D CEO magazine presented awards in 15 categories at its third annual Commercial Real Estate Awards program, held at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Here’s a look at those honored in the Developer of the Year category.
Winner: Lucy Billingsley, Billinglsey Co.
Many developers find success by specializing in a particular product type. Others start with the land, then try to determine its highest and best use. Billingsley Co., led by Lucy Billingsley, falls into the latter category. Following in the footsteps of her legendary father, Trammell Crow, Billingsley has become a development force in her own right.
That point was driven home in 2014, when her company had numerous projects underway in all sectors: 600,000 square feet of industrial space at the new Mercer Business Park; more than 1.2 milion square feet of office space, including 7-Eleven Inc.’s new headquarters at Cypress Waters; and more than 1,000 apartment units across the region. Billingsley Co. also announced Beacon Square, a large mixed-use development in Plano, and launched a subsidiary to handle multifamily construction management.
Despite the blistering pace, Lucy Billingsley takes a hands-on approach with every project. “It is thrilling to design communities, the public arena, the office, retail, and residential developments,” she says. “To be able to think of how we can enrich the lives of those who live and work with us, to be challenged by the changing trends of our lives, to meet the unrecognized need. How lucky we are to have the pleasure of this work.”
Finalist: Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Harwood International
Gabriel Barbier-Mueller has dedicated his career to making Dallas better, one block at a time. Starting with the Rolex building in 1984, he was among the first to develop office space in Uptown. Today, his 18-block Harwood district is a bustling—and beautiful—commercial and residential neighborhood. Gabriel’s two most recent projects showcase the international flair he brings to Dallas: the 22-story Frost Tower office building and the 33-story Bleu Ciel condominium tower. And after more than 30 years as Harwood’s developer, owner, and manager, he has proven that he’s in it for the long haul.
Finalist: Scott Krikorian, Trammell Crow Co.
Trammell Crow Company has been changing the face of North Texas for more than 65 years, and it continues to be one of the region’s most active developers. This past year was no exception, with the company completing or in the process of building more 4 million square feet of space. Projects span all commercial sectors. They include Legacy Tower in Plano and the FAA’s regional headquarters in Fort Worth; the 35-Eagle, TCC-Penn, and JJ Lemmon industrial developments; the Union at Carrollton Square multifamily complex; and three new mixed-use projects in Uptown: M-Line Tower, Knox Heights, and the highly anticipated Park District tower along Klyde Warren Park.
Finalist: Steve Van Amburgh, KDC
It’s a wonder that Steve VanAmburgh has time to do much of anything these days. His company has been awarded a jaw-dropping number of high-profile projects in the past year or two, shoring up KDC’s reputation as the developer of choice for corporate office buildings. Last year was the most successful year in KDC’s history, with 7.2 million square feet in development. Locally, there’s the State Farm-anchored CityLine, which we heard about earlier, and a new office tower in Uptown called 1920 McKinney. There’s also Legacy West. At this 240-acre project in Plano, KDC is developing headquarters campuses for both FedEx Office and Toyota Motor North America. The brand names don’t get much bigger than that.