Tuesday, October 17, 2017

McKinney making its move for Amazon's second North American HQ

McKinney has joined the growing list of North Texas cities making a play for Amazon's second North American headquarters campus at a time when a prime-time development is being pitched by city officials.

But city officials are keeping mum on the details of McKinney's bid.
"While economic development pursuits are confidential, the opportunity to attract a second headquarters for Amazon to McKinney is certainly being considered," City Manager Paul Grimes, said in a written statement to the Dallas Business Journal.
"McKinney is prime for continued business growth and we are always proactively pursuing conversations with progressive employers like Amazon."

McKinney already has added some growing companies to its corporate roster, including Playful Corp., PACCAR and Independent Bank Group (Nasdaq: IBTX) — which is building a new $52 million campus.

The city teamed up with Dallas-based KDC on marketing a development site at its southern gateway, called Southgate McKinney, at the Sam Rayburn Tollway and U.S. 75.

The development site is being marketed as a corporate campus with urban-style amenities for employees.

In August, McKinney Economic Development Corp., which is working with KDCto market the site, planned on creating a world class employment center and new destination in the city with the tract.

A would-be corporate campus would sit next to two existing anchors: Collin County Community College and the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center.

/Dallas Business Journal

DFW's next big idea? Bringing walkable connections to downtown Dallas

It's been a year since the Urban Land Institute held its big annual conference in Dallas, and in that time North Texas stakeholders have brought some new ideas to the table for ULI North Texas' third annual Impact Awards gala.

This year, Dallas-based Merriman Anderson/Architects presented a pedestrian-friendly extension of the redevelopment of Commerce Street stretching from Deep Ellum into the Farmers Market with the help of Harwood Street.

The proposal was pitched last week under the generic title 'The Statler Corridor'. It consists of the historic Statler Hilton with the adjacent Old Dallas Public Library and the new Harwood Garage and Residency, which could help connect this part of the city with these two neighborhoods.

"This would link a lot of areas, which is important," Jerry Merriman, president of Merriman Anderson Architects, told the Dallas Business Journal."There's so much awareness right now on the city center of Dallas and there's so much interest in the Statler building itself."

Construction has begun on the 500- to 600-space parking garage that is being built to support a residential tower atop the garage. The residential tower could have anywhere from 180 to 300 homes.

The residential tower work is slated to begin upon completion of the garage. This project, along with the redevelopment other properties, could make downtown Dallas more walkable, Merriman said.

"Preserving our history is very important," said Mehrdad Moayedi, president and CEO of Farmers Branch-based Centurion American Development Group. "We are honored the Statler was recognized with the Next Big Idea award. We are looking forward to the vitality and energy the Statler and related projects will bring to downtown Dallas."

Gensler's proposed Klyde Warren Park Promenade and Pavilion came in third place in the category, which was voted on by attendees of the gala during a live, one-minute period.

Herb Weitzman, commercial real estate broker and founder of Dallas-based Weitzman, was honored at the gala for his visionary focus by the Urban Land Institute.

Weitzman was also honored by the Dallas Business Journal last year with the Best Real Estate Deals' Lifetime Achievement award.

The longtime broker that began his retail real estate career in the early 1960s has helped influence how North Texans shop today, said Pamela Stein, executive director of the Urban Land Institute's North District Council.

The redevelopment of The Statler — in which there's been an ongoing investigation by federal authorities and litigation by minority investors — was up for an award in the influence category, which ultimately went to the Village of Rowlett for the city's transit-oriented, mixed-use development within its central business district.

The public place category went to the Eagle Family Plaza at The Dallas Museum of Art, with the Fort Worth Botanic Garden's Municipal Rose Garden Restoration and Shake Shack at the Crescent Pavilion coming in as runners up to the Arts District project.

McKinney & Olive by Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate picked up the innovation category award, beating out Walsh and Toyota's North American headquarters.

/Dallas Business Journal

Huge AllianceTexas data center on the way

Huge AllianceTexas data center on the way

New campus likely to be one of the largest in the nation

The developer of North Fort Worth’s huge AllianceTexas project will team up with a data center firm and Silicon Valley investors to build a huge data center complex.

