Brokers learn that business is booming in Allen, especially along the SH-121 Corridor

ALLEN, Texas—In his past two decades leading the City of Allen, Mayor Steve Terrell said he has never seen another time when there was this much dirt turning for construction in all four corners of the City.

“This really is an impressive time,” he said. “From data centers and residential development—to office buildings and retail, things are happening all over the place.”

Mayor Terrell spoke to a crowd of over 200 people at the Allen Economic Development’s Corporation’s (AEDC) Annual Commercial Real Estate and Broker Luncheon on May 11.

In his remarks, the Mayor highlighted the importance of high-quality development in the city, particularly along the State Highway 121 Corridor. He also mentioned the recent groundbreaking of the Delta Hotels by Marriott and Watters Creek Convention Center, which is expected to open in 18 months at Bethany and Central Expressway.

Greg Durrer, Global Brand Leader for Delta Hotels, introduced the hotel brand’s concept and guest experience. “On average, we are opening up a new Delta Hotel every two weeks across North America. And we’re adding additional projects on a monthly basis, so this is very rapid and exciting growth.”

The Allen/Dallas location is unique in that it will be the first ever built by the brand from the ground up and will serve as the company’s new-build flagship in the United States.

Next, attendees received an exclusive look at The Strand, a mixed-use project by Houston-based developer Hines, which was announced on the same day. Hines is well-known in the Dallas area for construction of major projects including the Galleria Dallas shopping mall and the first office tower in Victory Park near downtown Dallas. The high-density project will include corporate offices, urban residential units for rent, and retail that will span 135 acres along State Highway 121 on Allen’s north side, centered around a 10-acre park and a connection to the Allen trail system.

Hines Managing Director Drew Steffen and AEDC Executive Director/CEO Dan Bowman presented renderings as well as details about their long-term vision for The Strand.

“We really want to focus office and retail along the greenbelt which will connect to the creek and trail system. We plan to lead with a corporate campus and can build up to 1.5-2 million square feet,” Steffen said. “We will also layer in retail and urban residential and give people great places where they can connect to everything else in the project. Visitors will experience The Strand as an urban fabric that’s seamlessly woven with the natural landscape.”

Lee Battle, Allen’s Assistant Director of Planning, spoke next. He told the ‘story’ of Highway 121 about the long-term vision the Council has held for the area, which is now becoming a reality.

“Think back to 1985 and some of you will remember that 121 was a little two-lane blacktop road that led somewhere north of Allen to this little town called Frisco—and if you had some reason to go there, it was a nice drive through the countryside,” Battle explained. “Allen was really starting to develop along the U.S. 75 corridor, focused mostly on the McDermott area. Highway 121, in terms of development, was really a long ways off for the city of Allen.”

The leaders at the time, he added, recognized that someday, 121 would be an important part of the city. “Thanks to the leadership and guidance of the Mayor and City Council—and the patience and understanding of the land owners who saw the potential value of development—we’ve really been able to preserve this corridor for a time when this vision would come to fruition.”

That time is now.

“This is one of our last opportunities as a community to bring in high quality development on these rare large tracts of open land,” Battle explained. “We’re very focused on making the most of this opportunity.”

Bowman concluded the informative luncheon by highlighting the following projects, which are in the planning stages or currently underway in Allen:

  • CornerStone Village at Allen: a mixed-use retail and urban residential center anchored by a grocery store; on 60 acres at SH 121 and Custer Road.
  • A mixed-used project similar to Richardson’s CityLine or Plano’s Legacy West development, being planned by the Howard Hughes Corp.; on 238 acres at SH-121 and US-75.
  • TierPoint and CyrusOne data centers, which are being built just north of the expanding Allen Premium Outlets on US 75. These data centers are vital for increasing the city’s tax base as well as providing technology for nearby corporate users.
  • StacyPoint: an 80-acre mixed-use development at US-75 and Stacy Road.
  • WatchGuard Video’s new 140,000-sq. ft. corporate office at the intersection of Exchange Pkwy and Andrews Pkwy.
  • One Bethany at Watters Creek, a 17-acre multi-phase upscale office park at the northwest corner of Bethany Drive and Watters Creek Boulevard.
  • Yeager Office Suites of Allen, a two-story office building on 3.3 acres on the west side of Watters Road at Bethany Drive.
  • ALOFT Hotel: a 136-room hotel opening in 2018 in Watters Creek at North Central and Bethany Drive.
  • AllenPlace I and II: an office complex anchored by KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry; on 11.3 acres on Century Parkway just east of US 75.