Big building sales, more ground breakings and strong leasing activity marked 2017 as another banner year for North Texas real estate.
With close to 100,000 jobs added in Dallas-Fort Worth this year, demand for all kinds of real estate grew in the area.
Openings of major new developments including the Dallas Cowboy’s Star in Frisco and Plano’s Legacy West brought an end to some major construction projects.
While developers started other big corporate campuses for Pioneer Natural Resources in Irving and Charles Schwab in Westlake, Apartment and homebuilding continued at a strong pace.
And ecommerce companies drove the industrial market leasing huge warehouses.
The only question for 2018 is will it last? Yes, the real estate cycle is playing in overtime but as long as the jobs keep coming, construction cranes will keep flying.
The landmark Statler Hotel reopened after a $250 million redo.
Biggest redevelopment: The Statler Hotel
After more than two years of construction and almost two decades after it closed, downtown Dallas’ historic Statler Hotel is back in business.
A $250 million renovation has repurposed the mid-century modern landmark into apartments, hotel rooms and retail space.
The old Dallas Public Library building next door was redeveloped into the new home of The Dallas Morning News.
Developer Mehrdad Moayedi with Centurion American Development Group gets a thumbs up for the largest historic building redo so far completed downtown.
Coworking facilities now occupy more than 1 million square feet of office space in D-FW., including WeWork’s location in Uptown.
Hottest office trend: Coworking space
The year 2017 will go down as the year of the shared office in North Texas.
Competing companies have opened or announced plans for more than four dozen shared office centers and more are on the way.
So far, more than 1 million square feet of Dallas-Fort Worth office space has been gobbled up by the growing workspace trend.
Major firms including WeWork, Serendipity Labs and Industrious have planted their flags in downtown Dallas. And more coworking spaces are on the way in the suburbs.
Dallas North Tollway splits Legacy West (left) and Shops of Legacy (right) in Plano on Thursday, August 31, 2017. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)
Biggest debut: $3 billion Legacy West
After three years of construction, Plano’s huge Legacy West opened its doors in 2017.
The 250-acre project on the Dallas North Tollway that Plano’s mayor called the new center of the universe is home to offices for Toyota, Liberty Mutual Insurance, JPMorgan Chase, FedEx Office and Boeing.
A 300,000-square-foot retail center, luxury Renaissance Hotel and hundreds of apartments debuted this year.
Construction is still underway on a 29-story apartment tower, a condominium high-rise and a second hotel.
When all the work is done, more than 20,000 people will live and work in Legacy West.
A proposal for Amazon’s second headquarters at the Trinity Groves development in West Dallas.
Biggest corporate prize: Amazon’s HQ2
North Texas builders and economic development executives spent a big chunk of 2017 chasing the largest business expansion ever — Amazon’s planned second corporate headquarters.
With the prospect for an eventual 50,000 jobs and as much as 5 million square feet of office space, the $5 billion Amazon office has attracted offers from almost 300 cities and communities across North America.
North Texas developers from downtown Dallas to Frisco and Fort Worth made pitches to land Amazon’s huge new operation.
The Seattle-based digital retailing giant is expected to narrow its shopping lists to a few finalists in early 2018.
Amli Residential’s new downtown tower will be the tallest built in Dallas in decades.
Tallest downtown tower: Amli’s 45-story Dallas high-rise
A Chicago developer has broken ground for the tallest downtown Dallas tower in almost three decades.
Amli Residential is building its green glass skyscraper on the north side of downtown near Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
The $150 million, 367-apartment building will be a new companion to the rocket-shaped Fountain Place tower built in the 1980s.
And Amli’s building will use the same green glass and a sculptural shape for its project.
A City of Allen water tower near Prestige Circle and Bethany Drive in Allen, Texas. (Andy Jacobson/The Dallas Morning News)
Hottest new suburban market: Allen
Plano, Frisco and Irving for years have gotten headlines for new developments and corporate moves.
But 2017 put the Collin County community of Allen on the map with high-profile developments and new business deals.
A new $90 million convention center and hotel on U.S. Highway 75 was the largest of several new Allen projects.
And new office operations for Netscout Systems, Boss Fight Entertainment and other businesses are bringing new workers.
Pending projects by Houston-based Hines and Dallas’ Provident Realty Advisors will keep the construction going in Allen in 2018.
Redevelopment plans for J.C. Penney’s corporate office in Plano show a total new look.
Biggest building recycler: Sam Ware
Dallas real estate investor and developer Sam Ware landed two of the biggest redevelopment deals in North Texas in 2017.
Ware headed an investment group that paid almost $350 million for J.C. Penney’s big corporate headquarters in Plano. The new owners are spending another $60 million to turn a large portion of Penney’s old digs into a multi-tenant office campus.
Ware is also working on a deal to spend $250 million converting Parkland Hospital’s old complex northwest of downtown into a mixed-use development.
And the investor is also trying to buy Plano’s struggling Collin Creek Mall for another planned redo.
The former Hicks estate in North Dallas sold for $36.2 million.
Biggest buys: North Dallas and Highland Park mansions
Sales of two North Texas mega mansions made headlines in 2017.
Developer Mehrdad Moayedi paid $36.2 million at auction for the 25-acre former Hicks estate in North Dallas.
The sprawling estate dates to the 1930s and with a more than 28,000-square-foot main house and outbuildings. Moayedi plans to preserve the old mansion but cut up some of the surrounding property to build other luxury homes.
Bankrupt Dallas businessman Sam Wyly’s Tudor-style mansion on Beverly Drive in Highland Park also sold in November for a reported $9.4 million. The new owners say they plan to preserve the 93-year-old house near Dallas Country Club.
Home sales and prices set another record in D-FW in 2017.
Biggest guessing game: How long will housing boom last
A decade since the start of the Great Recession, North Texas’ housing market has seen year after year of record sales and prices.
Strong job growth and migration of thousands of workers each year to D-FW is fueling the demand for homes.
But with median home price gains far outstripping annual wage increases, housing analysts have raised the red flag about the sustainability of the market.
By the end of 2017 the days of double digit percentage home price increases were over, and most economists see slower home market gains in 2018.
Biggest building sales: New corporate campuses
Shiny new corporate palaces for Raytheon and Fedex Office caught the eye of investors this year.
The real estate arm of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints paid $110 million for the 3-building, 500,000-square-foot Raytheon Corp. campus in Richardson’s CityLine development. The new office complex was sold by developer KDC.
A Washington, D.C. based investor — PRP Real Estate Investment Management — bought FedEx Office’s new headquarters in the Legacy West development. The 263,621-square-foot office campus opened in 2015 and is across the street from Toyota’s huge North American headquarters.
And Liberty Mutual Insurance paid about $360 million for its new 1.1 million square foot regional office center in Plano. It’s also part of Legacy West.