Hillwood said Monday that it will work with T5 Data Centers and IPI Data Center Partners to build a 350- to 400-acre data center campus at AllianceTexas.
The team plans to market construction sites in the campus to data center companies and corporations. It would be one of the largest such projects in the nation.

AllianceTexas is already home to one of the biggest data centers in the country — Facebook’s more than $1 billion project on State Highway 170.

The planned data center campus will surround the Facebook development, which is still expanding

“Rapid growth in Fort Worth is catching the attention of large technology companies, like Facebook, and is reinforcing AllianceTexas’ position as a premier destination for data centers,” Hillwood President Mike Berry said in a prepared statement. “With highly acclaimed data centers already developed in eight major markets across the United States, T5 and IPI Partners are ideal partners for expediting the evolution of AllianceTexas as a large-scale data center destination.

“This partnership will allow us to quickly deliver even more data center campuses to the growing number of customers who want to more efficiently serve North Texas and the broader market.”

The development sites Hillwood will include in the deal are large enough to potentially duplicate all the data center

capacity in the D-FW area. The sites could potentially be used for more than 5 million square feet of buildings.

North Texas is one of the fastest growing data center markets in the country, second only to Northern Virginia. Demand for telecommunications and data-handling facilities is increasing in the D-FW area as companies grow and the local population booms.

Almost a dozen data center projects are under development in the area.

Hillwood’s partner IPI Data Center Partners Management is funded by Iconiq Capital LLC, a San Franciscobased investor whose clients include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Napster founder Sean Parker and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Iconiq has been in business for six years and has more than $1.4 billion in investments. Iconiq is also an equity investor in T5.

T5 Data Centers is already a player in the North Texas data center market and also has facilities in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Portland, Charlotte, Chicago, New York and Colorado.

“This partnership with Hillwood and IPI Partners brings together a highly experienced team ready to deliver hyperscale campuses for discerning data center cus- tomers,” Pete Marin, president and CEO of T5, said in a statement.

Hillwood officials say that the AllianceTexas development is an ideal location for data centers because of the availability of multiple electric utilities and substations as well as access to fiber telecommunications networks.

Too Much Of A Good Thing? The Tension Between A Great Market And Overbuilding

“DFW is where we are putting our chips in today. We see the risk-adjusted returns are better in Dallas today and the profit spread is wider in Dallas today and the growth opportunity is better in Dallas today,” JPI Senior Vice President Matt Brendel said. But are too many multifamily developers saying it?

 Pixabay Dallas In a city with consistent job growth, it is no wonder developers are in love with Dallas. People flock here by the hundreds every day, and demand for multifamily product is unquestionably present, as occupancy is up around 95% in DFW. 

But there are some concerns with the market, namely that there are too many developers high on Dallas’ strong multifamily fundamentals. High levels of interest in a market outperforming most of the rest of the U.S. are spurring nervous mutterings about overbuilding among some experts in the field.

 Research from multiple firms shows that consistent, significant construction deliveries through the end of this year and into 2018 are slowing rent growth. CBRE Director of Research and Analysis Robert Kramp said labor shortages and increased material costs could decrease construction, preventing Dallas from oversupplying itself. 

Bisnow: Jeremiah Jensen JPI Senior Vice President Matt Brendel But Brendel believes Dallas is still in balance. “Dallas is a demand story. Everybody talks about the supply, but it is about the demand. When you are creating over 100,000 jobs a year consistently for a 24-month stretch, that’s a demand story.

 When you are delivering 20,000 to 25,000 units within that same time frame, that is balanced supply and demand,” Brendel said at Bisnow's Dallas Multifamily Explosion event Wednesday. According to Brendel, his assertion holds up based on the historical rule of thumb that for every four or five jobs there will be demand for one additional unit. 

Dallas looks just about perfect to developers who are doing the same math. JPI and others that are still looking for new deals in Dallas are not unfounded in thinking there is still room to lean into this booming market. 

