The suburbs of Richardson and Plano are upping the ante in the Dallas real estate market. In an effort to anticipate the demands of an increasing population density in the region, both cities are raising height limits for office towers and expanding their zoning for mixed-use properties. Fully entitled, vacant land is becoming scarce in the Dallas area, which the raised height limits and mixed-use zoning for both cities are hoped to alleviate.
A 55-acre tract along U.S. Highway 75 and Renner Road in Richardson has received increased office tower height limits. The maximum building height for the office building along central Expressway and the Bush Turnpike was raised from 180 feet to 300 feet. The growing demand for more office development is reflected in the increased project height. The development will be build beside the 1.5 million-square-foot State Farm Insurance Corp. campus currently being built in the CityLine development. As yet unnamed, this project will combine retail, residential, and commercial office space plotted along a central boulevard.
Richardson mayor Laura Maczka acknowledges that although multifamily developments “are a hot-button [topic] in this community,” the multifamily provision for the tract has been in place for years, and they aren’t “adding more multifamily that’s not already on the books.” In fact, The number of multifamily residential units has dropped to 100 units from the 1,250 that were originally planned.
Last February, retail giant J. C. Penney partnered with Karahan Companies, Columbus Realty, and KDC to develop the Legacy West business park on 240 acres of vacant land surrounding its Plano headquarters. last week, the Plano town council approved of zoning changes for the first phase of the Legacy West project that will include mid-rise residential towers of 5-12 stories in height. Similar to the Karahan’s other project, Legacy Town Center, this $300 million project will include a hotel, shops, restaurants, and offices along with the multifamily housing. The Council also approved Legacy West’s rezoning request to include 800 units of multifamily housing and single-family homes on 70 acres along the southwest corner of Dallas North Tollway and Headquarters Drive. The project will also include a highly concentrated business center near State Highway 121 and the Dallas North Tollway that will include up to 1,000 multifamily units.
This rezoning has allowed the Legacy West timetable to be accelerated. According to developer Fehmi Karahan, the partners plan to have Legacy West ready for the arrival of Toyota’s North American headquarters in California that will serve the 4,000 workers who will be employed at the company’s new U.S. Headquarters. The developers’ decision to make the area pedestrian-friendly was one of the Council’s major motivating factors.