Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New $450 million Fort Worth arena will host NCAA Tournament in 2022

Fort Worth’s new arena will host first- and second-round games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2022, the organization announced Tuesday, the same day officials broke ground for the building in the Cultural District.
The 14,000-seat Dickies Arena is scheduled to open in November 2019. It will be at the intersection of Harley Avenue and Gendy Street and will be the new home of the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo performances and is expected to host concerts, sporting events and family entertainment.
The NCAA also announced that the women’s gymnastics championships will return to Fort Worth in 2019. The Fort Worth Convention Center in downtown will host the 2019 meet and then it will move to Dickies Arena from 2020-2022. Fort Worth hosted the event in 2015 and 2016.
“Fort Worth is a great sports city,” Bob Jameson, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in a news release. “With TCU, this incredible new arena and our incredible Sundance Square downtown, we look forward to rolling out the red carpet for sports fans.”
TCU will be the host for the men’s basketball games, scheduled for March 17-19. The American Airlines Center in Dallas, with the Big 12 hosting, will be the site of first- and second-round games March 15 and 17 in 2018 and March 18 and 20 in 2021.
Schollmaier Arena hosted tournament games in 1969 and 1970.
“This is another testament to the fantastic partnership that TCU has with the City of Fort Worth,” TCU athletics director Chris Del Conte said in a statement. “Now with the new Dickies Arena coming to fruition, Fort Worth is an incredibly attractive host site for many NCAA Championships, which will certainly benefit TCU student-athletes, coaches and fans.”
The NCAA said it received more than 3,000 bids to host championships in Divisions I, II and III from 2017-2022.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lincoln Centre to expand High-rise complex near Galleria planning to add fourth office tower

Lincoln Centre to expand

High-rise complex near Galleria planning to add fourth office tower

One of North Dallas’ largest and most familiar real estate developments is planning a major expansion.

The high-rise Lincoln Centre complex at LBJ Freeway and the Dallas North Tollway was built starting in the 1980s. The silver-glass campus includes three office towers and a high-rise Hilton hotel.

Now, Lincoln Centre’s owners are proposing construction of a fourth office tower that would be built on the east side of the tollway.

The 390,000-square-foot office project would be the largest such development in that area in more than a decade.

The current office towers are more than 90 percent leased.

Lincoln Centre leasing agents with Cushman & Wakefield have recently been showing details of the planned tower to prospective tenants.

“The site at Lincoln Centre is the prime location at the intersection of LBJ Freeway and the Dallas North Tollway,” said Matt Schendle, managing director with Cushman & Wake-
field. “It has exceptional ingress and egress, as well as visibility.

“It’s a terrific headquarters opportunity at a key crossroads in Dallas.”

The project would also inthe clude a multi-level parking garage that would replace surface parking on the northwest side of the property, according to plans for the development.

Lincoln Centre has more than 1.6 million square feet of office space, making it one of largest such developments in North Dallas.

The 33-acre site is just across LBJ Freeway from Galleria Dallas.

Since 2005, Lincoln Centre has been owned by New York-based retirement fund investor TIAA. The project underwent a $10 million renovation in 2004.

Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News

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Massive wind farm to power Facebook's $1B data center campus in Fort Worth

Social media giant Facebook will invest up to $1 billion to build a massive global data campus in north Fort Worth, which will draw renewable power from a wind farm about a two hour drive northwest of downtown Dallas.

It marks the fifth data center for the world's largest social network, which searched the planet for a suitable location before landing on a tract of Ross Perot Jr.'s massive AllianceTexas development in north Fort Worth.

Beyond looking for a shovel ready site with good access to fiber and renewable energy in a centrally located part of the country, Facebook wanted a good partnership with the North Texas community, Michael Kirkland, a Facebook spokesman, told the Dallas Business Journal.

“We found everything we were looking for here,” Kirkland said. “We wanted a good partnership with the community because we are usually quick to construction as our services grow and we need to continue to expand our capabilities.”

Facebook already has begun moving dirt on the 110-acre site just off State Highway 170, east of the Interstate 35W corridor, in north Fort Worth after buying the tract from Ross Perot Jr.’s Hillwood, which owns the 18,000-acre Alliance-Texas mega-development.

DPR Construction Co. is the general contractor on the new data center campus.
By summer 2016, Facebook plans to complete construction on the initial phase of the data center campus, which will include a 440,103-square-foot data hall and a 69,755-square-foot administrative building with offices and a café.