See Full Article Here

Bisnow/Jeremiah Jensen

New mixed-use development kicks off construction at Dallas' landmark Village apartment community

Plans for The Village redevelopment show more than a dozen new buildings.(The Village)
Plans for The Village redevelopment show more than a dozen new buildings. 
(The Village)
Plans for the development show  apartments in a half-dozen buildings, townhomes, a market and retail, executive suites and a fitness center.
There's a new residence club, an event lawn, a putting green, a ball field and a soccer field. The new urban center will include "multiple dining options and more," according to information given to residents.
The tallest buildings in the project will be about five stories.
Village owner Lincoln Property and builder Phoenix Property Co. have been working on the project since last year.
"While plans are still being finalized, we anticipate approximately 300 new luxury apartment units will be built in the new development," a spokesman for The Village said. "While [we] cannot commit to a construction time frame, it is our hope this new development will be completed in 24 to 36 months."
Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News

Friday, September 29, 2017

Why Valley View mall, which was supposed to be gone by now, remains a zombieland

Every few days I drive past Valley View Center and can't believe there's still a Valley View Center.
The mall at Preston Road and LBJ Freeway was supposed to have been torn down starting no later than last Dec. 31. That deadline was set by a vote of the Dallas City Council in the summer of '16 intended to pave the way for the Dallas Midtown development, a sprawling multibillion-dollar sea of shiny with a nice big chunk of green planted right in the center. More than five years in the making, though, Midtown remains unmade — less a tease than a taunt at this late date.

The dead mall refuses to fall down. Pieces of it have been excised — the exterior of the old Sangers, a chunk of a parking garage. But that's it. Whole thing looks like hell. The mall of my wasted youth, which sits on one of the most valuable stretches of real estate in the city, has turned into a zombie.
And here's the awful secret: It's going to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Turns out, the city has terminated its agreement with Beck Ventures to kick in $36 million in tax incentives intended to help cover a whopping initial price tag that was around $290 million more than a year ago and shot up to $500 million a few months back, so who knows. The done deal was undone over the summer, quietly, almost concurrently with a ceremonial groundbreaking in late June — months after the tear-down deadline — that was just a last-ditch effort to keep that $36 million from vanishing altogether.
Beck Ventures' Scott Beck, who owns the mall with his dad, Jeff, blames the city for the holdup, insisting that zoning issues at City Hall led to delayed approvals that caused problems with the bank that left leases with anchor tenants in limbo. For instance, he said the city told him a planned Cinèpolis movie theater and Life Time Fitness facility couldn't have anything above the first floor with ceilings taller than 15 feet — absurd! He said officials took so long to get things rolling that even with an extension, he missed the New Year's Eve demo deadline.

So he's back to zero, once again filling out paperwork in hopes of getting the city to cough up incentives already approved and removed. City staffers say he wants more — around $50 million. Except this time, the new people in charge at City Hall are going to look at the books, do the math and tell Beck how much he's getting.

Meanwhile, city officials say they've done plenty for the Becks in the more than five years since they announced they'd bought the mall. As in: The city hustled through an area plan for the whole Valley View-Galleria area, wrote up a development plan that rezoned all that wasted concrete and gave the Becks plenty of leeway to build just about anything, created a Mall Area Redevelopment TIF District to help stimulate private investment there and at Red Bird Mall, rezoned some of that early rezoning (twice!), and then agreed to kick in that $36 million. 

Which is all true. I've attended more Midtown meetings than I care to think about since 2012, including an October 2015 sit-down with the city's Urban Design Peer Review Panel where Beck was told the planned development was just too confusing. And, yeah. It was.
And now it's a mess, with both sides likely to blame — the novice developer who's never attempted to build something so Brobdingnagian, and a labyrinthine City Hall with all-new people and all-new rules. No wonder everyone, including Mayor Mike Rawlings, is pitching the Valley View site to Amazon for its second HQ. Feels almost do-or-die at this point. Bezos or bust.

Beck said Wednesday that by now he expected Valley View would be demolished and replaced by high-rise hotels and apartment buildings and a grocery store and that movie theater and that gym.
"And I am disappointed," Beck said when I asked if he's frustrated with the process. "We're in the development business. We're used to things going through a process. I am not frustrated. Just disappointed."

