Master-Planned Communities

By on Aug 7, 2014 in News

With a burgeoning demand for sustainable living and mixed-use, walkable environments, the country’s master-planned communities are thriving. The top 20 master-planned communities sold 15,338 homes in 2013, which is an 11% increase over 2012, according to a report compiled by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Texas dominated the ranking, with nine communities landing the list.

Cypress Waters rendering, courtesy Billingsley Company

Cypress Waters rendering, courtesy Billingsley Company

Boasting a job-centric economy, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex continues to be a big draw for both local and relocation home-buyers.

The Metroplex has become an important target market for many new businesses as well as corporate expansions, which has generated massive job growth and a booming housing industry .The positive momentum is expected to continue all throughout 2014. The area will add 113,900 jobs this year, supporting a 3.6 percent increase in payrolls. In 2013, employers fostered the creation of 112,700 positions, as reported by Multi-Housing News Online.

Despite the heightened construction activity, supply and demand will remain well-aligned in all sectors of real estate.

Determined to capitalize on current demand, Billingsley Company has launched several mixed-use projects including Cypress Waters, a 1,000-acre master-planned community that straddles Dallas and Irving.

Founded in 1978 by Lucy and Henry Billingsley, the Dallas-based real estate company specializes in master-planned developments and principles of new urbanism. Each Billingsley property offers a unique set of amenities, including smart design combined with artistic works and sustainable elements, which result into a life-enhancing experience for tenants, residents, visitors and employees alike.

Fully committed to promoting environmental responsibility, the company uses energy-saving and sustainable materials to deliver both immediate and long-term value. Among a series of sustainable practices and innovative features aimed at enhancing the built environment, Billingsley’s green efforts include: integration of existing landscaping and low-water native plants into green spaces; installation of lighting retrofits, energy-saving faucets, automatic light sensor and energy-efficient HVAC systems; building homes with paperless sheetrock and environmentally-friendly paint and carpet products; achieving EnergyStar® certification for single-family developments; and recycling waste from construction sites. The company also developed the first Gold LEED® pre-certified building in Plano.

Built around the same principles, Cypress Waters will eventually become an inclusive live-work-play environment offering as much as 4 million square feet of office space, 45,000 square feet of retail, more than 10,000 residences and three schools.

The pedestrian-friendly development is centered around a serene 362-acre lake, which provides the perfect backdrop for a successful community promoting healthy lifestyles. It is located in the City of Dallas, in the Coppell Independent School District, offering a premier address and the best school system to its residents.

Billingsley launched the community last year with the opening of The Neighborhoods of Cypress Waters, a 676-unit multifamily complex featuring one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments and townhomes. Among the many perks, Cypress Waters features well-appointed interiors, two resort-style pools with free Wi-Fi, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a sand volleyball court, pet-friendly facilities, children’s playground, as well as an abundance of parks and green spaces.

Work is currently underway on the office component of the mixed-use development, with a first building scheduled for completion in late May. Envisioned as a high-profile corporate campus, The Offices of Cypress Waters will boast environmentally sophisticated buildings, extensive natural landscaping, pedestrian trails and streets, freeway and lakeside restaurants.

Billingsley Co. has already landed its first office tenant for the development. The single-story 31,450-square-foot structure currently going up on Ranch Trail and Interstate Highway 635 in Irving will serve as Cheddar’s Casual Café’s new corporate headquarters. “Our goal, along with Cheddar’s, was to create an office headquarters environment which would reflect Cheddar’s culture, values, and unique training environment,” commented Jim Montgomery, Senior Vice President & Principal of Swearingen Realty Group, LLC, who represented Cheddar’s Restaurants in the deal. “Delivering on this demanded that we evaluate all available existing and build-to-suit options to ultimately determine that the Cypress Waters site would bring the most value and was the best fit for Cheddar’s HQ.”

A second three-story building is slowly coming into shape at 8951 Cypress Waters Boulevard, which will provide 188,440 square feet of speculative office space. Future development includes build-to-suit office opportunities with 12 month delivery timelines. Additionally, much of the business infrastructure is already in place, including two substations, significant sources of water, and several fiber providers. Fronting LBJ Freeway and Belt Line Road, the business park allows easy access to any submarket in North Texas reaching a population base of over 3.5 million people within a 20-mile radius.

“This is a spectacular location with access reaching across the Metroplex to Fort Worth and Arlington via the George Bush Turnpike and Plano and and McKinney via SH 121,” said Lucy Burns, partner, in a statement for the press. “We are right on top of DFW International Airport and have toured corporations from across the country and across the Metroplex. Our speed to market will permit tenants to be in occupancy this summer. With the road coming online and parks scheduled to be complete by the end of the second quarter, you can really start to experience how the office campus will have grand outdoor spaces in addition to the retail amenities. More to come on all fronts very soon!”

Meanwhile, the company is pouring concrete to complete Cypress Waters Boulevard, the four-lane thoroughfare that will serve as the main entrance to the development from IH 635. Bookended by grand sculpture and lined with three parks, the boulevard will connect the retail, office, and multifamily components of the development and will terminate at Cypress Waters’ future town center.

Cypress Waters will join Legacy and Las Colinas as leading suburban developments in the southwest and in the nation.

Photo credits: Cypress Waters