At build-out of the campus, Facebook expects to add two other data halls for a campus totaling up to 1.25 million square feet of space. Kirkland said the company plans to develop more server space to meet the growing consumer demands of Facebook.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world with about 1.5 billion active users. In Fort Worth, Facebook expects to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the development, with some in the business community expecting the total to run upwards of $1 billion.

But the economic impact of the Facebook goes beyond the company’s capital investment in real estate.

The company’s hydro energy-powered data center in Sweden cost about $203 million to develop. From 2011-13, the Sweden site brought an estimated economic impact to that region of about $555 million.

The social media provider also has data center sites in Forest City, North Carolina, Des Moines, Iowa and Prineville, Oregon.

Initially, Facebook plans to hire a minimum of 40 full-time, high-paying jobs in Fort Worth with plans to add more than 100 employees in the future.
Based on projections, the City of Fort Worth is offering Facebook $146 million in economic incentives for the project during the next two decades through its limited liability company, Winners LLC. Kirkland said Facebook did not ask for state incentives.

Facebook’s foray into real estate came down to boosting the bottom line. The social media provider wanted to develop and own its real estate after finding it could build a 38 percent more-energy-efficient data center at a 24 percent lower cost than facilities it leased in the past.

In the three years after Facebook opened its first data center in Prineville, Oregon in 2011, the company has saved more than $2 billion in infrastructure costs. Kirkland said Facebook expects to build on those efficiencies in Fort Worth.
“We want to reshape the industry with a mind towards efficiency and sustainability,” he said. “The goal in Fort Worth is to get to 100 percent renewable energy.”

By the end of 2018, Facebook hopes to get to 50 percent renewable energy with the long-term goal of bringing it to 100 percent renewable energy in the future.
That goal will be helped with a new wind farm being built in Clay County — which is about two hours northwest of downtown Dallas — to supply the campus with renewable energy.

The $287 million wind farm is owned through a 50/50 partnership between Vancouver-based Alterra Power Corp. (TSX: AXY) and Connecticut-based Starwood Energy Group Global LLC. 

As part of the deal, General Electric Co. is supplying 119 wind turbines for the wind farm project and has a long-term contract to provide operations and maintenance services for the turbines.

At completion, the wind farm will have the ability to generate more than 200 megawatts, which could power over 10,000 homes for a year.

Facebook’s end game of building a sustainable data center is further enhances by the design of the data halls. The two-story data halls are designed to house the servers on the ground floor with a penthouse floor aimed at funneling outside air through the building after going through a filtration process.

Kirkland said he doesn’t anticipate North Texas’ hot summers to impact the company’s cooling method.

Facebook won’t be the first data center to land in north Fort Worth. There’s a cluster of data centers in the vicinity, which include properties for Blue Cross Blue Shield, AIG and Citigroup.

“They have some of the biggest concentration of data centers in North Texas and the infrastructure is fantastic,” said Curt Holcomb, a JLL senior vice president. Holcomb isn’t part of the Facebook deal, but specializes in data-centric real estate.

Facebook and other big data providers — such as Google and Amazon — have a need for large data centers as more users upload videos and other data, he said.
“If you think about what has happened in the last 10 years on the Internet, you’ll see that video takes such a huge amount of data and it’s going up exponentially,” Holcomb said.

North Texas has an estimated 361 megawatts of data center facilities — or the third largest data center market in the United States — which doesn’t include end users like Facebook (data center users are secretive about the location of their facilities).

Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal.

Drones over Facebook: Technology captures progress on $1B data center campus (Video)


A visitor to Facebook’s data center campus in Fort Worth can barely make out the whir of the drone as it flies overhead — much like a Roomba Robot Vacuum — taking a predetermined path in the sky, scooping up photos and data.

The drone technology used at the Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) data center campus in Fort Worth is part of DPR Construction’s plan to merge building information modeling (BIM) software with real-time drone photos — making a three-dimensional collage that adds value to the building process, said Chris Torres, the technology integration manager at DPR Construction.
“By far, we are paving the way in using drones on site operations,” Torres told the Dallas Business Journal. “You can do underground utility coordination before you even begin digging up the permits.”

DPR Construction uses licensed pilots to fly drones overheard to calculate dirt levels and other construction progress on the tract by using markers atop 1,100-pound, 30-feet concrete piers on the property near Texas 170 and Independence Parkway in Fort Worth.

