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Commercial Real Estate

Craig Hall on Why He’s Reinventing His Frisco Office Park

Investing $7 billion in his 162-acre development is a big bet. But for Hall, the end product is just as much about what you'll feel as what you'll see.
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As it stands today, HALL Park is somewhere between its past and its future. The 162-acre development began life as an office park, but reach back even further to 1990, and it was a plot of land that developer Craig Hall had chosen to pin a dream on. 

By all measures, he made those dreams a reality, pioneering an office market and developing one of the most successful corporate parks in the region. Now, he’s expanding the project to include a park and hotel, and a new luxury tower is welcoming its first residents.

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A rendering of The Tower at HALL Park, a 16-story office tower with outdoor terraces on each floor.

It’s a physical manifestation of reimagination–and the kind of thing that happens when you make a $7 billion reinvestment that will go toward years of shaping a new future. 

Redevelopment of HALL Park kicked off in 2021, about a year-and-a-half after the pandemic stalled original efforts to transform the office campus into a mixed-use development. Discussions for such a change had begun before Covid struck in 2020. 

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Craig Hall

“We thought that would be a good thing,” HALL Group Founder and Chairman Craig Hall says of the redevelopment. “Now we think it’s an essential thing. We think it’s lucky that we were working on it before the world changed as dramatically as it has.” 

Turning the Kaleidoscope 

The site of HALL Park was the last of four or five parcels of land in Frisco purchased by HALL Group in the late 1980s. At the time, Frisco was a faraway Dallas suburb with a population of about 6,000. Inspired by a belief that growth would eventually head north, Hall’s goal was lofty—to establish the best office park in the country. 

Ground broke on the project’s first building in 1997. Within a decade, the park boasted 1.8 million total square feet of space with 11 new buildings being built between 2001 and 2007. A pioneering hallmark of the development was the inclusion of more than 200 pieces of artwork both inside and outside of the various buildings.

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A rendering of HALL Park Hotel, slated for a fall 2024 open.

Circa 2016, Hall began talking to people about the future. Office parks could be in trouble down the road, but mixed-use development seemed promising—call it a gut feeling. By 2018, plans to reshape HALL Park were full steam ahead. 

“We literally were going to break ground kind of around in April or May of 2020,” Hall says. “Then the pandemic hit, and we stopped everything.” 

Plans halted, then were scaled down in the midst of uncertainty. They were revised again by the time ground broke in October 2021.  

“What we’re building now is sort of a little smaller than the original plan and bigger than the 2021 ‘Will-the-world-ever-come-back?’ plan,” Hall says. 

It has plenty of moving parts. The October 2023 opening of The Monarch, a 19-story, 214-unit luxury residential tower, marked the first step in the park’s rebirth. Hall says that the three-bedroom and penthouse units have been the most popular.   

“It has been very gratifying,” he says. “We’re getting higher rents than we thought.” 

Construction is underway on Kaleidoscope Park, a six-acre programmed green space that will feature public art, gardens, a children’s play area, dog park, performance lawns, technology terraces, and more. Slated to open this year, it’s owned by the city of Frisco, and programming, operations, and maintenance will be overseen by the Kaleidoscope Park Foundation, a nonprofit partner of Communities Foundation of Texas. 

“I think the park is really the key game changer,” Hall says. He notes that at Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park, people from all walks of life “play together in the sandbox. Wherever you came from, your kids, your grandchildren, they’re all having fun together. It’s a special place, and it’s a place that’s very important.”  

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A view inside The Monarch, a 19-story, 214-unit luxury residential tower that opened in fall 2023.

HALL Park Hotel, slated to open in this fall, will bring the first Autograph collection hotel to Frisco. The 224-room property will include 60 suites, a chef-driven restaurant, 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, and a view of Kaleidoscope Park. 

Phase one of redevelopment—estimated at $500 million—also includes a 10,000-square-foot eatery and a 16-story trophy office tower. 

An Office Evolution

There’s no doubt that office will continue to be a foundational part of HALL Park’s evolving story. Toshiba’s retail division established an innovation hub at HALL Park in 2022, and Ruiz Foods cut the ribbon on its new HALL Park headquarters in early March.  

Projections indicate a decline in demand for office use, but from Hall’s perspective, it’s the older B- and C- level buildings that will suffer. Class A buildings in good locations will be fine.    

“Companies would rather pay a higher rent per square foot to be in a place that has amenities and has lots of options that will make their employees happy to come to work and feel good about the environment they’re working in,” he says. “But pricing power alone is less important than it used to be. If you’re purely an office park, I think it’s going to be a really rough time. So I’m glad we’re making the changes we are, and I’m optimistic.”  

Newer buildings are expected to include more amenities than previously required, Hall says. He uses the example of balconies, which used to be more of a residential amenity but now serve as a way to get some fresh air at work without having to go down an elevator. 

The upcoming Tower at HALL Park, for example, will include a fitness center, corporate lounge, and an outdoor amenity deck. Each floor will include two terraces. 

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A rendering of the planned amenity deck at The Tower at HALL Park.

Amenities are a combination of what is inside and outside of a building, Hall says. “I think older buildings located next to a park will have some benefit because of the relative difference in pricing,” he says, “But we’ll see. Time will tell how that impacts it.”  

Investing billions into his park is a big bet. But for Hall, the end product is just as much about what you’ll feel as what you’ll see.

“You’re going to feel like you’re in a comfortable, happy place that can be a good place to work, if you happen to work there, a good place to live, if you happen to live there, or a great place to go visit, if you are looking for a night out on the town for a great dinner or looking to bring your kids and family to a great place to spend the afternoon,” he says. “It should have all those different components and celebrate the best things in life.”

With everything underway, Hall continues to keep an innovative eye on the future. He shares hopes for his Frisco park to eventually include a grocery store and have more emphasis on retail and food options. 

“We’re not going to rest; we’re just beginning,” he says. “We’re going to keep going.”  

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Audrey Henvey

Audrey Henvey

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