Friday, October 31, 2014

Report shows rising rents are making homeownership cheaper in Dallas

Trulia says its 41 percent cheaper to buy than rent in the Dallas area. (Trulia)
With residential rents soaring in North Texas, a new report by Trulia Inc. says that it’s significantly cheaper to buy a home in the Dallas area.
The survey of the country’s 100 largest home markets found that buying a home in the Dallas area is 41 percent cheaper than renting a comparable property.
Nationwide, it’s 38 percent cheaper to buy vs. rent, Trulia said.
“Our analysis takes into account not just rent and the monthly mortgage payment, but also closing costs, insurance, maintenance, taxes, and other costs, as well as sales proceeds,” Trulia’s top economist Jed Kolko said in the report. “Buying is cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest metros.
“The discount is smallest in Honolulu, where buying is 17 percent cheaper than renting, and largest in Detroit, where buying is 63 percent cheaper than renting.”
The comparison is based on buying a house with a 4.3 percent long-term loan and a 20 percent downpayment.
“Falling mortgage rates and rising rents have widened the benefit of buying versus renting,” Kolko said.
Trulia’s study acknowledges that young and first-time homebuyers have a tougher time getting a home loan and may not have as big an edge in buying vs. renting.
“Even in the tougher-call markets, buying probably won’t become more expensive than renting soon,” Kolko said. “Home price increases are slowing.”
North Texas apartment rents are at an all-time high of more than $900 a month. And the newest apartments now start at $1,200 and up.
Dallas isn’t the only Texas city where buying has an edge over home renting.
Trulia says that its 42 percent cheaper to buy in Fort Worth, 43 percent cheaper in Houston and 30 percent cheaper in Austin.

New shopping center coming at McKinney’s Craig Ranch

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Craig Ranch is a 2,200-acre masterplanned community located north of State Highway 121 in McKinney. (DMN files)
Developer Encore Enterprises Inc. has bought 20 acres in McKinney’s Craig Ranch community where it plans to build a shopping center.
The Marketplace at Craig Ranch will be constructed at the northeast corner of Custer and Stacy roads.
Encore plans to build a grocery-anchored retail project on the tract.
“With the excellent access, quality of the design, and strong trade area, the development will appeal to a wide array of retailers looking to expand into the growing submarket,” Nicholas Barber, President of Encore Retail, said Thursday in a statement.
Craig Ranch is a 2,200-acre masterplanned community located north of State Highway 121 in McKinney.

Dallas law firm doubles space with new downtown office lease

A downtown Dallas law firm is more than doubling the size of its office space.
Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP has leased 30,073 square feet at 2100 Ross tower at Ross Avenue and Pearl Street.
The law firm was previously in the Bank of America Plaza on Main Street.
“Lewis Brisbois had a lease for just over 13,000 square feet six months ago and experienced explosive growth,” said Randy Cooper with Cassidy Turley. “The firm was ready to double in size, and our team found the building with an efficient floor plate and prestige their business required in a prime Arts District building. in the Dallas Arts District.”
Cooper, Craig Wilson, Frank McCafferty and Jonathan Larsen of Cassidy Turley negotiated the lease with Cynthia Cowen and William Brokaw of Cushman & Wakefield.
2100 Ross is owned by Atlanta-based Cousins Properties and was just remodeled.

Old candy factory near downtown Dallas sold for loft apartment project

The Hughes Candy Factory building opened in 1903. (DMN files)
A historic building south of downtown Dallas has sold to a Kansas City-based development group with a track record of landmark restoration.
The 111-year-old Hughes Brothers Candy Factory building on Ervay Street south of Interstate 30 was purchased by Flint Hills Holdings Group.
Flint Hills Holdings purchased the 5-story vacant commercial building from Arlington-based real estate firm SkyWalker Property Partners, which owned the property for about a year.
Skywalker Property had planned to spend several million dollars converting the former manufacturing building into residential units.
Clint Holland said the new owner approached his firm about acquiring the property and they decided to sell. He said Flint Hills Holdings plans to move ahead with the loft apartment plan.
“They have a lot more experience in projects like this,” Holland said.
Scott Lake with Venture Commercial brokered the sale.
Over the years the red brick building had a variety of uses, including an ice cream cone manufacturing plant.
It was also owned by Frieda Bosh, the mother of Miami Heat basketball star Chris Bosh.
Built in 1903 for $50,000, the property has been prized by preservationists.
It’s right across the street from the landmark Ambassador Hotel and is near where investors are working on several other building renovation projects.