Robert Wilonsky/Dallas Morning News

Dallas leaders put city's iconic skyscrapers in the mix for Amazon HQ2

The executives at Downtown Dallas Inc. are pulling together potential development sites in the city's central business district that could appeal to the search underway by Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) for a second North American headquarters.

"We have a lot of options with nearly 6 million square feet of space available for someone to move into today," said Kourtny Garrett, president and CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc., an advocacy group for Dallas' urban core.

"Amazon said they are looking for 500,000 square feet of space in 2019, and we can easily absorb that in the CBD," Garrett added. "Within a 2.5-mile radius, we have almost 30 million square feet of real estate; the opportunities are endless."
Garrett and other North Texas leaders are helping the Dallas Regional Chamberidentify the best sites in the region that could sway the e-commerce giant to bring its proposed $5 billion campus to Dallas-Fort Worth.

The 500,000 square feet could fit easily into a variety of configurations of either one or a few of Dallas' trophy buildings, she said.
Dallas' tallest skyscraper, Bank of America Plaza, is one of the building's being discussed as a potential option for Amazon to consider. Other options include:
  • Tim Headington's development parcels at Field and Ross streets.
  • Mike Hoque's recently acquired Hoque Global affiliate-owned property near Dallas City Hall.
  • The Texas Central high-speed rail transit-oriented development by Dallas-based Matthews Southwest.
  • The Spire Realty development tract on the east side of the CBD by Interstate 345, with the help of nearby properties (like the developable land surrounding the historic Dallas High School and Carpenter Park). If selected, this could mean the cry for the teardown of Interstate 345 could be heard by Amazon execs.
  • Exposition Park, which sits east of downtown Dallas near Deep Ellum.

In all, Garrett said Downtown Dallas Inc. plans to help pitch upwards of a dozen different configurations in the city's central business district.

Longtime Dallas developer and investor Mike Ablon said he wouldn't be surprised if Amazon already had a notion of which cities they planned to shortlist, with the idea this publicly issued request-for-proposal process would let those cities validate themselves.

"They are very indicative of a new economy," Ablon, principal at Dallas-based PegasusAblon told the Dallas Business Journal."They are in a number of verticals and spaces and they have to have at the back of their mind: What's is the solution that fulfills our goals for the next 25 years.

"It's a very complicated question to answer from the outside," he added.
Ablon, who played an important role in the early transformation of the Design District, said he wouldn't be surprised if Amazon wanted to weave itself into the fabric of a city, whether it be urban or suburban.

This real estate search — regardless of what happens — will be an important one for Dallas, he said, which seems to still be reeling from Boeing selecting Chicago over Dallas because of the Texas city's lack of culture.

"If they come to Dallas-Fort Worth, we will all benefit," Ablon said. "If they don't and they give feedback for the next five to 10 years, we'll see an action plan to adjust or mitigate that for the future.

"HQ2 is a bit of a watershed moment of the decade," he added. "This will show how a city will position itself for the future."

