The developer of North Texas’ top real estate project — Plano’s Legacy West — is hoping to repeat that success with a more than $2 billion mixed-use project in Frisco.
Legacy West developer Fehmi Karahan is teaming with Hunt Realty Investments to build a 180-acre mixed-use project on the Dallas North Tollway near PGA of America’s new headquarters. It will be part of Frisco’s more than 2,500-acre Fields development.
Called Fields West, the project at Panther Creek Parkway will include 325,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space, 2,800 apartments, more than 4 million square feet of offices and three hotels.
The Fields West developers have inked an agreement with Marriott International Inc. for a Ritz-Carton Hotel.
The ambitious Frisco development is more than three times the size of the popular Legacy West Urban Village, which opened five years ago in Plano and has become one of North Texas’ most busiest dining and shopping spots. Thousands of people live in the apartments and condominiums in Legacy West on the tollway.
Karahan headed the group of developers who bought more than 240 acres in 2014 surrounding J.C. Penney’s Plano headquarters to build Legacy West, which now includes Toyota’s North American headquarters and offices for JPMorgan Chase, Liberty Mutual Insurance and FedEx Office.
Karahan predicts that Frisco’s Fields West development will be an even bigger draw for new business.
It’s about eight miles north of Legacy West.
“The interest we are getting from retailers before we even announced the project is mind-boggling,” Karahan said. “They see the demographics and growth in the area and want to be there.
“This becomes the next big retail hub,” he said. “The people from Celina, Prosper, Gunter and Sherman are not going to go all the way south on the tollway to Plano.”
Frisco’s Fields project, which stretches between Preston Road and U.S. Highway 380, is planned to have as many as 14,000 homes and apartments plus commercial space. It’s a development of Hunt Realty, Karahan Cos., Chief Partners LP, CrossTie Capital Ltd. and the heirs of property owner Bert Fields Jr.
Thousands more homes are being built and people moving to communities stretching north of Frisco into Collin and Denton counties.
Collin and Denton counties were among the top 10 counties in the country with the most population growth in 2021, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“There is an enormous amount of growth taking place,” Karahan said. “We’re in the right place for this development.”
Karahan said the developers plan to debut plans for Fields West at next month’s international shopping center conference in Las Vegas.
“That’s where everyone will get a first look at the project,” he said.
Dallas’ Shop Cos. is leasing the retail in Fields West, which is being designed by architect Gensler.
The developers hope to open the first phase of the project in late 2024.
“We are now going in full speed with this development,” Karahan said.
The just-completed agreement with Marriott is a major accomplishment, he said. “The Ritz-Carlton will be the first five-star hotel in the northern section of D-FW.”
Karahan Cos. worked with Marriott on its previous Legacy developments in Plano.
“I and my team are extremely excited to be working with Fehmi once again, and now with the Hunt team as well, on such a tremendous project like the 2,500-acre mixed-use Fields development in Frisco,” Tom Brinkman, Marriott’s chief development officer said. “The proposed Ritz-Carlton will serve as a key component of Fields.”
Hunt Realty and Karahan Cos. purchased the property — the largest undeveloped land in Frisco — in 2018 from the estate of the late businessman Bert Fields Jr.
They’ve spent the last four years planning the $10 billion development, which includes the PGA headquarters, an Omni hotel and resort and thousands of new homes.
Fields West is one of three mixed-used development districts planned in the big land project.
“We are committed to making Fields West the best-in-class urban retail, restaurant and entertainment destination in North Texas to create a compelling choice for relocating corporate CEOs and new residents, too,” Hunt Realty CEO Chris Kleinert said in a statement. “Employers and consumers are very sophisticated and discerning and, with the Ritz-Carlton as our anchor, we believe we can offer the best ‘stay, play and live’ opportunity in North Texas.”
Along with the new Fields West complex, Karahan and Hunt Realty have recently sold land in their Frisco project to homebuilders Taylor Morrison Homes and Republic Property Group and warehouse builder Crow Holdings Industrial.
Diane Hornquist works with the general counsel to oversee legal activities associated with various land development and operating company initiatives. Hornquist began her legal career at the Dallas office of Jackson Walker LLP in the real estate section.
Mike Wallace is responsible for all aspects of Hunt Realty Investments overseeing the firm’s direct-owned real estate portfolio, operating company investments and other real estate activities. He is responsible for sourcing and structuring all new investment activity, as well as Hunt Realty’s interaction and investment relationship with other Hunt-related entities.
Throughout his career, he has been involved in investments in single-assets, real estate portfolios, distressed loan portfolios and private and publicly-traded companies including equity, preferred equity, mezzanine and participating debt investments. His experience spans a broad array of product sectors including office, multi-family, hospitality, retail, senior living, student housing, industrial, residential and land.
Prior to joining Hunt Realty, Wallace was with The Hampstead Group, a Dallas-based real estate private equity fund which invested approximately $1 billion on behalf of institutional and private investors. While at The Hampstead Group, his responsibilities included new investment opportunities in real estate portfolios, publicly-traded companies and distressed loan portfolio acquisitions as well as management of the fund’s investments. He also previously worked for EFO Realty, a real estate opportunity fund where he sourced and structured joint-venture equity investments.
Chris Kleinert is CEO and president of Hunt Consolidated Investments, LLC, and Co-CEO of its holding company, Hunt Consolidated, Inc. He is president of Hunt Realty Investments and oversees the operations of both Hunt Investment Group and Hoodoo Land and Cattle Company, as well as the financial activities of the holding company. Other business interests of Hunt Consolidated, Inc. include oil and gas exploration and production, petroleum refining, electric power generation and transmission. Kleinert’s affiliation with Hunt Consolidated began in 1996. Kleinert received an MBA with a concentration in finance from Texas Christian University and a BBA in marketing from Southern Methodist University. Prior to joining Hunt, he was employed by Texas Commerce Bank (now JPMorgan Chase) and General Mills. Kleinert serves on the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University and SMU’s Tate Lecture Board of Directors. He also serves on the Neeley School of Business International Board of Visitors at Texas Christian University, the Board of Trustees of the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Board of Directors of Amegy Bank -Dallas, and the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors. Kleinert chairs the Board of Directors of the newly created Men’s Advocacy Group for New Friends New Life. In 2009, Chris and his wife, Ashlee, founded Executives in Action (EIA), a nonprofit organization that leveraged the talent and expertise of executives in transition with local charitable organizations to enhance their productivity, efficiency and overall impact. In 2016, EIA merged 4 with New York-based Catchafire, Inc. to form Catchafire North Texas and expand the number of volunteers and nonprofits that can be matched nationally.