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August 18, 2020

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Top 10 Dallas-Fort Worth locations primed for Amazon HQ2

1. BULLET TRAIN STATION - Dallas-based Matthews Southwest, with support from Texas Central Partners, is pitching a transit-oriented development surrounding the proposed station for the bullet train for Amazon's HQ2 campus.  Project insiders, citing factors like Amazon's desire to be in an urban core and near mass transit, say this location has the edge for the $5 billion HQ2 project if it comes to North Texas.  Show Full Story

2. TRINITY GROVES - This aerial shows a proposed corporate-anchored campus in Trinity Groves, which also submitted a bid for the HQ2 site.  Trinity Groves has more than 80 acres already owned, zoning for 9 million square feet of floor area, and is located in the Sports Arena TIF District that includes chapter 380 grants, which provide additional incentives for economic development.

GENSLER 

3. VICTORY - Victory Park is one of the sites Ross Perot Jr.'s new Hillwood Urban division is marketing to corporate tenants, including Amazon.

AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

4. SMART DISTRICT - Dallas-based development groups Hoque Global and KDC have proposed building an urban-style neighborhood totaling more than 20 acres, and have said from the outset that they're targeting a Silicon Valley-type corporate user.  The development plan, being marketed as the "Dallas Smart District," includes a collection of skyscrapers between Dallas City Hall and Interstate 30 in downtown Dallas.

PELLI CLARKE PELLI ARCHITECTS 

5. REUNION - Hunt Realty Investments, the city of Dallas, and the parent company of the Dallas Morning News have put a 50-acre site together in downtown Dallas for Amazon HQ2.  The proposal includes the former site of Reunion Arena, long since demolished, and the old Dallas Morning News building, which is being offered to fill Amazon's initial requirement for a 500,000-square-foot building ready to occupy in 2019.  The site, located at the southwest end of downtown, sits above the Trinity River and is next to Union Station, where the DART train, the Trinity Railway Express to Fort Worth, and other transportation options meet.  Amazon has express a preference for sites with mass transit nearby.

6. ALLIANCE - Alliance Town Center in far north Fort Worth is being pitched to Amazon and has the capacity to handle a massive project like HQ2.  Alliance also has a track record of attracting major corporate investments, with tenants including Facebook, General Electric, Fidelity Investments.  Charles Schwab, FedEx and BNSF Railway.  It's close to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Alliance Airport, a major cargo and corporate hub.  Mass transit, however, is limited to bus service.

7. MIDTOWN - The Dallas Midtown vision would benefit greatly from a large headquarters, such as Amazon HQ2.  But the site, which is in North Dallas, is at disadvantage because Amazon prefers to be in an urban core.  The initial 500,000 square-foot building is expected to be ready by 2009, which matches the timetable for the beginning of operations at Amazon's HQ2.  The Midtown site is at the location of the old Valley View Mall.

DALLAS MIDTOWN PARTNERSHIP 

8. UT DALLAS - This site in Richardson is being pitched to Amazon in conjunction with the University of Texas at Dallas.  It totals 119 acres.  The university, known for its focus on science, engineering and management, is also offering potential partnership with its researchers.  The site is also on the planned path of the Cotton Belt rail line from Plano to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.  Amazon, however, has expressed a desire to be in an urban core.

9. PLANO - The Haggard Farm property along the Dallas North Tollway in West Plano is one of the few remaining large, undeveloped land tracts left in the fast-growing city.  The farm is among several Plano properties being pitched to Amazon for HQ2, real estate sources say.  The city is also pitching its historic downtown.  Plano, being a suburb, is a long shot for the Amazon project, but considering the city's track record, it can't be ruled out.  If it lands HQ2, it would come on the heels of Toyota North America building its own massive continental headquarters in the city.

JAKE DEAN 

10. ALLEN - The 135-acre proposed "Strand" development in Allen could be one of the sites to sway Amazon to come to North Texas.  But like Plano, it must be considered a long shot because it isn't in an urban core.  Allen, like many suburbs, has pitched multiple possibilities for Amazon's HQ2.
GENSLER

 

Each day that passes is another day closer to learning where Amazon will plant its second headquarters — a 50,000 job, $5 billion mega-project for which 20 North American metro areas are competing.

 

If the e-commerce and technology giant picks the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the decision making won't stop there.

The North Texas proposal for HQ2 — compiled by the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce — has not been released for the public to see how many sites were pitched to Seattle-based Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN). But cities and developers with projects across North Texas pitched more than three dozen sites to the chamber.

 

In addition to Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Allen, Plano, Irving, Richardson, Denton, Carrollton and Westlake are among roughly a dozen North Texas cities believed to be represented in the DFW packet sent to Amazon.

 

For the Dallas Business Journal’s list of the Top 10 sites primed for Amazon HQ2, check out the accompanying gallery.

 

Sites in downtown Dallas seemed to be the frontrunners when Amazon visited in February, sources familiar with the search said.

 

If HQ2 heads downtown, Amazon could anchor the proposed bullet train station, go into one or more of the city's existing skyscrapers, be part of Victory Park or Trinity Groves, or anchor a redevelopment planned for the area surrounding Fair Park, among other choices.

 

Stuart Fitts, co-founder and managing partner of Trinity Groves on the west side of downtown Dallas, is one of the majority of developers and public officials familiar with the project. Fitts thinks HQ2 will land in Dallas, in part because the city is the population center of the region.

 

Perhaps not surprisingly, Fitts thinks the restaurant incubator-anchored development he started with famed restauranteur and entrepreneur Phil Romano matches up well with Amazon’s needs.

 

"If North Texas is chosen for Amazon HQ2, I expect it to be the urban core, including sites in Trinity Groves, Victory (Park) or the Reunion (District),” Fitts said.

 

“Amazon has said they want easy access to DFW International Airport and Love Field, the greater DFW area, public transit and employee housing,” Fitts added. “The urban core offers Amazon exactly what they are looking for."

 

If Amazon comes to North Texas, “it will be Dallas” as opposed to the suburbs, Tom Leppert, a businessman and former Dallas mayor, told the Dallas Business Journal in a recent interview.

 

“I know when they were here, they expressed a desire to be in the core,” Leppert added.

But Leppert said he doesn’t know which site in Dallas the company might favor. 

 

Real estate developer and investor Ross Perot Jr. said he thinks Dallas-Fort Worth has a solid chance to win Amazon’s second headquarters. He put the Northern Virginia-Washington D.C. area, along with Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth, at the top of his list for Amazon’s HQ2 pick.

 

Perot and his Hillwood real estate development company are pitching sites for Amazon's HQ2 in Dallas' Victory Park and in Alliance, a giant development north of Fort Worth.

 

“I think Dallas has got as good a chance as anywhere in the country,” he said. “When you go through all of the numbers, all the reasons that companies move here and people move here, we are very, very attractive.”

 

North Texas Corporate Relocations and Expansions

Ranked by # Total Estimated Jobs

 

 

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