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Commercial Real Estate

Winners Revealed: D CEO’s 2021 Commercial Real Estate Awards

At last night's big event at Gilley's, D CEO honored the region’s biggest deals and most notable projects—and the people who made them happen.
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North Texas was one of the nation’s top commercial real estate markets in 2020, despite challenges brought on by the pandemic. And last night, D CEO held its first in-person event in over a year to honor the region’s top transactions, dealmakers, developers, and other key players.

An invite-only crowd of industry leaders gathered at Gilley’s to celebrate the 51 projects and deals and 32 professionals recognized as finalists in D CEO’s annual Commercial Real Estate Awards program.

Perhaps no other real estate community in the country has been better prepared to weather the challenges of the past year than ours,” D CEO publisher Gillea Allison told the crowd of about 300. “We’ve has been through some storms before and have always emerged stronger than ever. There is no doubt that we are poised to bounce back in a big way—we’re already seeing signs of that. But tonight, we’re not here to just look forward. We’re here to look backat some of the amazing projects and deals that came together in 2020and the industry professionals who made them happen.”

This year’s program included two new awards: Emerging Commercial Real Estate Professional and Excellence in Community Service.

Well-deserved applause echoed through the room as award recipients were announced; speeches ranged from short moments of thanking team members to Matt Schendle of Cushman & Wakefield asking for a raise after being announced as Broker of the Year.

Gensler’s Barry Hand, who helped accept the Best New Mixed-Use Project award on behalf of the AT&T Discovery District, commented on how the best recognized mixed-use project sits at the base of a major headquarters—emphasizing the $100 million investment AT&T has made in the core of downtown Dallas.

Veletta Forsythe Lill of the Dallas Historical Society accepted the Best Community Impact award on behalf of the Hall of State renovation at Fair Park, saying she was elated that a building constructed in the 1930s was recognized. “She’s back,” Lill said. The renovation was led by Gensler. 

The final award of the evening, Deal of the Year, went to a project putting Dallas on the map as a biotech hub. Developed by  J. Small Investments and Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Pegasus Park will reimagine a dormant oil industry campus into a brand-new center for business, social impact, and biomedical innovation. Already the project has secured leases from BioLabs and a whopping 180,000 square feet from UT Southwestern.

This development is an economic engine bringing highly desirable STEM jobs to Dallas and West Dallas, a community for nonprofits to collaborate for the greater good, and a hub for corporate enterprise. It’s an ambitious development that requires a united coalition of scientists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, academia, health systems, philanthropists, and government.

Below is a list of award winners. Click here to read about all finalists.


Broker of the Year – Matthew Schendle, Cushman & Wakefield

Executive of the Year – Sharon Morrison, ESRP

Developer of the Year – Bill Cawley, Cawley Partners

Emerging CRE Professional – Holden Lunsford, Holt Lunsford Commercial

Excellence in Architecture & Design – Tom Reisenbichler, Perkins and Will

Excellence in Construction & Engineering – Arcilia Acosta, CARCON Industries

Community Service Award – Linda McMahon, The Real Estate Council

Pioneer Award – Shawn Todd, Todd Interest


Best Commercial Property Sale – The Union

Best Data Center Project – Compass Data Centers/Red Oak

Best Industrial Lease – Amazon at DFW Commerce Center

Best Land Deal – Sendera Ranch

Best New Industrial Project – Passport Park

Best New Mixed-Use Project – AT&T Discovery District

Best New Multifamily Project – AMLI Fountain Place

Best New Office Project – Victory Commons One

Best Office Lease – Peloton

Best Redevelopment or Renovation – The National

Best Retail, Entertainment, or Hospitality Project – Grandscape

Community Impact Award – Hall of State at Fair Park

Deal of the Year – Pegasus Park

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