Friday, February 06, 2015

Lewisville development will bring 4,000 apartments

Developer Bright Realty is beginning construction this month on the first phase of a planned 4,000-apartment community in its Castle Hills development in Lewisville.
Developers of a Lewisville community are breaking ground this month on the first of more than 4,000 planned apartments.
The huge new rental housing complex will be built on the south side of State Highway 121, just west of the new Nebraska Furniture Mart and Toyota’s planned headquarters.
The project is part of the 2,600-acre Castle Hills development, which has been under construction since the 1990s.
The new Discovery at The Realm apartment community will have three buildings in the first phase on more than 20 acres south of Windhaven Parkway at Castle Hills Drive.
The initial 419-unit, five-story apartment complex is expected to cost more than $75 million and will open in 2016.
“We think the timing is right to do this project,” said Chris Bright, CEO of Castle Hills developer Bright Realty. “We are trying to create a little bit of an urban environment, but in a suburban location.
“We’ve gone all across the country looking at projects like this to see what we should create.”
The apartment buildings will be connected by a series of parks and trails, with resort-style swimming pools, a spa and other amenities.
The rental community was designed by 505 Design of Boulder, Colo., and LandDesign and BB+M Architecture of Charlotte, N.C. Andres Construction Services of Dallas is the general contractor.
Mutual of Omaha Bank and Great Southern Bank of Springfield, Mo., are providing construction financing that was arranged by Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC. Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC also provided funding representing one of its institutional clients.
The Discovery at The Realm apartment community is just one of several new developments in the Castle Hills project. Bright Realty recently broke ground on the first phase of a 150-acre office park called Crown Centre at Castle Hills. The first office building will have about 200,000 square feet.
And construction is underway on the Castle Hills Marketplace shopping center, which is anchored by a Kroger Marketplace supermarket.
“There is a mixed-use project we are still working on Windhaven Parkway [near the new apartments] that will have 400,000 to 450,000 square feet of retail,” Bright said. “The whole 121 corridor is on fire right now.”
Since opening in 1998, Castle Hills has grown to 10,000-plus residents and more than 3,600 single-family homes.
“We have another 800 or 900 home lots left to deliver,” Bright said. “We’re probably four to six years within being built out on the single-family homes.”
The Bright family’s involvement in the property goes back more than a half century.
“My dad, H.R. ‘Bum’ Bright, bought the first piece of it in 1952,” Bright said. “We donated the right of way for 121 in 1989.”
The projects at Castle Hills are just the latest in a string of major developments on State Highway 121 between the Dallas North Tollway and Interstate 35E.
Nebraska Furniture Mart will open its almost 2 million-square-foot store and distribution center next year at 121 and Plano Parkway. The giant furniture retailer is part of an even larger mixed-use project that will include shops, restaurants, hotel rooms and other buildings.
Toyota’s $350 million North American headquarters campus will be constructed nearby at Highway 121 and Legacy Drive.
Another big project — the $2 billion Legacy West mixed-use development — will kick off in February near the southwest corner of 121 and the tollway.

Steve Brown