Let's assume that the corner of NC highway and the tollway fills up the massive new office complex quickly. If the whole building is not occupied by the owner, there will be some "spec" space that must be absorbed. This "Class A" office space will suck up most of the potential "Class A" tenants in the area for a while.
As we continue around the tollway to Rowlett, we see a lot of commercial development along the tollway. Do you notice something in common with all the commercial development? You can get to all of them without using the tollway. There is a major "free" cross street at all locations. These cross streets are major throughways with at least four lanes and carry a lot of traffic. Some examples are, Jupiter Road, Renner Road, Brand, Hiwy #78, and Firewheel. One can use the tollway to get to those sites, but you don't have to.
As you drive around the tollway, there is land everywhere. In fact, if one exits Hiwy #78, Murphy and Wylie can also be accessed as well as Sachse. Wylie and Sachse can even offer rail served land. There is a lot of available land.
Now, in the tape I asked you to view two or three posts ago, Bill Cunningham referred to the land above and said these parcels were in smaller acreages and were not suitable for an Industrial Park. I agree with Mr. Cunningham. These parcels are not suitable for an industrial park development. However, who said there was a demand for an industrial park? Where is the data proving up the need? I haven't seen any facts proving up the need for an industrial park. What does an industrial park offer, say, Kelly Tire if they want to put in a 50 acre distribution center? They can buy their own 50 acres wherever they want and develop it themselves.
Before we look at the proposed industrial park in Northshore, let's look at Rowlett. Rowlett has five intersections with the tollway. Coming from the south, they are Miller Road, Main Street, Lakeview Parkway, Liberty Grove Road, and Merritt Road. In order of commercial importance, It's my opinion that Lakeview Parkway is the most desirable. Main Street would be next because of visibility from Lakeview and access from service roads. I think Liberty Grove is next in importance because of visibility and service roads, however it has a pretty serious flaw. Liberty Grove doesn't go anywhere. The Liberty Grove intersection is important only because of the visibility from Lakeview and the access roads. Liberty Grove offers no serious crossroad traffic feeds. Miller Road and the new Merritt Road are a toss up. Miller Road can have serious cross traffic, but lacks the infrastructure to be a really good access from LBJ to Dalrock and I-30. On the other hand, Merritt Road goes no where. Merritt Road only has good access from the tollway. Coming from the south, Merritt Road is free. Coming from the north, Merritt costs money to access. This is something that commercial users will look into.
Of the five cross streets on the tollway in Rowlett, only two are in Northshore, and they are flawed.
I just don't see big demand for commercial in Northshore except at the corners of Liberty Grove and Merritt Road. I think some commercial demand exists in Rowlett, but there is a lot of commercial land on Lakeshore, some on Rowlett Road and Miller Road. A new strip center was built on Liberty Grove right outside Waterview. It is empty. It has moved in no tenants in several weeks and I don't see any potential tenants lining up. I think it was premature. How much? Oh, maybe two-three years at reduced rate rents. I image the construction lender isn't a real happy camper.
Now.......it has been proposed that Rowlett needs an Industrial Park. It has been decreed that it should be Northshore. Do you know how many land owners are in Northshore? I don't either, but its a bunch. Do you know how difficult it would be trying to get all the owners on the same administrative page? It would be awful, like herding cats. I don't know anyone with the patience for that sort of job. Therefore, it would take someone with some very impressive financial muscle to come in and acquire, and/or organize the owners into some united front orchestrating an INDUSTRIAL PARK. If the developer wanted to buy the land and get the landowners out of the picture, he/she would have to have deep pockets.......really deep. Some of the land is more valuble than other land, but if an average price of $3/per foot was used, it would take $130,680,000 to buy the land. Some of the land has serious topo problems. Heaven knows what it would take in total dollars to develop. $50,000,000 wouldn't be out of the question ($50K per acre).
Now, after all the above, would you care to bet me $10 that the Industrial Park will ever become a reality within the next 10-20 years? I would be delighted if Rowlett had what it took to have it's industrial park, but I don't think it's going to happen. I would be quick to change my mind, and happily do so, if someone would show me the data and facts that prove me wrong. So far, our consultants haven't done so.
All this time that Rowlett would be waiting on the commercial development, the city would be losing revenue from the absence of upscale residential and the owner's disposable income purchases added to the tax base. Whatever that shortfall is, you will be making up in tax rate.