By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
The city of Allen, Texas, is blossoming and Hines is preparing to give the suburban Dallas town a much-needed epicenter. The global real estate investment firm just revealed plans for The Strand, a 135-acre corporate campus and mixed-use project.
The Strand will be developed in stages at Highway 121 and Alma Dr., with Phase One yielding 200,000 square feet of office accommodations, retail space totaling 80,000 square feet and urban residential space. Phase Two and Phase Three will bring an additional 1.5 million square feet of office space to the site, as well as 300,000 square feet of retail and more urban residential options. A 10-acre greenbelt and a trail system will link the campus, which will be a true live-work-play destination and a natural gathering point.
“Nowhere else in Allen, Texas, will you find a 10-acre dedicated park where millennials, empty nesters and families can come together and also have unique access to the trail system and Watters Branch Park,” Drew Steffen, managing director with Hines, told Commercial Property Executive.
Hines is no stranger to mixed-use development, but the company doesn’t develop 3.5 million-square-foot projects just anywhere. Clearly, there’s something about the City of Allen. As noted by the Allen Economic Development Corp., Allen is the 16th fastest growing city in the U.S. and the second fastest growing city in metropolitan Dallas-Fort Worth. The city, which sits roughly 30 miles north of downtown Dallas, boasts a median household income that dwarfs that of DFW by 75 percent. And in 2016, Allen became one of only seven cities in the Lone Star State to receive AAA/Aaa bond ratings from both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
“The City of Allen has seen rapid growth in the region over the past several decades, but the north part of the city lacks an identifiable socio-cultural hub. With The Strand, we are creating a new center complete with unique urban walkability, activated public space, parks and plazas and unparalleled on-site amenities,” Steffen said in a prepared statement.
Hines is partnering on the development with Bob Johnson, whose family has held the deed to the sprawling collection of acreage since 1965. Architecture, design and planning firm Gensler is behind The Strand’s master plan. Presently, there’s no firm timetable for the development.