Thursday, July 02, 2015

Cypress Waters development lures big companies with North Texas location and mixed-use construction

Las Colinas, Legacy, CityLine, AllianceTexas – North Texas has some of the country’s top suburban business parks.
Companies have added another location to their shopping list.
The 1,000-acre Cypress Waters development on LBJ Freeway during the last year has landed some of the area’s largest office deals.
Construction is underway in the project on a headquarters for convenience store chain 7-Eleven.
And about a month from now there will be a groundbreaking for a regional corporate campus for information firm CoreLogic.
Nationstar Mortgage, British Telecom, Meritage Homes, AMN Healthcare and Toyota have also made big office deals at Cypress Waters, which is being built by Billingsley Co.
“We will have about 5,000 people working here by early 2017,” said developer Lucy Billingsley. “We are adding another 200,000-square-foot multi-tenant office building and have still another one on the drawing boards.”
In all, more than 6 million square feet of offices are planned in the development. And roughly 26,000 people will eventually work at Cypress Waters.
“That’s so much more than we ever anticipated.”
More than a decade ago when Billingsley Co. bought the land for Cypress Waters, the project was considered primarily an apartment and home development.
Cypress Waters is zoned for about 10,000 apartments. About 700 units have been built and more are on the way.
It wasn’t until 2012 that plans were announced for the first office park at in the development at Belt Line Road and LBJ Freeway.
News of the proposed business campus didn’t rate a lot of attention in a market where big office developments are commonplace.
But with more than a million square feet of office deals now done in the project, real estate brokers and corporate tenants all have Cypress Waters on their radar.
“It’s the real deal and a competitive force in the market now,” said Greg Biggs, managing director with commercial real estate firm JLL. “Billingsley is very aggressive and the product they build meets the needs of today’s business.
“They are always under consideration for new deals.”
Mixed-use appeal
To make sure Cypress Waters continues to land new employers, Billingsley is expanding the project with mixed-use buildings to appeal to employers and residents.
Construction will start soon on a new town center at the south end of North Lake.
Dallas architects Good Fulton & Farrell designed the project – called The Sound -- to include mid-rise apartment buildings, restaurants and shops fronting on the water
“We’ve already been talking to restaurants,” Billingsley. “We’ll have the restaurants on the water with a trail going in and out between them.
“We are ramping up to be more sophisticated and urban,” she said. “We already had a few very large corporations looking at this development.”
Legacy business park, the CityLine development in Richardson and AllianceTexas in North Fort Worth have all added restaurant and retail villages to help businesses attract and retain workers.
At Cypress Waters, Billingsley has built a series of small parks with large sculptures and is adding more green space in other parts of the development.
“We’ve already planted 500 trees and are landscaping along the shore of the lake,” Billingsley said.
Six- to 7-story apartment blocks in the town center will overlook a small cove that is crossed by a signature bridge.
The cove and bridge have just been built. Construction will start in the next couple of months on the streets in the new town center.
Work on the buildings will begin in early 2016.
Large companies on the way
Since most of Cypress Waters is in the city of Dallas, the economic development office has provided incentives to land the major employers including CoreLogic and Toyota.
“Cypress Waters is a great investment for the city,” said assistant city manager Ryan Evans. “The project will add significantly to our tax base.
“And it’s a new part of the city that will not have to have a lot maintenance expense.”
7-Eleven starts relocating more than 1,200 workers from downtown Dallas to Cypress Waters in early 2016.
Toyota Industries Commercial Finance Inc. late this year will move more than 150 people into its office headquarters in the project. The company is bringing people from Southern California for the new operation.
In September, AMN Healthcare will start moving several hundred workers into 109,000 square feet of office space at 8840 Cypress Waters Blvd. They company currently has offices in Irving.
Billingsley senior vice president Marjike Lantz said the development’s location near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and easy access to LBJ Freeway and Bush Turnpike are big factors in attracting business.
And it doesn’t hurt that there is plenty of room for more construction.
“A lot of corporations want to be in the park because they can expand here,” said “They like that we have the ability to handle their growth.
“It’s also making a big difference now that they can see what we are building here.”   
Steve Brown/ Dallas Morning News