In Thursday's Dallas Morning News, a new development was announced immediately east of the State Farm project on the tollway and North Central. The project's name is BC Station.
BC Station is side by side with the State Farm development, with a DART station in-between. How cool is that?! The City Line project (State Farm) will be worth $1.5 Billion when completed. The new BC Station will add another $500 Million to the development. The DMN goes on to say that the two developments will add "thousands of jobs and a flood of residents along North Central Expressway." I agree about the jobs. I disagree about the "flood of residents." There is no residential land along NC Expressway. There may be some residential land off the beaten path, but it is far too expensive for any housing except high dollar apartments and condos.
However, just 20 minutes of commute time down GWBT, lies superb high dollar residential land. We, in Rowlett, call it North Shore. However, our illustrious city leadership thinks it is Office and Warehouse land. They have denied two excellent residential developments that would currently be contributing $700K a week to our tax base. The boneheaded analysts that caused this to happen are gone.......but some of their disciples still remain. There are several posts in this blog that contain math supporting the best real estate investment that Rowlett never made. Rowlett "leadership" snapped defeat right out of the jaws of victory. Check my post of two posts ago, "It's Been a Year," 2/16/15.
I talked to the two developers right after they were denied zoning by City Council. Be assured, they did not love Rowlett..........after investing maybe $100K each in planning and engineering on their projects. Some of the meatheads that were "planning" Rowlett at the time must think that these two prestigious developers (and they were some of the best) must not talk to anyone. Be assured, these developers all talk to one another. They know the good guys and the bad guys. So......do you think only two residential developers think badly of Rowlett? You might ought to guess again. I'm sure we're on many developer dart boards. How many sophisticated residential developers have approached Rowlett recently? By sophisticated, I mean someone with the savvy and financial wherewithal to produce a 250 lot subdivision with all the amenities. A subdivision in which the lots would cost $70,000 to $80,000 each. This type of development is not for Fred and Ethyl's Land Development Company and Sheet Metal Shop.
The data being reported by the DMN is pretty plebeian information. It is hardly sophisticated. Anybody has access to it and it doesn't cost $8,000 a year that some lenders pay for more professional real estate data. However, the DMN is just hammering the public with excellent market information. It is beating Rowlett leaders over the head with an 8 lb. sledge hammer. There are tens of thousands of jobs being created 20-30 minutes of non-stop driving up the tollway from Rowlett. There is more vacant land north of Rowlett, but it is probably inclined to go commercial because of it's close proximity to existing commercial and rail served. It will be 30 years, if ever, for North Shore to be ripe for any of the development envisioned by previous leadership. Do you know how much money Rowlett would lose by that time? Do you think $36 million might be close? It is......probably understated. With the proverbial tax increases, over $40 million is not an exaggeration. So, you don't think nurturing the tax base isn't as important as how much you pay for a fire truck?
I drove thru Rowlett's two existing subdivsions and the one under development. A very unscientific guess is that we have lot inventory in the two active subdivisions for two or three years. The residential subdivision underway won't even produce a production house for about a year......four months to complete the land development, four months to build a model, and four months to produce the first pre-sold unit. The subdivision underway is an unproven product. It is "urbanized" and has form base codes. That means it is substantially designed by Rowlett Planning Department. What a scary thought.
If we don't get our act together, I fear what lies ahead with our efforts in visulizing the golden opportunity provided by Robertson Park.
You need to start researching the meatheads in our midst that have zero real estate development acumen. They still exist. Get them out of office. If not, get out your checkbook. You'll need it. You can go get them back when fire trucks become more important than tax base.