Just the Facts: Big Corporate Moves To DFW

The economy is booming in North Texas, with a number of corporations bringing thousands of employees to the D-FW area in the near future. Here’s a look at some of the big corporate moves in the works from Real Estate editor Steve Brown. (Dallas Morning News, March 11, 2016)



State Farm Insurance is nearing completion on a 2 million-square-foot, four-building regional office campus at Plano Road and the Bush Turnpike in Richardson. About 8,000 State Farm workers will be housed in the towers, which are part of the $1.5 billion CityLine development.


JPMorgan Chase is moving 6,000 workers to a new office campus in the Legacy West development near the southwest corner of the Dallas North Tollway and State Highway 121. The project is expected to total more than 1 million square feet in six buildings and could cost more than $300 million.



Toyota Motor Co.’s new North American headquarters complex is under construction in Plano’s Legacy West development at State Highway 121 and Legacy Drive. The $350 million office project, with more than 2 million square feet of space in seven buildings, will open in 2017 and will house more than 4,000 workers.


Liberty Mutual Insurance plans a 1 million-square-foot, two-tower regional operations center on Headquarters Drive at the Dallas North Tollway in West Plano. The $325 million project, part of the $2 billion Legacy West development, will have room for more than 4,000 workers when it opens in 2017.

Las Colinas:

McKesson announced Thursday that it is buying the former NEC Corp. of America office complex on State Highway 114 in Las Colinas. The two office buildings contain more than a half-million square feet of office space. McKesson will add 975 new jobs and move 900 workers already in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to the new offices.


Raytheon is building a 500,000-square-foot, three-building office campus as part of the 186-acre CityLine development on the Bush Turnpike in Richardson. About 1,700 workers will move into the new campus.

Cypress Waters:

CoreLogic is building a $68 million, 327,000-square-foot office campus in the Cypress Waters business park just north of LBJ Freeway near Belt Line Road. CoreLogic plans to move more than 1,300 workers from Westlake and Richardson when the new building opens in 2017.

Cypress Waters:

7-Eleven is moving to a 325,000-square-foot headquarters complex in the Cypress Waters development off LBJ Freeway in Irving. 7-Eleven starts relocating more than 1,200 workers from downtown this year.


FedEx Office just opened a 265,000-square-foot corporate campus at Legacy and Headquarters drives, south of State Highway 121 in West Plano. 1,200 employeesworkers will work be located in the worldwide headquarters complex.

Just the Facts: Dallas Continuing to Grow

Dallas-Area Home Price Still Racing Up

9.8% Increase in January; Economists Predicted 3-4% Increase for DFW


Dallas-area home prices rose by almost 9.8 percent in January, continuing to grow faster than nationwide rates.   The analysts had predicted the DFW area would slow to a 3% to 4% increase in 2016, but are now revising – there is simply too many jobs coming to North Texas.  Analysts expect that North Texas’ near double-digit home price gains will continue as long as employment growth in the area remains strong.  CoreLogic said Tuesday that U.S. home prices were 6.9 percent higher in January than they were at the start of 2015.  “Heading into the spring buying season, home prices continue to rise across much of the country,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “With rates staying low for now and continued solid job and income growth, the spring buying season is shaping up to be a good one.”  CoreLogic is forecasting that nationwide home prices will rise by 5.5 percent in the year ahead.

–          Dallas Morning News, March 1, 2016 (excerpt of article)


Castle Hills Developer Has Bought Singer Ranch; Negotiating with Clem Ranch.

Will Be Larger Than Valley Ranch

About 3,400 houses have been completed in the Castle Hills community.    Another 1,500 lots are in development.  Now Chris bright has announced the purchase of the Singer Ranch (Old Denton Rd, just south of Windhaven) and negotiations underway for the Clem Ranch (Josey at Parker Rd)

Bright Realty just acquired the next door Singer Ranch, a more than 100-acre property on Old Denton Road.  The former horse boarding and riding facility is surrounded to the east on three sides by Castle Hills.  Bright Realty CEO Chris Bright said the purchase will give Castle Hills land for more than 300 additional homebuilding sites.  “We moved fast to buy it,” Bright said. “We knew the way things are working right now in single-family home development that it would sell fast.  Bright Realty is already working with the City of Carrollton to plan and zone the property – much of which is located in a floodplain and is wooded creek area.

Bright said he’s working with the Clem family, which owns about 140 acres north of Castle Hills to expand the project further.   “That family has owned that property since 1860,” he said. “We are doing a joint venture with them that will give us another 400 to 500 lots north of Parker Road.”

More than 12,000 people now live in Castle Hills.  In addition to the custom home communities, Bright Realty is building shopping apartments and an office park to complement the residential neighborhoods.

–          Dallas Morning News, March 2, 2016 (excerpts)


 No Dallas Bubble Most Housing Analysts Say in New Poll

North Texas were up 11 percent on 2015.  With a year of double-digit home price gains, concerns about housing costs in North Texas are growing.   Most housing experts polled for the study by Zillow said Dallas has no significant risk of a housing bubble in the next five years.  The rest said Dallas is either already in a bubble or will be in the next few years.    That is a better forecast than almost any other major city.    “It is very clear that nationally we are not seeing a return of the conditions that caused the last national bubble,” Gudell said. “Tighter lending restrictions today mean we aren’t seeing buyers get loans they realistically can’t pay back, like we did in years past.  “It’s significant that some experts are starting to worry about bubble conditions, but in my opinion, there’s no real danger of a severe crash like the one we all remember from the last decade.”  But continued employment gains and population increases will keep housing demands strong in Dallas.  Some 20 of the analysts saw no risk for Dallas in for more than five years.

