by Good Fulton & Farrell Architects, is a development of a 13-story office tower and 19-story residential tower sited together on a single six-level parking garage podium with new retail construction wrapping three sides of the block. Equidistant from the Victory development and the Arts District, and sited at the crossroads of uptown and downtown, this project is arguably at the epicenter of the new Dallas urban landscape. The 17Seventeen office tower was Pre-Certified Gold by USGBC in January 2009 under the LEED CS rating system, and the Park 17 residential tower is pursuing LEED NC certification.

17Seventeen McKinney, a 379,000 square foot Class AA office building under construction in Uptown, has secured the title of the first gold LEED-precertified high-rise office building in the Dallas area. The U.S. Green Building Council has completed Pre-Certification of the building, which is slated for completion in the spring of 2010. Granite Properties, the developer of the office tower, launched an initiative three years ago to make new developments environmentally friendly. In addition, Granite said it decided to convert existing buildings it owns to environmentally conscious properties.

The block of 17Seventeen is a modernist version of an Italian hill town, raised above the surrounding area on the 6-story plinth, with both residential and office occupants taking advantage of the 7th level amenity deck and it’s immediate views of the Dallas skyline. Contained within the block itself will be 292 apartments, 379,000 square feet of office space, a bank, a restaurant and an additional 6,000 square feet of retail space. Within 1/2 mile of the American Airlines Center, Victory Plaza, the W Hotel, the House of Blues, the Ritz Carlton, the Crescent Hotel and shops, the Winspear Opera House, the Wyly Theater Center, Annette Strauss Artist Square, the Meyerson Symphony Center, the Nasher Sculpture Garden, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the proposed Museum of Nature & Science, the Arts Magnet High School, First Baptist Dallas, First United Methodist Church of Dallas and Guadalupe Cathedral, occupants of the project are easily within a 10 minute walk of any of these venues. Consequently, the Community Connectivity and Development Density of this project is a top sustainable feature.

As a part of the commitment of Granite Properties to maintaining leadership in corporate sustainable office construction, the building has been reviewed to insure that in-coming tenants will be able to meet the increased requirements of the newly released LEED version 3 for Commercial Interiors. LEED-CI version 3 sets a higher baseline standard for water efficiency as a prerequisite to achieving certification than was used in the previous LEED Rating Systems. In order for the future tenants to achieve the 20% water efficiency prerequisite, the team has increased the water efficiency of the core building, even though it had previously exceeded the LEED-CS version 2.0 standard by 30%. These adjustments will enable tenants to pursue LEED Certification for their commercial interiors under LEED version 3 and will aid Granite Properties in pursuing LEED-EBOM for the building when the project becomes eligible.

A brief overview of the achieved LEED Core & Shell credits utilized in the building pre-certification is listed in the following table:

Sustainable Sites 12
Water Efficiency 3
Energy and Atmosphere 4
Indoor Environmental Quality 9
Innovation in Design 5
Total (LEED-CS v2.0) 37

North Texas Green Building Council


As the first of several Trinity River Corridor projects scheduled for completion, the Trinity River Audubon Center is a true testament to designing within the context of the natural environment and to private/public partnerships. The project Owner is the City of Dallas and the facility operator is the Texas Audubon Society. The award winning 20,000 square foot facility is a nature center promoting the coexistence between people and the land. Located a few miles south of downtown Dallas among 120 acres along the Trinity River within the Great Trinity Forest, the facility is a gateway to the local environmental ecosystem. Aligning with nature as the central theme of the facility, the primary emphasis of the center is education and recreation, related to the history of the site along the Trinity River. The program includes exhibits, educational classrooms, research laboratories, as well as teaching nature in nature. The site reclaims existing landfills, transforming them into native tall grass prairies. Surrounding the center, a series of forest, wet prairie, emergent water, open water, and island environmental communities support a variety of wildlife habitat. The Audubon Center was completed in October 2008 and is currently seeking Gold level LEED certification. The project was recently recognized in 2008 with a Greater Dallas Planning Council’s Built Environment Design Award.

The concept for the building design embraces the three major environmental biomes of the north Texas region- the restored black-land prairies, cross-timbers forest, and river bottom marshy wetlands. The site context served as the inspiration for the building concept as the design reveals the surrounding natural habitat.

