Photo: Water Street artist rendering.
While most people see them as concrete strips, highways and runways glimmer gold to investors and developers.
The state’s strong economy, combined with Irving’s numerous transportation assets, are translating to a massive increase in national and international corporate, commercial and retail development.
During the past fiscal year, Irving’s construction valuation topped $819 million — the highest in 30 years. Six years ago, it was $348 million, less than half of today’s number. The city issued 616 new home permits last year — more than double the number from six years ago. The average new home permit value is just under $400,000.
It means thousands of new, good jobs. It means Irving’s commercial vacancy rate is so low, new office buildings are under construction to satisfy demand. It means lots of nice, new homes; new restaurants; new retail; and more visitors. Lastly, all the construction drives additional tax revenue that helps the city fund critical infrastructure — roads and underground utility needs. An important fact to know: Irving’s corporations and businesses contribute 73 percent of Irving’s tax base, a tremendous benefit to residents and one very few cities can claim.
State Highway 161 – Five large industrial projects totaling nearly 2 million square feet currently are underway along this busy corridor. Each project is part of a multibuilding industrial park, all in various stages of construction in west Irving. The facilities already are attracting interest from top industrial companies. Also along this corridor, Healthcare Associates will build a new medical campus, and QTS has committed to expanding its data center.
State Highway 183 – Several years ago, knowing reconstruction was coming to SH 183; the city began razing old structures and moving utilities to prepare for redevelopment — and now plans for that are underway. In the past 18 months, the city has issued $24 million in building permits for commercial projects along SH 183. That is up from about $4 million during the prior 18 months. The city has a number of prospects already committed and more in the pipeline. Where residents may view road construction along SH 183 as an annoyance, commercial businesses see opportunity.
State Highway 114 to Interstate Highway 635 – This corridor is a major attraction. Verizon is planning the $1.5 billion, 110-acre development called Hidden Ridge that is expected to provide more than 7,000 jobs and attract more than $1 billion in investment. The mixed-use development will include a new DART station, along with offices and multifamily residential, hotel and retail space, surrounded by planned greenspace. Pioneer Natural Resources will anchor the development with a 750,000-square-foot headquarters office on 35 acres, a great addition to Verizon’s existing 2,000-person campus.
Additionally, a tremendous amount of construction is occurring along Belt Line, Freeport and IH 635. Japan’s OKI Data Americas recently opened a new corporate office. Two residential developments, The Bridges and Parkside, are moving ahead at record pace, with homes averaging around $450,000. The Bridges is slated for completion by the end of 2017, and Parkside is on schedule to be built out by the end of 2020. Restaurants continue to be attracted to the IH 635 corridor near the Belt Line Road and IH 635 interchange.
Heritage District – For many years, the city has been preparing for new construction in downtown Irving. Now, a single-family home development along Delaware Creek will transform 20 acres the city owned and sold to a developer. This highly anticipated 40-home addition is adjacent to Centennial Park. A new grocery-anchored retail center at the northeast corner of MacArthur Boulevard and Sixth Street, as well as The Main Street Art Gallery, with an open-air plaza, also are in the planning stages.
Cranes tower over the Irving Music Factory, a 250,000-square-foot entertainment project that includes an 8,000-seat amphitheater, more than 20 restaurants, an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and more. A global entertainment company, Live Nation, will operate, book and promote acts at the amphitheater, which will incorporate state-of-the-art sound and technology. The project’s six-story parking garage is almost complete. Around the corner, on the banks of Lake Carolyn, Water Street also is underway. This massive project includes restaurants, retail and apartments. The DART rail line provides easy access to the area.
“Irving has some of the hottest property in North Texas. The developments we are attracting will deliver high-quality venues that satisfy residents’ requests for restaurants, retail, housing and businesses that bring great job opportunities,” said Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne.
In short, Irving is in the center of it all. With 636,000 vehicles passing by each day, DFW International Airport adjacent to it, and trains running through, Irving is a highly coveted location. For developers, investors, residents and visitors, the city continues to glimmer gold.