Earlier this week, we counted down DFW’s top 15 commercial real estate stories of 2015. (Click here to see the top five, here to see stories six through 10, and here to see stories 11-15.) Today, we present, in random order, our list of six things to watch in 2016.
1. Park District. Trammell Crow and Metlife paid a record price for a tract along Klyde Warren Park at Pearl Street. Their Park District project features a 34-story residential tower and 20-story office building. The developers just inked a 200,000-square-foot lease from PWC, which will occupy eight floors of the Uptown office tower.
2. Mid-Tollway Rebound. With all lanes on the LBJ TEXpress now open, tenants are showing renewed interest in space at and near the LBJ/Dallas/North Tollway interchange. Bargains can still be had, but escalations will occur as developers like Cawley Partners build new space and new owners like CBRE Investors make capital improvements in their assets.
3. Emergence of Pocket Markets. A growing, fervent demand for the urban experience is sparking investment in a number of micro markets around town—Deep Ellum, The Cedars, Trinity Groves, the Design District, and forerunner Bishop Arts. Expect to see the projects in these areas grow both in number and size.
4. Foreign Capital Flooding Market. For years, Dallas has been considered a tertiary investment market. But that’s changing. The region’s strong fundamentals, economic diversity, and robust growth have positioned it closer to the gateway realm, attracting a new class of commercial real estate buyers. This is particularly true of foreign investors. New nonstop flights out of DFW Airport to China and other international destinations are playing a key role in this trend.
5. Ongoing Growth to the North. With a 300,000-square-foot office in Granite Park, Fannie Mae is among the latest big tenants to sign on for space in the Far North Dallas corridor. Across the tollway, explosive growth continues at Legacy West, home to huge projects for Toyota North America, FedEx Office, Liberty Mutual, and JPMorgan Chase. Just up the street, the Dallas Cowboys’ new home base, The Star, will open in Frisco, where Wade Park also continues to expand.
6. The Reinvention of Ross Avenue. This development cycle still has some legs on it, and projects planned for Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas could have a transformational effect. To the east, Craig Hall’s second phase of HALL Arts will add a 25-story hotel and condo tower. J.P. Morgan’s 2000 Ross at Olive Street will add another hotel and more than 350 apartments. On the western end, Goddard is adding a parking garage and making other improvements to Fountain Place, and Hillwood Urban has plans for a 1 million-square-foot tower at Field Street. Tim Headington is betting on Ross Avenue, too, snapping up several properties at Field and Griffin streets.