The site, initially the City of Dallas Deepwood landfill located within the Trinity Corridor, was selected as the site for the center. The site originally contained more than 1.5 million tons of construction debris, 30 feet deep and rising 30 feet high.

Brownfield Redevelopment - The closed landfill in southeastern Dallas is a visionary restoration project that reclaimed 120 acres of the Great Trinity River Corridor. Once an illegal construction waste landfill site, it now fulfills the goal of returning this land to nature for the use of future generations. The Trinity River Audubon Center sits west of the capped rolling hills replanted with tall prairie grass and hardwood trees that were once dominant on the Texas Blackland Prairie.
Stormwater Control - The Trinity River Audubon Center is designed to reduce erosion. At the base of the hills, a series of cascading wetland marshes and ponds captures and polishes runoff from adjoining neighborhoods and prairies before returning the cleansed water to the river.
Water Efficient Landscaping - Many native North Texas trees and prairie grasses have been planted throughout the site. Native plants are usually very hardy and need little supplemental watering.
Heat Island Effect - The “heat island effect,” re-radiation of heat from asphalt and concrete, causes many cities to be warmer than surrounding rural areas. This effect is reduced at the Audubon Center by using light colored paving, permeable materials for pavement and shading existing paving. A green or vegetated roof on the administration wing minimizes heat absorption.
Water Use Reduction - In the US alone, more than four billion gallons of water get flushed down the toilet every day. Low flow toilets, lavatories and shower heads have been installed throughout the facility to reduce water consumption by at least 20%.
Recycled Content Materials - Many materials made from recycled content are used throughout the Audubon Center. For example, the rubber floors contains 84% recycled content, most of which came from recycled tires.
Regional Materials - The Trinity Audubon Center utilized many local building materials. One example is concrete. All the gravel and sand is extracted from local quarries. In addition to this fly ash was used as a partial substitute for cement. Fly ash is a by-product from coal plants that would normally go into a landfill but in this case it was used to make concrete.
FSC Certified - The Trinity River Audubon Center is encouraging responsible forest management by using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified Cypress siding.
Low-Emitting Materials - VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) can be hazaraous to one’s health over long periods of time. The Trinity Audubon Center uses adhesives, paints, carpets and woods that are low-emitting.
Daylighting and Views - Recent studies show that daylighting promotes better health and physical development. Using natural day light also reduces the need for artificial daylight during the day. The Audubon Center is designed to have maximum daylight and views to the exterior without gaining internal heat from the bright Texas sun.
Rapidly Renewable - Trees take many years to grow but there are many materials that grow much faster and can be harvested in ten years or less. Materials such as bamboo, wool, cotton, straw, wheat and cork are considered “rapidly renewable.” The Audubon Center has beautiful bamboo flooring throughout the facility.
Rainwater Harvesting - Irrigation provided from municipally provided potable water can create a large demand on the city and the environment. At the Trinity River Audubon Center, rainwater is captured from the roof, stored underground, and then used to water plants near the building.

North Texas Green Building Council

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Downtown homeless center wins LEED Silver certification

The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center in downtown Dallas has become just the second shelter in the country to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The center is one of only five U.S. homeless shelters that are considered green.

The shelter was designed by San Antonio-based Overland Partners Architects and Dallas-based CamargoCopeland Architects.

The building, in the central business district, was completed in May 2008. The building is designed to maximize daylight and reduce the use of artificial light.

It also includes a graywater recycling system that saves 1.5 million gallons of water each year. The graywater system is designed to capture large volumes of water from showers and laundry facilities for reuse in urinals and toilets.

Dallas Business Journal

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Local investor buys 300 CVS stores

Dallas-based investor Landes Group has bought more than 300 CVS Pharmacy stores located in 33 states.

The properties were acquired in several transactions last year and are valued at almost $1.4 billion, the private company said.

Landes bought the stores from retailer CVS, which will continue to occupy the buildings on long-term leases.

Barclays Capital was the primary investment banker in the transactions.

Landes Group headed by president and founder Brett Landes

Monday, February 22, 2010

Addison develops an edgy side with new apartments

Prospective tenants who walk through the front doors of Addison's new Savoye apartments usually do a double take at the eye-popping design.A wall in the lobby is plastered with bright cushions and big-screen TVs. A metal staircase curves above the round leasing office. And at the top of the stairs is a residents' lounge with enough bling to fill a high-fashion hotel.