New Cityplace tower will contain apartments, hotel and retail space

The new tower is planned for the parking lot next door to the new Richards Group building at Cityplace. (Steve Brown)
On the heels of opening its new Cityplace apartment tower, developer Forest City is seeking approvals to build at second Uptown high-rise.
Cityplace Co. and Forest City Enterprises have filed plans with the City of Dallas for a 24-story tower on Blackburn Street that would contain a combination of apartments, hotel rooms and retail space.
The 612,000-square-foot building would contain 399 residential units, 146 hotel rooms and 70,000 square feet of retail space on a 2.6-acre block at Blackburn and Oak Grove Avenue.
The property is one of the last development sites at Cityplace. (City of Dallas)
The mixed-use tower would be built between Forest City’s new 3700M apartments high-rise and the Richards Group’s new office building at Blackburn and North Central Expressway.
The planned Forest City building is on one of the last vacant tracts in the 30-year-old Cityplace development.
Forest City’s new 3700M tower is a 21-story, $100 million residential tower that includes retail on the ground floor. Cityplace Co. owns the shopping space, as it would in the new building.
WDG Architecture designed the new hotel and residential building the two developers are planning next door, according to filings with the Dallas City Plan Commission.

Big I-20 project would include apartments and houses plus commercial buildings

The property on I-20 is one of the largest development sites in southwest Dallas. (Courtland)
The largest remaining development tract in the huge Mountain Creek project in southwest Dallas is being planned for apartments, homes and commercial space.
Courtland Development has filed zoning plans for the more than 500 acres of undeveloped land at the northwest corner of Interstate 20 and Spur 408.
The hilly property would be used for hundreds of apartments and homes plus retail and office space.
Courtland Development’s Jon Napper said he’s already talking to two or three apartment builders who want to develop on the property.
“It’s the last undeveloped intersection on Interstate 30,” Napper said. “It very well could be the most beautiful piece of property in Dallas.
And it’s one of the largest such development sites in southwest Dallas.
Located at the bottom of the Austin Chalk escarpment, the heavily treed land is cut by creeks and canyons.
“I’m donating 105 acres of the property as a conservation easement,” to protect the escarpment area, Napper said. “We’ve built Merrifield Road to the east to access what we view as very good multifamily housing sites.”
Napper said he’s working on plans for a shopping center that would be constructed as part of the development.
“There are almost 1,600 people already working at Mountain Creek,” he said. “We have 159,000 cars a day that come down Interstate 20.”
Part of the new development area would also be set aside for a neighborhood of large, estate homes.
“We are planning a more exclusive gated community,” Napper said.
The vacant property Courtland is planning is already zoned for extensive, mixed-use developments.
The property was originally part of the almost 2,500-acre Mountain Creek mixed-use project, which was announced in 1983.
Mountain Creek was planned as a mixed-use development with 25,000 homes and commercial buildings. Lenders who provided more than $125 million in loans on the property foreclosed on the land in 1989.
It was split up into several owners and has been developed over the years.
Courtland Development is building the 450-acre Mountain Creek Business Park, which is located on Mountain Creek Parkway just north of I-20. Several large industrial buildings are currently under construction in the project.

Lincoln Property’s retail project near White Rock Lake opens next month

Fresh Market will open its Gaston Avenue store next month. (Steve Brown)
The first tenants in the new Arboretum Village shopping center in northeast Dallas chould open their doors as early as next month.
A Fresh Market grocery store is anchoring the 100,000-square-foot retail center that Lincoln Property is building on Gaston Avenue just west of Garland Road.
“Fresh Market is opening Nov. 17,” Lincoln Property executive vice president Robert Dozier told a morning meeting of the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce. “They will be flanked on either side by Lakewood Hardware and Petsmart.”
Lincoln bought the decades old retail center located south of White Rock Lake two years ago and has been working to redevelop the property.
First the developer had to move the East Dallas YMCA and wait for the lease to expire with a nightclub in the shopping strip.
“We got to the real estate earlier than we envisioned and have made a lot of progress,” Dozier said.
The shopping center will also have a Luke’s Locker athletic store, Starbucks and a taco eatery. “We are adding a 6,000 restaurant with a large patio,” he said. “We are currently working with two or three restaurants.”
Lincoln is also continuing to remodel the historic Lakewood shopping center at Gaston and Abrams Road. It bought the 60,000-square-foot property in 2012.
“We’re still working on bringing in some new tenants and have some other architectural features underway,” Dozier said. “We upgraded the fa├žade a little bit.”
Lincoln has added Lakewood tenants including CVS Pharmacy and Liberty Burgers.
Dozier said the plan is for long-time favorite Dixie House restaurant to stay as the centerpiece of the 1930s retail strip.