Friday, February 06, 2015

Hillwood, VanTrust and Rudman team up on $1B project near Cowboys' Frisco HQ

Frisco Station 4 copy

Three large family-owned companies — The Rudman Partnership, Hillwood Properties and VanTrust Real Estate — are teaming up on a partnership to develop Frisco Station, a $1 billion mixed-use development adjacent to the new Dallas Cowboys headquarters project in Frisco.

The proposed 242-acre development at the northwest area of the Dallas North Tollway and Warren Parkway will feature more than 4 million square feet of Class A office space, 2,400 apartments, retail, restaurants, entertainment venues and medical facilities.

The Rudman Partnership — which owns a number of acres throughout North Texas — has owned the property for more than five decades and has had it zoned for development for several years, said Trey Sibley, general manager for the family-owned partnership.

"Now, we think it is the right time to develop it," Sibley told the Dallas Business Journal."We went to Hillwood and VanTrust because we wanted a partnership with experience."
As part of the collaborative partnership, Hillwood and VanTrust plan to acquire an ownership interest in the land from The Rudman Partnership and its family affiliates. The Rudman Partnership will remain the majority stakeholder in the ownership interest of Frisco Station.

The two partners were attracted to the site's proximity to the Dallas Cowboys headquarters and other employers along the Dallas North Tollway corridor in Frisco and West Plano (known by Frisco city officials as being the '$5 billion mile' for the amount of development taking place along that stretch of road).

Ross Perot Jr.'s Hillwood will oversee the land planning and infrastructure of the development. The Fort Worth-based real estate developer will also develop apartments, retail, restaurant, entertainment and possible hotel portion of the project. VanTrust will helm the development of all Frisco Station's Class A office space.

"Our plan is to have a dense development linked by a series of districts," Mike Berry, president of Hillwood Properties, told the Dallas Business Journa l. "The way this plan lays out, it will be cohesive and compatible with each part of the project."

The roadways and public infrastructure moving westward from the Dallas North Tollway were already underway with the 91-acre, Dallas Cowboys-anchored development, which helps the partnership gain momentum in bringing their development to fruition. Construction is slated to begin in mid-2015.

Van Trust plans to "raise the bar" of development as it builds 4 million square feet of office space, which is currently being shopped to Toyota-level sized companies, said Ran Holman, executive vice president and Dallas market leader for Kansas City-based VanTrust Real Estate.

"It's hard to fully grasp the impact that Toyota is going to have on this area and there are other similar-sized deals in the market," Holman told the DBJ. "We are mindful of that in what we would be doing. We love this position on the Tollway ... large users are considering the area."

The amenities of Frisco Station — from apartments to retail to entertainment — will attract companies seeking to make a run at recruiting and maintaining its best employee talent, he added.

Along with the office campus, the partnership plans to eventually sign a 150-room limited service hotel with a business focus, a performing arts component or live music venue at the development and a cluster of food and beverage concepts. About 40 acres will be devoted to medical office uses to complement the nearby Baylor Medical Center complex.

There's a vest interest in the medical complex. The Rudman family worked with Baylor to develop the property. And the family has a vested interest in a number of nearby apartment and housing projects in Frisco.

Other plans for Frisco Station include an open space and a greenbelt of programmed community events. Ultimately, the partners want to create a high-tech and creative environment for tenants and residents.

And perhaps one day the plans could include a university campus, much like the one Texas A&M's Tarleton University plans to build at a new billion-plus dollar development along the Chisholm Trail Parkway in Fort Worth.

As the development takes shape, each partner says they are building Frisco Station for the long haul and each family-owned group has the financial backing to go big.

"We are fortunate to have the partners we do," said Sibley, who is managing the Rudman Partnership. "There's a common thread. No one has to do this. We all have a common goal for excellence. We intend to have a high-end project and we all have the same financial wherewithal to make it happen."

Candace Carlisle, Dallas Business Journal