Investors buy key building site next to Richardson DART station

Investors buy key building site next to Richardson DART station

Parliament Group, a Dallas real estate investment firm, has acquired a prime 220-acre site adjacent to DART's rail stop in Richardson. The land was sold by the estate of Hassie Hunt, one of the heirs of legendary oilman H.L. Hunt. Terms of the all-cash sale were not disclosed.

In real estate lingo, locations like the Richardson property are described as the corner of Main Street and Main Street, meaning they're top-notch.

Located at the crossroads of two of North Texas' major freeways, North Central Expressway and Bush Turnpike, the tract is also adjacent to a busy commuter rail station.

"It's obviously as good an intersection you can find in Dallas-Fort Worth with an unbelievable amount of potential," said Richardson City Manager Bill Keffler.
The new owners plan to spend the next six months to a year planning the property for mixed-use construction. "Not very often does one have the opportunity to acquire such premium, undeveloped land," said Joe Altemore, partner in the Parliament Group. "We didn't think a property like this would ever be available."

The Hunt family owned the land for more than three decades. It was part of a broad swath of real estate the wealthy oil heirs bought before State Highway 190 and the DART line were built.

The development tract, just east of North Central in the Telecom Corridor, is one of the largest such vacant properties in Richardson. "For an inner-ring suburb to have a development opportunity like this is very unique," Keffler said. "It's a very exciting opportunity for us in some tough economic times." Very few such property investments are being made because of the recession and credit crunch. Parliament Group has been in business since the days of the last big real estate downturn in the late 1980s.

Altemore describes the company owners as "just a group of old real estate guys in the fourth quarter of our careers looking to do really great deals."
"This one definitely fits the box." He said the company will "wait until the market is right" before it builds on the property. "It's not a matter of if, just when," Altemore said. "We are not going to be forced to do something because the meter is running or make a sale just to generate some revenue."

The new owners probably will subdivide the land and work with developers interested in building on the property.

Some of the construction types being considered include office, retail, commercial, high-tech and residential buildings. Altemore said Parliament Group took about 60 days to complete the Richardson purchase, and the partners are already looking at other investment opportunities.
By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

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