/Dallas Business Journal

Friday, September 22, 2017

Amazon in Oak Cliff? Prime property owners pitch site for huge HQ

Investors who own a key development site on Oak Cliff's doorstep are pitching the property as a site for Amazon's huge new corporate headquarters.
The site of the old Oak Farms Dairy and other land investor Cienda Partners owns has a front row seat on the downtown Dallas skyline.
The properties are at the south end of the Houston Street Bridge and include the site of the former Burnett Field baseball stadium on Interstate 35E.
"We have more than 50 acres," said Cienda Partner's Barry Hancock. "This is a very good location on the edge of downtown."
Hancock said other real estate is available in the area that would create a larger development site.
The Oak Cliff real estate Cienda Partners is promoting fronts on the planned Trinity Park in the river bottoms.
"Ten city blocks, the site is the largest contiguous site on the Trinity River and in the downtown area," Cienda Partners writes in its formal proposal for the Amazon office. "The site is adjacent to the first stop from downtown on the new $80 million modern streetcar line which connects Oak Cliff to the DART lines at 
Union Station, providing north-south access between downtown and Oak Cliff and to the Bishop Arts District. Two DART Light Rail stations are within walking distance."
Cienda Partners cofounder Phil Wise said the company decided to throw its hat in the ring to attract the huge Amazon development after hearing about the competition.
Amazon is doing a nationwide search for a location where it can build a second corporate headquarters at a cost of about $5 billion, to house up to 50,000 workers.
The digital retailer has said its looking for at least 100 acres in an urban location that's close to a young labor force and has access to public transit.
"We were highly encouraged by some of the city council folks. It really does seem like a center city location like Oak Cliff really fits with what Amazon has done in Seattle," Wise said. "I think it's a good exercise for Dallas to go after this."
Wise said that his firm was encouraged by city officials to put the Oak Cliff property in the running for Amazon's headquarters deal.
North Oak Cliff is one of Dallas' fastest growing urban districts. Developers, retailers and restaurateurs are remaking the old neighborhoods in sight of downtown.
Cienda Partners purchased the old Oak Farms Dairy on Zang Boulevard in 2014 and has been promoting redevelopment of the high-profile property. The investor also acquired the old Burnett Field site in 2014.
Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News

Texas Is Fully On The Radar Of Investors

Zietsman says job growth will continue to create demand from credit tenants and investors.
HOUSTON—In a newly created office investment sales leadership role within JLL as international director, Michael Zietsman’s primary focus is on advancing the company’s growth strategy, executing large transactions and managing client relationships, with a particular focus on the Texas and Denver regions. He is now based out of JLL’s Houston office.
Zietsman has been instrumental in growing JLL’s investment sales in Southern California since re-joining the company in 2007. He led teams that executed such notable transactions as Williams Tower in Houston, Crystals at CityCenter in Las Vegas and Republic Plaza in Denver.
“The Texas and Denver regions are experiencing tremendous population and employment growth, which is driving increased office investment sales demand,” said Jonathan Geanakos, president, JLL Capital Markets Americas. “Under Michael’s guidance, we are establishing a unified office investment sales practice in the region to accelerate our business development efforts and enhance our knowledge and execution capabilities.”
Zietsman has 34 years of experience in the sale, joint venture and financing of various property types, with an aggregate value in excess of $11 billion. He was the president of Zietsman Realty Partners from 2004 to 2007. Prior to that, he was a managing director of Lehman Brothers’ global real estate group where he was responsible for the real estate asset finance business. Zietsman started his career with JLL in Los Angeles in 1983, serving various roles in Los Angeles and Tokyo.
In this exclusive, Zietsman recently discussed the new role, his plans for the future, investment opportunities and how Harvey will impact Houston long term.
GlobeSt.com: You’ve had tremendous success in Los Angeles. What is the reasoning behind JLL creating this new role and what do you hope to accomplish?
Zietsman: We were able to grow our business in Los Angeles by 256% between 2012 and 2016. Looking at opportunities in other areas of the country, we found that there is an exceptional amount of commonality between the owners of properties in Texas and Colorado. The markets in Colorado–especially Denver–and Texas are similar in many ways. In my new role, I will foster a unified team that will provide consistent, connected service to our clients throughout the region.
Lisa Brown/Globe St.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

New transit-oriented development kicks off in downtown Carrollton

Developer Trammell Crow Co. and partner Olympus Property are building the third phase of a transit-oriented development in Carrollton.Crow's High Street Residential has broken ground on 352 apartments and retail space in the Union at Carrollton Square in downtown Carrollton.

 The project is near DART's commuter rail station and will be finished in late 2018.

"We are grateful to expand upon such a unique and successful project in Carrollton's historic downtown district and pleased to partner with Olympus Property to deliver a best-in-class residential community to Carrollton," said Joel Behrens, a principal with High Street Residential, which started the Union at Carrollton Square project in 2013.

"We purchased the first two phases of Union at Carrollton Square from High Street Residential in January 2015," Anthony Wonderly, a principal at Olympus Property, said in a statement. "Over the past two-plus years, the apartment community has experienced tremendous demand from people wanting to live in downtown Carrollton."

Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News