Cabanas are installed near the 'Splash' pool area at the Savoye apartments in Addison. Las Vegas-style pools are what it takes these day to lure renters willing to pay more than $1,000 a month. "The people who come in are pretty blown away by the place," said Carolyn Fredholm, senior community director for the project. "It's not what you expect to see in a community north of LBJ Freeway."

Addison city officials wanted a wow factor three years ago when they teamed up on the project with developer United Dominion Realty.

The Dallas suburb might not seem old enough for redevelopment, but that's exactly what the town is doing – replacing an aging apartment district on its western edge with new housing, retail and parks.

"The design of that project was very important to us," said Addison City Manager Ron Whitehead. "We need more urban residential in town to make everything else work."

The 120-acre development with the unwieldy name of Vitruvian Park is just south of Spring Valley Road near Brookhaven Collage.

The first phase of the $1 billion redevelopment – almost 400 luxury apartments – will open in two weeks.

"We already have 45 leases," said Tom Lamberth, vice president of development for Denver-based UDR, one of the country's biggest apartment builders. "We are off to a good start.

"We are primarily attracting people who are part of the North Dallas workforce," he said.

Uptown comparison

With average rents from $1,200 to $1,300, the project is on par with what's found in Dallas' affluent Uptown district.

"We've been compared to the W Hotel" in quality and interior appearance, Lamberth said. "We wanted to do something a little edgy."

WDG Architecture designed the seven-story building. Thiel and Thiel Inc. did the interiors for the public spaces, which are done in a river of light blue paint, modern furnishings and over-the-top artwork.

"What they are showing there is pretty awesome," said Charles Prince, who's moving from Lewisville into one of the Savoye units as soon as it's ready.

Prince works at the nearby Brookhaven Country Club and has watched construction on the project.

"I've been wanting to move since last year but waited for this project to open up," he said. "I didn't even look at anything else."

Savoye tenants will have two lounges with gourmet kitchens, a movie screening room, an Internet bar and a game room.

Outside there's a "Las Vegas-style" swimming pool and landscaped courtyards with fountains, fire pits and seating areas.

Each apartment includes a full-size front-loader washer/dryer combo and a 42-inch flat-screen TV.

The amenities may sound like overkill, but apartment analysts say they are just part of the new rental home landscape. To lure tenants willing to pay more than $1,000 a month, landlords need more than a stuffy "clubhouse" and mattress-size swimming pools.

"You have to do that if you are going to get some pretty high rents," said Greg Willett, apartment analyst for Carrollton-based MPF Research Inc. "UDR is certainly going for the very top tier at this point in everything they are doing."

To add to the new neighborhood's appeal, the city of Addison is building a $9 million park that will be the centerpiece of Vitruvian Park. Rebuilding is under way on the roads that cut through the project near Marsh Lane and Spring Valley.

"It's going to be especially great when we get the park landscaped and redo the creek area" through the park," Whitehead said. "Once we get all that amenity package together, we think it will be stunning."

Vitruvian vision

There's 16,000 square feet of retail space in the first phase and more planned for later.

Addison, which has about 15,000 residents, ultimately expects to see almost 5,000 housing units in Vitruvian Park.

Of course, the project's years of planning and construction didn't include opening the project during an economic downturn.

Groundbreaking for the second phase will depend on how leasing does and where the economy goes, the developer says.

The new apartments will compete head to head with other luxury rental units on the Dallas North Tollway in Addison Circle and near the Galleria.

The developer is offering leasing discounts "because the construction is still under way," Lamberth said.

UDR is also giving discounts at its new Belmont apartments in Old East Dallas. Such concessions are common for new rental complexes.

Unlike many other Dallas neighborhoods, there are fewer new apartment developments to compete with in Addison, said Willett.

"That market is outperforming the metropolitan area as a whole," he said. "But to open any project right now is obviously a challenge."

Dallas Morning News

Commercial real estate transactions


Shelbo Development bought a 42,000-square-foot industrial building on 10 acres at 2950 W. Miller Road in Garland. Dan Spika of Henry S. Miller Brokerage negotiated the sale with Larry Leon of CB Richard Ellis.

Quorum Equities sold about three-quarters of an acre at 2727 Fort Worth Ave. in Dallas to a California investor. The property is leased to Comerica Bank. Brandon Beeson, Will Walters and Stephanie Mower of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas arranged the sale with Henry Casden.

