Land Development Landscape in Dallas, Texas

July 9, 2015 by Will Schnier P.E.

Over the past several years Texas has led the nation in the construction industry as well as in attracting new business. Much of that growth has been anchored by its 4 biggest cities: Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Lately it’s hard to find a top 10 of anything business related that does not include one of these cities. After 6 years of success in 3 of these cities, BIG RED DOG has opened an office in the fourth—Dallas.

Also known as the Dallas-Fort Worth area, DFW, or just the Metroplex, one thing that distinguishes this market from others is its sheer size. They say that “everything is bigger in Texas” and this certainly holds true for DFW in both geographic area and population. One reason for that is because DFW is a conglomerate of many large cities. In fact, DFW has 13 cities with populations over 100k people—no other metro area in the state can claim more than two! This creates a unique challenge for site developers who must familiarize themselves with all of the codes, people and nuances of each municipality, which can vary greatly.

Equally varied are the many types of developments currently taking place in the Metroplex. Of course there are the traditional single-family developments popping up in the suburbs and on the outer fringes of the city. Texas is known as place to get a lot of house for your money and Dallas is no exception to that. With so many jobs coming to North Texas, developers are finding themselves unable to build homes fast enough to meet the demand causing housing prices to push Dallas to #3 in year-over-year home price growth in the US (behind only Denver and San Francisco, source).

However, apartments are an even bigger story and have increased in popularity over the past several years with Dallas becoming “the country’s top apartment demand center” (source). While most of these are being built at the urban cores of Dallas, many are appearing elsewhere in places like Frisco which has been called one of 2 Global Hotspots for development (source) and where the Dallas Cowboys’ new practice facility, “The Star,” is planning to be built along the “$5-Billion Mile” (source). Consequently, this has also brought with it high occupancy and rent rates (source).

Many would argue that all of this residential development is due to the presence and relocation of many corporate headquarters, a category in which Dallas leads the state. Specifically, Toyota and State Farm’s recent relocations in Plano and Richardson, respectively, have created a buzz and are spurring much ancillary development. Perhaps not as touted, but equally important to job creation, is the enormous amount of industrial space that the Big D has. Just this week a half billion-dollar industrial park broke ground in South Dallas making it “one of the largest projects yet in the booming Interstate 45 corridor” (source).  At over 20 million square feet DFW has almost twice as much industrial space under construction as Austin, Houston and San Antonio…combined! (source)

But as it goes, the average person is often not aware or even interested in all of these statistics. Many folks simply prefer to live somewhere they can afford and that has some character, an identity—someplace cool! Again, the Big D doesn’t disappoint with an ever increasing “cool” factor (source) and a USA Today Readers’ Choice #1 Best International Skyline (source). While there still remains much debate about the direction that the Metroplex needs to go one thing’s for sure, it’s going. BIG RED DOG is excited to be a BIG part of this movement with a sustainable, innovative and client-focused approach.

Civil engineering and site development permitting is the critical path for the success of your development project. Our team has market-leading experience in the successful delivery of hundreds of land development projects throughout the Dallas area and the State of Texas. Contact us today to see how we can help you on your next project.

Written by Will Schnier P.E.

Will Schnier P.E.

Will Schnier is the Chief Executive Officer of BIG RED DOG Engineering | Consulting. Will received his BSCE from Purdue University and co-founded BIG RED DOG Engineering and Consulting in 2009. Since starting the firm in 2009, BIG RED DOG has grown to over 100 team members with offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. BIG RED DOG has garnered awards for being one of the 50 fastest growing companies in Texas (Business Journal’s Fast 50 in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and an ENR top 100 Design Firm in Texas and Louisiana (2012, 2103, 2014, 2015). Mr. Schnier is very well versed in the project review and development permitting process having worked closely and very successfully with City and County review staff, neighborhood associations, environmental groups, and public boards and councils. He has been responsible for the project management, engineering design, and regulatory permitting of hundreds of single family subdivision projects, mixed use and multifamily residential developments, industrial facilities and oil and gas development projects throughout Texas. He is the author of two publications: “Land Subdivision – A Practical Guide for Central Texas” and “The Book on License Agreements in the City of Austin”. Will was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA) in 2014 and served as Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s appointment to the City of Austin Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2011 to 2015.