–          Dallas Morning News, December 9, 2016 (excerpts)

Why Texas Won’t Get Busted Again By Low Oil Prices

JTF - Tx Oil Prices 1This time is different, and not by accident.  Oil prices have fallen by more than half since last summer, prompting cuts in energy jobs and rig counts. That is stoking fears of a deep downturn in the state’s economy.  But Texas is less vulnerable to the kind of oil shock that derailed the state in the 1980s, and that’s by design.  Almost 30 years ago, when the oil industry collapse put the state in a fiscal crisis, political and business leaders set out to diversify the economy and its tax base.  They launched economic development programs and recruited a wide range of employers, an aggressive approach that’s been refined and copied elsewhere. They expanded the sales tax base to more products and business services. Licenses, fees and the lottery became more important contributors.  A rainy day fund was created to siphon off future gains from oil and gas and provide a safety net for the next emergency. Now, the fund has $8.5 billion, and the comptroller projects it will grow to $11 billion in two years.   All these initiatives helped diversify the Texas economy and make it less dependent on oil. In 1982, taxes on oil and gas production accounted for almost 18 percent of state revenue. Last year, the share was 5.5 percent.  Last week, the comptroller projected 3 percent growth for 2015. That’s down from a 3.7 percent gain in real gross state product last year. He cited the decline in oil prices and possibility of a slowdown in global growth.  While the energy business is under pressure, other sectors are growing fast. Local governments, which lost workers for almost two years, have been adding teachers, cops and firefighters at a rapid clip.  If he’s right, the state economy will roll on, even as the oil and gas industry pulls back. Decades ago, that’s exactly how Texas leaders envisioned it.

          – Dallas Morning News, January 19, 2015


Oil Patch Declines Won’t Stifle U.S. Housing Markets, Analysts Forecast

 JTF - Tx Oil Prices 2

Top housing economists don’t think an Oil Patch slowdown will result in a weaker national housing market.   Nationwide starts of single-family homes are expected to jump by 26 percent, according to the latest forecast from the National Association of Home Builders.  Dave Crowe, a top economist,  thinks the positive impact of lower energy costs will far outweigh any negatives that the drop in oil prices brings.  And even in Texas, the housing analysts predict that any cutbacks from the oil sector shakeout will be concentrated in specific markets.  “If the decline in energy values remains for a sustained period of time it will have effects on the Texas economy — not throughout Texas but in parts of Texas,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist with mortgage giant Freddie Mac. “When you have a drop in energy price that’s sustained, it has the same beneficial impact as a tax cut would,” Nothaft said. “Your average person sees more cash in their pocket at the end of the day.”   He is forecasting that overall home sales across the country will rise about 4 percent in 2015.  “That will be the best year for home sales since 2007 — the best in eight years,” Nothaft said. “We are expecting home prices to continue to rise in 2015 maybe a nudge lower — 3.5 to 4 percent.”   Crowe said a stronger overall economy, more employment gains and an easing of mortgage requirements in 2015 will give the housing recovery more lift.

– Dallas Morning News, January 20, 2015


Texas Added More Residents Than Any Other State

Texas was the third-fastest growing state in the nation over the past year as a percentage but it added more people than any other, according to new state-level population data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday.  Texas grew by 1.7 percent from July 2013 to July 2014, behind Nevada, which grew by 1.71 percent and North Dakota, whose oilfield boom fueled a 2.16 percent growth in its population.  Texas remains the No. 2 most-populous state overall, with a population of 26.9 million. That’s behind California’s 38.8 million-strong population but ahead of Florida’s 19.8 million population. Florida surpassed New York to become the 3rd-most-populous state in America.  However, Texas did have the largest numeric increase in its population, which rose by 451,321 overall, ahead of California, which added 371,107 new residents last year.

– Austin Business Journal, December 23, 2015

4 Reasons to Buy Before Spring

Winter home fireplace woman relax red armchair

The holiday season is behind us, time to focus on what exciting new experiences 2015 can bring! If you are planning on becoming a homeowner, or moving up to the home of your dreams in 2015, here are four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting until spring.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 15.1% (most pessimistic) and 32.8% (most optimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense. 

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Although Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have softened recently, most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point by the end of 2015.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage

As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

– Keeping Current Matters; 7 January 2015

FedEx Office Kicks Off New Headquarters at Legacy West

Fed Ex and Legacy West in Plano


Dallas-based development firm KDC kicked off its second major corporate campus Monday afternoon — the first double-header groundbreaking in company history, located at Sam Rayburn Tollway (121) and Legacy Pkwy.  “This is a huge consolidation of FedEx Office’s corporate offices,” Toby Grove, president of KDC, told the Dallas Business Journal.“Right now, they are located in several facilities and this will help them in creating a corporate culture.”  FedEx Office and KDC executives officially broke ground on the 21-acre corporate campus site, formerly owned by Plano-based retailer J.C. Penney Co.   FedEx Office’s corporate campus and Toyota’s corporate campus will have a lot in common. The two headquarters will feature a tie into the $2 billion Legacy West project, which will be an extension of the Shops at Legacy and the development to the east side of the Dallas North Tollway.  “The idea is to incorporate the corporate campuses into a cohesive development with retail and multi-family components,” Grove told me. “This will all be tied together in a walkable community. … It will be developed to the highest of standards.”

      –      Dallas Business Journal, July 21, 2014