KPM Ventures purchased the former Two Rows Restaurant at the southeast corner of State Highway 190 and North Garland Avenue in Garland. The 6,100-square-foot building is on 1.6 acres. Don Miller and Kelly Hampton of Venture Commercial Real Estate negotiated the transaction.

A local limited partnership bought a 3,777-square-foot office building at 4343 N. Central Expressway in Dallas. Laguarda Low Architects, which is next door, will use the property to expand. Greg McDonald and Eddie Liebman of the Weitzman Group handled negotiations.

A private investor purchased the 4,921-square-foot Christian Brothers Automotive building at 1804 N.E. Green Oaks Blvd. in Grand Prairie. Philip Levy, Jason Vitorino and Tommy Tucker of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services handled the sale.


Invacare Corp., a medical equipment supplier, expanded its distribution center to 87,508 square feet at 1825 Westpark Drive in Grand Prairie. Kevin J. Santaularia and Michael W. Spain of Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services negotiated the lease with Canon Shoults of Holt Lunsford Commercial Inc.

Hilton Worldwide leased 52,000 square feet of space in the Colonnade III office building at 15303 Dallas Parkway in Addison. The office will be used as Hilton Worldwide's commercial services center. Paul Whitman and Chelby Sanders of Jones Lang LaSalle negotiated the lease with J.J. Leonard, Jay Bailey and Susannah Wallace of CB Richard Ells.

PFC Furniture Industries Inc. leased 30,788 square feet of industrial space at 400 Industrial Drive in Richardson. Joe Whitmer of Transwestern negotiated the lease.

Rochelle McCullough LLP leased 11,381 square feet of office space at Republic Center at 325 N St. Paul St. in Dallas. Daniel Rudd and Billy Vahrenkamp of Grubb & Ellis Co. negotiated the lease with Cris Jordan of Transwestern.

The Wire Connection leased 9,600 square feet of commercial space at 400 Union Bower Court in Irving. Ryan Boozer of Mercer Co. negotiated the lease with Colliers International.

Mattison Avenue Salon Suites & Spa leased 8,250 square feet of retail space in the Watters Creek Shopping Center at U.S. Highway 75 and Bethany Drive in Allen. Matt Wilson and Chad Bradshaw of the Retail Connection negotiated the lease with Ed Coury of Trademark Property.

All American Smile Center, a dental practice, leased 8,170 square feet of space in Promenade North, a retail project at 800 N. Coit Road in Richardson. Perren Gasc of the Weitzman Group handled negotiations.

Glow Networks leased 8,121 square feet of office space at 2140 Lake Park Blvd. from Lennox International. Cribb Altman and Lee Wagner of Grubb & Ellis handled the transaction.

Carl's Jr. has signed a long-term lease with Jon Keller for the former Cactus Jack's restaurant site at 4341 Lemmon Ave. in Dallas. Kelly Hampton and Clay Mote of Venture Commercial negotiated the lease with Hunter McGuire of John Bowles Co.

Dallas Morning News

Peloton to handle Duke properties

Duke Realty Corp. has hired Dallas' Peloton Real Estate Partners to take over leasing and marketing its North Texas office buildings.

The Indianapolis developer said that Peloton will handle the leasing of Duke Bridges III in Frisco, One Allen Center in Allen and 5560 Tennyson Parkway in Plano. The properties total more than 350,000 square feet.

Peloton will also market development sites in Frisco, Coppell and Allen.

Dale Ray of Peloton will be the principal overseeing the Duke Realty properties

Dallas Morning News

Swearingen forms alliance with Glacier Commercial

Renowned Dallas real estate broker Wayne Swearingen is aligning with a local commercial property firm.

Swearingen’s Barclay Commercial Group has formed what is described as a “strategic venture” with Glacier Commercial Realty, the two firms said Thursday.

Barclay Commercial will combine its offices with the Glacier Commercial headquarters at 3890 W. Northwest Highway.

Glacier Commercial is handled by partners Steve Shrum and Andrew Beckman.

Shannon Owens, who has worked with Barclay Commercial for several years, will become a vice president at Glacier.

“This venture, with Swearingen and his 48 years of heavy experience in commercial real estate, will accelerate our [growth] plans,” Beckman said in a statement. “We have all worked together before.”

Swearingen has also formed a new company, Vector PS LLC, to provide real estate consulting services to lenders and courts.

