By Steve Thelen
Everyone talks about Legacy, but owners in other submarkets are stepping up efforts to remain competitive. There’s no better example of this than what’s currently happening in Las Colinas.
The fundamentals for strong submarket are there. Las Colinas boasts a densely populated, strong and diverse workforce and labor pool. Fortune 1000 companies have identified Las Colinas and its neighboring areas as an important corporate hub over the long-term. Currently, 12 major companies are located in the area, spanning a diverse range of industries. Accessibility to major highways and proximity to DFW International Airport also makes the area very attractive.
Neighboring submarkets are inadvertently having a positive effect on Las Colinas. As rent prices increase elsewhere, there’s a spillover effect for those looking to secure value.
This concept is critical in understanding Las Colinas’ growth and immediate future. Its fixed, centralized location within the DFW market has strengthen it, creating commercial and residential development opportunities around the perimeter. Las Colinas’ average office rents are hovering around $25 a square foot for higher quality buildings versus premium rates of nearly twice that amount in certain submarkets of the metroplex.
All of these factors have established Las Colinas as one of the region’s most important business and residential hubs, fueling future investment in new development and re-development. Upwards of 15 to 20 buildings are currently being re-developed. Employers want more amenities and features in buildings that help them to recruit and retain the best talent. Las Colinas owners are taking note. There’s a growing emphasis of greenspace and presenting the area as being transit-oriented and pedestrian friendly. They’re installing elements to provide more of a campus feel, like rooftop patios and courtyards connecting to other buildings.
In addition to re-development, the submarket is seeing its own share of new developments. Over one million square feet of office space has been completed, year-to-date, and over 700,000 square feet is currently under construction. With the ground breaking for Verizon and KDC’s $1 billion development on the horizon and the addition of Pioneer Natural Resources to the submarket, development in Las Colinas shows no signs of slowing down.
But why now? One of the biggest reasons is influx of new jobs. Over the past six years, 724,000 new jobs have made their way to the metroplex. Like Dallas-Fort Worth as a whole, Irving has been on a long-term growth trajectory. In fact, over the last 37 years, the city’s population doubled, growing by 150,000 residents. The North Texas Council of Governments currently predicts that by 2030, the city will add another 43,000 residents (an 18% increase) to accommodate DFW’s continued expansion.
The DFW economy is as strong as it’s ever been and continues to strengthen. With growing presence of industries including energy, technology, and communications, the submarket is playing a big role in the metro’s overall economic growth. Las Colinas’ unique combination of diverse industries, strong economy, accessibility and amenities make it primed for major commercial real estate activity.