Dallas Business Journal – Billingsley says full sails ahead for Cypress Waters development
By Candace Carlisle, Staff Writer
It’s been more than a decade since Lucy Billingsley initially spotted the large parcel of land near Interstate 635, once owned by Dallas-based TXU Energy, but she still remembers seeing the property and thinking it would make an excellent plot to develop.
The longtime Dallas developer kept in touch with the energy company, hoping to land the 1,000-acre tract, and piece-by-piece, she did.
“It’s so rare to find 1,000 acres of land that’s infill property and near water,” said Billingsley, a partner at Dallas-based Billingsley Co. “In Dallas, you don’t find it.”
Now, Billingsley has jump-started the $3.5 billion master-planned, mixed-use development at the northeast corner of Belt Line Road and Interstate 635 calledCypress Waters, which recently landed the headquarters for Irving-based Cheddar’s Casual Cafe.
“It’s a long-term development that is launching with a lot of momentum,” Billingsley said. “It’s really been thrilling and the speed of development is really exciting.”
Real estate sources say they expectCypress Waters to land some big corporate tenants in the market. The developer has three office buildings underway to attract some of those tenants, as well as a corporate campus park.
Plans for the massive project include a corporate campus of 4.5 million square feet of office space, 10,000 apartments and townhomes, 400,000 square feet of retail space and three one-acre parks.
The project’s proximity to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, as well as the rest of North Texas, is one of the reasons why corporate America is taking notice of Cypress Waters, saidMarijke Lantz, a senior vice president at Billingsley Co.
“A company can pull employees together throughout the Metroplex,” Lantz said.
Cheddar’s ability to expand its North Texas headquarters at Cypress Waters drove the restaurant chain’s decision to set up shop in the master-planned community, said Rick Payne, a Cheddar’s senior vice president.
Cheddar’s is Cypress Waters’ first corporate tenant. The single-story, 31,450-square-foot build-to-suit project at 8951 Cypress Waters Blvd. in Irving is expandable to accommodate future growth.
As the restaurant expands, Cheddar’s plans to hire more corporate employees to support the operations in the chain’s 150 restaurants throughout the United States.
Along with Billingsley’s development plans, the city of Coppell is readying to start lowering a 700-acre lake on the site to 362 acres. The downsized lake will be used in the master-planned community, which will include a five-mile nature trail around the lake, a park setting reminiscent of White Rock Lake in Dallas, as well as lakeside dining options.
Billingsley said the firm’s in the midst of plans to develop alongside the water’s edge.
“We have the opportunity to create a space that’s quite special,” she said.