Thursday, August 20, 2015

Builders plan hundreds of homes, apartments in $700 million Richardson project

Developers are ready to ramp up Richardson’s next big real estate project with land sales to two homebuilders.
Plans for the 80-acre Palisades Central development on U.S. Highway 75 north of Galatyn Parkway call for office towers, retail space, apartments and hotel rooms. It’s being built around two office towers on the west side of North Central Expressway that date back to the 1970s and 1980s.
Partners KBS Realty and JP Realty Partners obtained hard-fought zoning for the project after a bitter squabble with homeowners in the area who were opposed to rental homes in the development.
And when Richardson’s former mayor resigned to work for the developers, there was more finger-pointing.
But that hasn’t slowed down the development in the booming Telecom Corridor.
Builder K. Hovnanian Homes is buying more than 100 lots for townhomes on the west side of Palisades Central.
And apartment developer Wood Partners is acquiring land for two rental communities with more than 500 units.
Construction on the two housing projects could begin late this year or in early 2016.
“After the land purchases are completed, they are ready to break ground,” JP Realty CEO Mark Jordan said. “When we were doing our planning with the city, it was estimated that the project would be valued at more than $700 million when it’s done.”
The Palisades Central development dates to the 1970s, when Dallas’ wealthy Hunt family bought up thousands of acres of farm land in Richardson and Plano. The Hunts built the first high-rise office building in the area and planned millions of square feet of additional construction.
“We took what they started with and added a hotel, more retail and more mixed-uses,” Jordan said. “As part of our deal with the city, we are keeping a 4-acre park in the center of the project.”
Atlanta-based apartment builder Wood Partners, which has done several North Texas projects, will build two luxury rental communities with about 570 units.
Dallas architect Good Fulton & Farrell designed the apartments.
“Since it’s the Telecom Corridor, there is a huge base of jobs surrounding that site,” Wood Partners’ Ryan Miller said. “We have great access and visibility from the freeway.
“There’s huge apartment demand up there with all the workers coming from State Farm and Raytheon,” he said.
State Farm Insurance and Raytheon are adding almost 10,000 workers in the new CityLine development further north on Bush Turnpike. And recent leases in the Galatyn Park project just east of Palisades Central will bring thousands more jobs to the neighborhood.
The two existing office buildings at Palisades Central are more than 90 percent leased.
And commercial real estate firm CBRE is marketing land in the project to companies that need a high-profile office location in the Telecom Corridor.
“We’re tracking 10 deals that have expressed interest in the Richardson corridor,” said Dennis Barnes with CBRE. “Palisades Central has the ability to deliver what could be one of the last big mixed-use developments in the Telecom Corridor.”
The developers plan to tear out and replace old roads in Palisades Central along with utilities and landscaping.
“We have zoning to build another 2 million square feet of office space,” Jordan said. “That’s big enough to handle another State Farm.
“We made a commitment for the long term to build this out,” he said. “It’s a seven- to 10-year development.”
Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News