Dallas’ city council has approved plans for one of the largest developments ever proposed in the downtown area.
Hunt Realty’s 11-acre Field Street project has been in the works since last year and is planned to include office, residential and hotel towers and retail space just north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
The proposed high-rises will surround a 1.5-acre central park. The mixed-use project could include buildings taller than 80 stories.
The complex of towers would replace the NorthEnd Apartments, which were built in 1997.
The council approved zoning changes for the development by a unanimous vote Wednesday.
The developer agreed to plant larger trees and include more green space in the planned park and along streets in the project. And the approved plan will push buildings back farther from Houston Street on the west side.
Colin Fitzgibbons, president of Hunt Realty Investments, said that with the zoning in hand, the project could start construction as early as the second half of 2022.
“What we are trying for here is a mix of uses — a dynamic mix of retail, shops, restaurants, hotels, office buildings and of course the open space,” Fitzgibbons said. “We have retail that will face the streets, retail that will face the park.”
Hunt Realty hired the New York-based architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates to design the mixed-use development, which could have more than 3 million square feet of construction.
Council member Paul Ridley said there is strong support for the project. “This is a location right outside of the downtown central business district and Uptown that is ideal for high-density development,” he said. “It is at a location within close proximity of multiple transportation alternatives.
“It is in an area of Uptown where there is intense development pressure for higher-density development.”
Hunt Realty is pitching the ambitious project as a bridge between downtown, Uptown and Victory Park.
“I believe the hunt for a unique and exciting project for the future is over — this is the project,” said council member Carolyn King Arnold. “I was able to check off all the boxes not only with the location, but the livability, the options of the green space.”
Hunt Realty has owned the site for more than two decades.
Chris Kleinert, CEO of Hunt Investment Holdings, told the council that his firm has turned down offers to sell the property on the northwest edge of downtown.
“We wanted to hold the entire block because we knew the day would come when the timing would be right for a site so uniquely situated with its scale and size to master-plan something bold, special and unique,” Kleinert said.
He said the Field Street project Hunt Realty plans will be “an important economic driver that will bring jobs and a larger tax base that will benefit all citizens of Dallas.”
“This will be a legacy project for downtown.”
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.