Each marker adds a point of reference to help complete a robust picture of the project. The smaller the site, the more accurate the data, Torres said.
"More than anything, this makes sure what is being constructed is what was intended in the design and gives us transparency with contractors," he said. "It's a lagging indicator in the sense you are scanning something already in place, but it's a leading indicator in that you can make sure it's right before you move onto the next trade.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based general contractor has already moved nearly 1 million cubic yards of dirt as part of a mass excavation on the next phase of Facebook’s data center campus — all of which has been measured with the help of the drone footage.

“Construction has always been behind in technology, but in the last two or three years there’s been this convergence of construction and technology,” said Torres, who added use and application of drone technology is growing.

Torres said he expects to see drones see through canopies of trees, flying drone surveyors cutting down the time it takes to measure a property and augmented reality.

Meanwhile, DPR Construction is using the drones to track the construction progress and make sure the reality of the project pairs with the virtual design. The drones also help the security team in tracking down vehicles or taking a peek over a fence.

The company's BIM software team are all getting their drone pilot's license — bringing in another high-tech tool to the profession.
“We are not working our business around technology, we are trying to work the technology around our business,” said John Arcello, the project manager and partner on DPR’s leadership team.

In January, DPR Construction began moving dirt on the site adjacent to Facebook's newly completed data center facility, which includes a 440,103-square-foot data hall with a total of 34 megawatts upon build-out and a 69,755-square-foot administrative building.

Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal.

Luxury resort and conference center in McKinney's Craig Ranch could get city help

McKinney could get a new resort hotel and conference center at Craig Ranch Town Center, with details on the proposed project expected to be unveiled to the city on Tuesday.

Scott Tarwater of Tarwater Hospitality Consulting, which is based in North Texas, is expected to give a presentation to city council of the 285-room hotel and its amenities, including 33,000 square feet of conference space, near Collin McKinney Parkway and Van Tuyl Parkway in McKinney.
The city of McKinney and McKinney Economic Development Corp. are working with would-be developers of the project on a potential public-private partnership, which could include economic incentives.

The details of the economic incentives were not immediately available Friday.
The proposed hotel and convention center could be a revived plan of a $100 million, 300-room hotel — called the Golden Tulip — that failed to break ground in 2008.

The Golden Tulip hotel brand is part of the Louvre Hotels Group, which has a total of over 240 hotels in 45 countries.

Either way, the development group has commissioned a third-party feasibility study to analyze the data to help the city best negotiate a potential deal. The details of the study are expected to be shared Tuesday.

Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal.

Developer Craig Hall to start $250M condo, hotel project in Dallas Arts District

Dallas developer Craig Hall plans to break ground on the next phase of his Hall Arts mixed-use development in the city's Arts District, which will bring in a $250 million luxury high-rise condos and a boutique hotel to the district.

Hall plans to break ground on the Hall Arts Hotel and Residences site along Flora Street on Friday.
The project includes a 11-story, nearly 200-room boutique hotel that will sit over two levels of public space and will include enough real estate to house restaurants and a 7,000-square-foot meeting space near Ross Avenue and Leonard Street.

The 25-story condo tower, called the Hall Arts Residences, will sit adjacent to the hotel upon completion near Ross Avenue and Leonard Street and will bring 44 luxury homes to the neighborhood.

The project comes on the heels of Dallas-based Hall Group landing a law firm in KPMG Plaza at Hall Arts, a Class A office tower in the Arts District. The deal brings the tower to nearly 80 percent leased.

Some of the top premium floors in the office tower are still available for lease.

Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal.

Construction to start on $450M arena with ties to Fort Worth billionaire Ed Bass

Construction is slated to get underway Tuesday on a new $450 million arena — called the Fort Worth Multipurpose Arena — next to the Will Rogers Memorial Center in the city's Cultural District.

The public-private partnership with ties to Fort Worth billionaire Ed Bass will fund the 14,000-seat arena development, which, upon completion, will host the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo performances.
Bass, who has financially supported other Fort Worth projects, planned on putting $225 million in private money into the project, with the remainder coming from taxes on those using the facility and a parking tax upon its opening.

The City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, the State of Texas and several foundations, individuals and organizations helped compile the public-private partnership.

The work is slated to get underway on Tuesday at Harley Avenue and Gendy Street with an official groundbreaking ceremony, which is open to the public.

Upon completion of the project, the arena will be owned by the City of Fort Worth and managed by not-for-profit operating entity, Multipurpose Arena Fort Worth.

Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal.