The development firm behind several landmark sites in Dallas has made its first mega investment in downtown Fort Worth.
Hillwood is no stranger to the region, having been a key player in the 27,000-acre mixed-use AllianceTexas development in North Fort Worth, which is currently home to more than 500 companies.
The new parcel, which was previously owned by utility company Oncor, is bounded by Calhoun and Jones Streets to the east and west and by 6th and 7th Streets to the north and south.
According to Hillwood, the newly purchased site is “at the front door” of several large development projects. These include the neighboring Texas A&M Fort Worth campus, which broke ground in June; the Fort Worth Convention Center, which has been slated for an overhaul; and the adjacent Omni Hotel Fort Worth, which is adding a new 400-unit tower.
Hillwood’s property is right in the middle of all of that development, making it well-positioned to capitalize on the area’s explosive growth, according to Robert Allen, CEO of the Fort Worth Economic Development Partnership, NBC 5 DFW reported.
Fort Worth has seen major development success in the downtown area, which Hillwood wants to help drive “far into the future,” said Mike Berry, Hillwood’s president, in a news release.
“The purchase of the Oncor property reinforces our belief in Fort Worth and the evolution of downtown, further demonstrating our intent to grow our investments throughout the city,” Berry added.
Though specific development plans are still being hammered out, Hillwood said it will explore various land use and development options that “complement existing trends” in the area.
The acquisition represents an exciting opportunity for Hillwood to leverage its expertise and help realize the full potential of downtown Fort Worth, explained Steve Aldrich, Hillwood’s senior vice president.
“It puts us in the middle of one of the fastest-growing corridors not only in Downtown Fort Worth but within the entire City,” Aldrich said in the release. “Because of its location, the site provides flexibility for a best-in-class development project, whether that be office, residential or mixed-use.”
While North Texas has benefited from rapid economic development in recent years, Fort Worth appears to be getting the lion’s share of development projects.
Part of the reason developers are choosing Fort Worth over Dallas is due to the space and congestion found in Dallas and because of its notoriously slow building permit process overseen by City Manager T.C. Broadnax. The latter can often be a financial burden to developers if delays or long approval times persist, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.