New Real Estate Projects are Taking Off around Dallas’ Busy Love Field

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Published: March 24, 2016 by Steve Brown with the Dallas Morning News

The traffic on Dallas’ busy Mockingbird Lane is both on the ground and in the air.

Jets taking off a few blocks away at Love Field and cars lined up on the busy street are a testament to the surge in activity in the district.

“This whole area is undergoing a renaissance,” said developer Jorge Ramirez, who is turning two blocks of old industrial and commercial properties into a new mixed-use development.

His 35-acre, $200 million West Love development is the biggest new project in the Love Field area.

But it’s by far not the only thing happening around Dallas’ close-in airport.

With passenger traffic up more that 50 percent at Love Field and expansions at the nearby medical centers, the area south and west of the airport is attracting new development.

Apartment builder Fairfield Properties just cleared six acres south of Love Field at Denton Drive and Inwood Road where it is building a 347-unit complex.

“We like the changes we are seeing,” said Fairfield’s Zach Johnston. “The growth in the area and the proximity to the DART station across the street made the site attractive to us.”

The Inwood Station apartment project will open next summer.

Fairfield’s project is the latest in a series of apartment developments between Love Field and Parkland Hospital that have added thousands of rental units to the area.

More apartments are coming at the West Love project.

“Our first phase of apartments is 368 units,” Ramirez said. “And we have 10 townhouses, too. We plan to be under construction in about 90 days.”

The apartments and townhouses will join two new hotels, an office building and shopping center at the site at Mockingbird and Maple Avenue.

“The retail will be low profile, up against street — very pedestrian-oriented,” Ramirez said. “There have been a ton of new apartments going up in this area but no new gathering places, no restaurants.

“We have listened to the neighborhood and what it needs.”

Dallas developer KDC has picked a site in West Love where it plans to build an office project. It will be the first large office building in the Love Field area in about 30 years.

“People who never thought that this would be a market for new office construction will be surprised,” said real estate broker Robert Todd, who has worked the Love Field and Stemmons Freeway markets for years. “There is a real need for new space.”

KDC is already talking to potential tenants for the building, which will be adjacent to the new apartments and hotels.

“We are going to be in the heart of the site,” said Bill Guthrey, KDC senior vice president.

Guthrey said KDC is talking to businesses interested in moving to the area.

“This is exactly what the neighborhood has been looking for,” he said. “We think this is a great alternative to new office space in Uptown or Preston Center,” where buildings are much more expensive.

KDC’s office building will be at least 150,000 square feet.

“We can do up to 200,000 if someone comes along and needs more square footage,” Guthrey said.

The two hotels under construction on Mockingbird Lane will open late this year, said Perry Molubhoy, CEO of builder Atlantic Hotel Group.

The $49 million, eight-story combination Aloft and Element by Westin hotels will have a combined 244 rooms.

Molubhoy said his firm began looking at the market two years ago when flight restrictions at Love Field went away.

“The Wright amendment expiration was one of the factors to build close to Love Field airport,” Molubhoy said. “Besides, there was no new hotel close to Love Field and everything around is dated.”

Atlantic Hotels Group, which is partnering with Civitas Capital Group on the project, also has new projects in East and West Dallas.

Closer to the entrance to Love Field, developer and investor Viceroy Investments is about to begin a major overhaul of its 244-room Doubletree Hotel on Mockingbird.

“We are spending $2.5 million on the lobby and public spaces,” said Viceroy CEO Steve Rogers.

Viceroy recently rebranded the hotel and has made other upgrades.

“It’s already made a big difference,” Rogers said. “Along with the growth at Love Field, switching to a Hilton brand has brought us more revenue.”

Viceroy has gained control of a nearby restaurant building and old motel property at 3130 and 3140 Mockingbird and will redevelop that property.

“I’m working on a development plan right now for an upper to midscale restaurant,” Rogers said. “The motel will be demolished later this year.”

His firm also owns the adjacent 6500 Cedar Springs building, which houses a large event venue.

And a space formerly occupied by retailer Wisteria is being remodeled into a facility for automaker Tesla, Dallas building permits show.

Rogers will say only that “a luxury, high-end car company will occupy the premises.”

He’s also just purchased a 15,000-square-foot commercial building at 3448 Mockingbird that will be converted into office space.

“There is so much going on in the area,” Rogers said. “It’s all very positive.”

An investment group led by developer and investor Scott Rohrman’s 42 Real Estate LLC is still evaluating plans for a three-story midcentury modern office building it purchased last year at 2626 W. Mockingbird Lane.

The yellow metal-paneled building has been vacant for some time.

“We’ve got two or three people that have talked to us about it,” Rohrman said. “We’ve done a space plan for an office user and we have people talking to us about our parking garage.

“We get calls every week.”

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/commercial-real-estate/headlines/20160324-new-real-estate-projects-are-taking-off-around-dallas-busy-love-field.ece