Dalas Morning News

Hall Financial Group hires Kim Butler to run its leasing operations

Hall Financial Group said Thursday that it has hired Kim Butler to head its leasing operations.

Butler is coming to Hall Financial after 25 years at real estate service firm Transwestern, where she was responsible for leasing and marketing office properties in several Dallas markets.

As director of leasing at Hall Financial, she will oversee properties including the Hall Office Park in Frisco.

Butler replaces Jean Farris, who recently retired as Hall’s leasing director.

Butler has served as a director of Dallas’ Real Estate Council, Downtown Dallas and Commercial Real Estate Women. She is a director of the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors.

Dallas Morning News

Pizza Hut to move corporate offices to Plano

Pizza Hut has sealed a deal to move its corporate headquarters from Addison to Plano and is planning to break ground next week, the company said Tuesday.

Pizza Hut will be moving its corporate headquarters from Addison (above) to a 20.5-acre site in Plano's Legacy Business Park. The nation's largest pizza chain, part of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands Inc., and its sister division, Yum Restaurants International, will build a new "restaurant support center" on 20.5 acres in the Legacy Business Park near Corporate and Legacy drives. The building and equipment are expected to cost about $20 million – not counting the cost of the land, which Pizza Hut purchased earlier this month from Trammell Crow Co.

The company did not release the cost of the land.

The new headquarters will be a three-story building with about 170,000 square feet of office space.

The move hinged on an incentive package from Plano – its largest ever – that gives Pizza Hut grants and tax breaks of more than $2 million. That includes economic development grants for costs such as relocation and construction of a new test kitchen, said Sally Bane, executive director of the Plano Economic Development Board. Pizza Hut also will receive property tax breaks through 2021.

Plano is hoping Pizza Hut's arrival will spur new economic activity, as at least 450 jobs move to town.

With the new workers visiting local restaurants and other businesses, "there are a lot of other businesses in town that are going to prosper by having Pizza Hut as a neighbor," said Plano Mayor Phil Dyer.

The lease on the current headquarters expires Dec. 31.

Dallas Morning News

Dallas-Fort Worth commercial property foreclosures surge

Foreclosure postings for several high-profile North Texas properties caused commercial real estate loan default filings to surge this month.

The properties scheduled for forced sale by lenders at next month's foreclosure auctions in Dallas-Fort Worth represent a total of more than $900 million in debt.

About 250 properties, including office buildings, hotels, shopping centers, warehouses and commercial land, are posted for the March sale, according to statistics from Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service.

The two largest foreclosure filings were for the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas, with $183 million in debt, and the Mosaic apartment buildings in downtown Dallas, which had $66.5 million in original mortgages.

It was the second month that the Four Seasons has been threatened with foreclosure. Owners of the Irving hotel and the downtown apartment high-rise both say they are still in talks with lenders.

Other large properties scheduled for foreclosure next month include an almost 300,000-square-foot office building at 2370 Performance Drive in Richardson's Telecom Corridor. The building had an original loan amount of $30 million.

The Sheraton Dallas North hotel in Farmers Branch and a shopping center at the Dallas North Tollway and Windhaven Parkway in Plano were also posted for foreclosure by lenders.

March's commercial foreclosure sale will be the largest so far in the current real estate cycle.

"There were some pretty good-size postings for next month," said Foreclosure Listing Service president George Roddy. "I think it's a pivotal year for commercial real estate, and we will see the worst of foreclosures in 2010."

Not all properties posted for foreclosure wind up being sold by the lender. In many cases, the borrower continues to negotiate with the mortgage holder. And sometimes the parties reach agreements to avoid foreclosure.

Dallas Morning News

Las Colinas' Four Seasons back on foreclosure auctions listing

Last month, lenders filed to foreclose on the exclusive 400-room hotel, spa and golf club in Irving in one of the largest postings in North Texas in more than 20 years. U.S. Bank seeks repayment of a $183 million loan on the property, which is owned by Los Angeles-based BentleyForbes.

A sale of the 400-acre property was originally set for Feb. 2 but didn't go through.

"BentleyForbes continues to be in discussions," James Kasim, president of BentleyForbes, said Friday in a statement.

"BentleyForbes remains committed to working out a successful financial structure recognizing the interests of all vested entities that will bridge the challenges of the current situation."

Dallas Morning News