This article originally appeared in the fall 2017 edition of the DFW Real Estate Review. An excerpt has been reprinted below.
Arlington pulled the trigger on a new air-conditioned stadium for the Texas Rangers before other cities could blink.
Toyota secretly showed interest in one of Plano’s most-sought-after properties for a new North American headquarters not long after the tract hit the market.
Craig Hall waited more than 20 years to develop high-profile properties in the Arts District in Dallas. Additionally, in 1990, he had the foresight to buy 160 acres in Frisco for a master-planned office project decades before Jerry Jones moved the headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys across the street.
All of these mega deals have a story behind them, whether it’s hard bargaining, tapping relationships, or just the patience to wait years to complete a vision. Sometimes, city officials don’t know who they are negotiating with until a deal is finalized.
“Dallas is really on fire right now. It’s a great place to be in the real estate business,” said Hall, chairman and founder of the HALL Group. “We’re long-term holders, and we develop when the timing is right. You have to be kind of crazy and stay with them. A lot of things have to come together at the same time. But frankly, that’s what makes it fun.”
True to Texas’ reputation, the dealmakers in Dallas-Fort Worth are larger-than-life figures and household names. The roster includes Ross Perot Jr., the mastermind behind AllianceTexas in Fort Worth; John Goff, whose influence extends all over Uptown Dallas; and Hall, a Michigan native whose portfolio extends from downtown Dallas to Frisco.
Developers like Bill Cawley have shaped the landscape along the Dallas North Tollway. The vision of real estate moguls like Sam Ware and Harlan Crow will bring new life to decades-old buildings such as the former J.C. Penney headquarters in Plano and Old Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
And it’s not just a men’s club, either. Women like Sabine Gaedeke Stener and Lucy Billingsley are shaping the employment centers of the future with major projects that include One Legacy West (Plano), 17Seventeen McKinney Tower (Uptown Dallas) and Cypress Waters (Coppell).
The building boom that North Texas is experiencing means more deals are getting done now than in recent years, including speculative office buildings and warehouses.
Hall has been at this a long time and he doesn’t think the region is overbuilding right now.
“We need to be thoughtful and careful as a development community not to overbuild, and I don’t think we are at this point,” Hall said. “I think we’re building just what we need to build.”
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