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Developer hopes to lure major employers to long-overlooked part of Dallas

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Looking out the window of his office near the top of the Comerica Bank Tower in downtown Dallas, Hoque’s Global CEO Mike Hoque clearly sees what he wants to change.

Looking at the long-overlooked southern part of the city, he is developing two major projects that want to attract large corporations to the home of Dallas rather than the suburbs or suburban cities.

“When a company near Dallas goes to Sherman to make a $ 30 billion investment, look through the window, it’s all eco-friendly.” Hoque noted the decision by Richardson-based Texas Instruments to build a semiconductor chip manufacturing campus in a city one hour north of Dallas, rather than in the south area visible through the window.

On June 22, the Dallas City Council resolved to provide incentives for the two developments. Both are designed to drive further economic growth, on the south side of downtown and next to the University of North Texas on the Dallas campus.

Hoque Global CEO Mike Hoque is photographed at his office in the Comerica Bank Tower in Dallas. He is developing a multipurpose development of New Park on the south side of downtown and in University Hills, a master plan community near the UNT-Dallas campus.(Elias Valverde II / Staff Photographer)

“I think our leaders finally understand that in order for Dallas to grow, we must grow to the south,” Hawk said. “There is no other choice, because if you think you have the opportunity to attract a company that has real growth potential, you have to create it” why “. “

Approved by council members $ 96.1 million in financial support for New park development proposal Located on the south side of downtown near the Town Hall, it features a 38-story office, residential, and hotel tower, as well as a 20-acre new building district along Canton and Cadiz Streets.

This property was one of the development sites that was marketed to Amazon when looking for a location for a second headquarters office in 2017. That pursuit has failed, but Hoque hopes the project is ready for the next Amazon to see Dallas.

“When you’re in New York City and sitting with a drink, someone says,” Hey, I was in Dallas last week because my company is thinking of moving its headquarters. ” Dallas? And they say The Shops at Legacy. It’s embarrassing for us. “

Further south, Hoque Plans to acquire 270 acres Next to the UNT-Dallas campus, it is proposed as a multipurpose community. He calls it a “university town” with hundreds of single-family homes and town homes, in addition to 1,500 apartments and 1.5 million square feet of commercial space.

The first phase will include over 500 single-family homes, 250 apartments, and approximately 200,000 square feet of offices and retail stores.

Phase 1 of University Hills Incentives up to $ 31.4 million. Infrastructure is paid at Tax increase loanThat is, the additional tax revenue generated by the project is used to offset construction costs in the area.

Conceptual rendering shows Hoque Global's plans to develop 270 acres of University Hills ...
The conceptual diagram shows Hoque Global’s plans to develop a 270-acre University Hills community in southern Dallas.(Provided page /)

A Bangladeshi-born businessman, Hoque started his business in limousine and event management over 20 years ago and has since been involved in several major developments, including the planned 15 acres. Multipurpose development of SoGood With the southern tip of downtown Renovation of the historic Adolphus Tower Along the main street. His company owns some of the most popular local restaurant concepts such as Dallas Chop House, Chop House Burger, Wild Salsa, and Dallas Fish Market.

Hoque envisions the Newpark project as a complete and walkable area around the university, saying offices for employers in areas such as life sciences and biotechnology are intertwined with a variety of housing options. .. He also wants to purchase additional land around the site for future development stages.

He compared his concept to Lake Nona in Orlando, a community of master plans centered on education and life sciences.

At the end of last year, UNT-Dallas will land a $ 100 million investment in a new science building planned and will open by the start of the 2025-26 school year, which Hoque wants to take advantage of. He works with commercial developer KDC in the office part.

“We already have a university, we don’t have to go to get it. From now on, we’ll use it to create more qualified jobs, not just warehouses.” Hoque said. “We have millions of square feet of warehouses doing low-paying jobs. Everyone is doing it because it’s the only easy thing. I don’t want to do it.”

Hoque joined the project after receiving a call from the city’s assistant manager, Majed Al-Ghafry, last October. The city has been working on the UNT-Dallas Regional Plan since 2009 and sees the university campus as a driving force for peripheral development. Since then, the city has brought infrastructure such as the DART Blue Rail Line and trail system to the area.

The University of North Texas on the Dallas Campus has several ...
The University of North Texas on the Dallas campus is in the foreground, with hundreds of acres of undeveloped land southeast of southern Dallas. Hoque Global plans University Hills, a 270-acre development south of the DART Blue Rail line, north of I-20, and west of South Lancaster Road. (Brandon Wade / Special Contributor)

Al-Ghafry said the city’s vision for the region is a regional “lab model” with opportunities for both education, innovation and affordable and market-priced housing.

“We not only want to ensure that the region is revitalized with mixed-income type opportunities, but we also want to focus on the high-income group,” said people like professors and scientists in southern Dallas. To make it an attractive place to live, Algafrey said.

Farmers Branch-based Centurion American bought the property in 2016 and came up with a proposal for its own site, but the developers and the city could never reach an agreement. The company plans to sell the property to Hoque, but may be involved in the residential part of the project.

“I’ve been there for nine years. Centurion American President and CEO Mehrdad Moayedi added that he didn’t have the same experience as Hoque in developing offices and hiring high-tech employers, he added. “It makes sense because Mike had all the components the city was looking for.”

Robin Bentley, head of the Dallas Department of Economic Development, said Centurion American at some point applied to subdivide some of its real estate for industrial use, which is the commercial and residential master plan community. Finding a model to fund the infrastructure was also a challenge.

But she said Hawk’s intervention plans are now beginning to pay off, as Centurion’s first vision of building properties and other developers reaching out to do other projects nearby. ..

“I think the growth in and around the university that started with what’s happening in this project will continue,” says Bentley.

Bob Mon, president of the University of North Texas in Dallas, hasn’t seen any action in the field since 2015, so developers take a closer look at the property and work closely with the city. He said he encouraged him to do so.Mon is a former editor Dallas Morning News.

“If that really happens, I think it’s a promising development,” Mon said. “We are really excited in that sense because there is no true planned unit development or public transport oriented development in southern Dallas, so this is the first time and right next to the campus.”

Another driving force for University Hills’ work is the 46-year-old Red Bird Mall in southwestern Dallas. A $ 200 million multipurpose center. Terrence Maiden, CEO and founder of Dallas-based development company Russell Glen, has worked with developer Peter Brodsky on the Red Bird project, which is expected to bring more than 3,500 jobs.

Maiden also plans to develop a 90-acre plot across UNT-Dallas as a community of master plans along Camp Wisdom Road and University Hills Boulevard, apart from the Hawk project. It has the potential to bring more homes, as well as grocery stores, retail stores and restaurants.

He said southern Dallas is attractive for housing development because of its easy access to downtown Dallas by car or public transport, and the connection to the hilly terrain and major trail systems.

“The area has always been branded as an educational corridor. I think what’s happening in and around the university will increase the activity of the area,” says Maiden.

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