Retail and housing development are primary topics in this podcast. Jim Kelley of Champions DFW Commercial Realty welcomed Melissa Huffman to the Champions DFW radio show and podcast. She’s the Vice President and Development Coordinator with Omni Group.
She has a focus on national projects and net leases, notably Walgreens, Starbucks, strip mall centers, and Blockbuster back in the day. There’s also a mixed-use tract of land her firm has put up for sale just south of AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Melissa also has a focus on housing development. Here is an excerpt from the podcast…
Jim: We had talked leading up to the show about some of your involvement with the housing market, specifically on the development side. Can you give us an overview of what you’re doing there and how you’re involved, and a little bit about what you’re seeing in the housing market because I’m seeing huge upsides? As we mentioned earlier it’s being reported that there was over 4500 new home starts in 2015 in Dallas, Fort Worth area, and home prices 10% above the previous year. So can you elaborate…?
Melissa: Sure. I got a great opportunity in September of 2013, the Fort Worth housing market was, or Tarrant County was growing tremendously as we were seeing in DFW. And Dale Ladner, the principal of Omni Group’s wife had been involved with real estate until she took some time off to raise her children. And she reached out to me and asked me if I’d be interested in being the broker for a residential company in Fort Worth called Burt Ladner Real Estate. And like I spoke earlier, I knew her reputation and her partner’s reputation in the market and I knew that it was going to be a very successful company. Well, we started out with five agents, and now we’re up to 25 agents.
And they are a great group of girls to work with. It’s been able to diversify what I do, because without the rooftops and the multifamily components that we need in commercial, development is not driven. But on that end, Fort Worth just keeps pushing out west. We’re very excited. I met with the Walsh Development people, which are land advisors, last week. And they’re going to be announcing their first phase very soon or delivering those lots. And then soon after, probably the first part of next year, the second phase of that development. And Fort Worth, currently right now, is developing the Edward’s Ranch area.
I can’t tell you the number of total homes there, but that was one of the last pockets of developable real estate for residential, and they’ve really done a great job with the architecture of the homes and the diversity of the price point of the homes in there. And Ridgmar Mall, for example, was losing Neiman Marcus, and Edward’s Ranch and Simon are collaborating together to take a freestanding Neiman’s into a pocket next to a multifamily development in to the trailhead. They’ve really done a really nice, nice job.
There’s plenty more to this intriguing conversation on housing development. Listen to the podcast here or view all of our podcasts on iTunes.
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