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From DFW Airport To City Of Allen, 121 Corridor Is Booming

Whether near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport or farther northeast near McKinney, the 121 Corridor is a hotbed for development.

The 35-mile stretch from the northern edges of DFW Airport to U.S. 75 has drawn car dealerships, hotels, restaurants, corporate offices, industrial and multifamily along its borders.

Billingsley, which acquired Howard Hughes' plans for Monarch City in Allen, is expected to tweak and rename the project.

At the western section of that 35-mile stretch, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport controls 17,000 acres with 6,000 of that earmarked for commercial development uses.

Of the acreage identified for commercial development, about 2,400 acres have been developed to date, leaving about 3,600 acres remaining, DFW Airport Vice President of Community Development John Terrell said. Terrell is speaking at Bisnow’s Road to Riches! The 121 Corridor event Aug. 23.

Amazon recently opened a 2.4M SF fulfillment center on airport property in Coppell along the 121 Corridor, bringing Amazon's space on airport property to nearly 4.5M SF, including fulfillment, distribution and air cargo operations, Terrell said.

“The location of the airport in the heart of the Metroplex with easy accessibility to anywhere and having the logistics center not just for trucks but for air is very enticing to many industrial users, hotels and other developments,” Terrell said.

The DFW Airport submarket had 5.4M SF of industrial product under construction during Q2, the most of any submarket, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s Q2 industrial statistics.

Passport Business Park, a 598-acre property at the south end of the airport, is the newest development on airport property.

Roads and utility infrastructure are being built and installed on the eastern half of Passport Business Park and should be completed by year-end. Nearly 3M SF of industrial buildings are under construction simultaneously with an expected completion shortly after roads and infrastructure are finished.

About 1.5M SF of the construction is for an unidentified user with the remainder speculative space. All is being developed by Bandera Ventures, a Dallas real estate developer founded in 2003 by three former senior executives of Trammell Crow.

The airport is in negotiation for land leases that would allow for the construction of an additional seven or eight buildings with construction beginning sometime after Jan. 1.


It is not just industrial booming — all types of development have been attracted to the corridor.

On the north side of the airport, new development where 121 and State Highway 114 converge will include the addition of two new luxury dealerships in Grapevine, Terrell said. The northern edge of airport property already is home to Grubbs Infiniti, Park Place Jaguar Land Rover and Audi Grapevine. Terrell declined to identify the dealerships because leases haven’t been finalized.

The corridor is also scheduled to become the future home of an electronics fulfillment company, which had been shopping the market under the name Project Electrode. The company, expected to lease space near 121 and Main Street in Grapevine, will be shipping high-end electronics by air. That company also hasn’t been identified because of lease negotiations.

Further up the 121 Corridor, just northeast of the 121/North Dallas Tollway intersection, Miami-based developer ZOM Living is building The Kinstead, a 376-unit garden-style apartment complex with the first units scheduled to open in the first quarter.

The northeastern portion of the corridor is attracting a tremendous amount of developer interest because of a combination of road improvements, job growth, good schools and available land. Toyota and State Farm are among the major, still-new employers in the region.

The Warren Buffett-backed Grandscape — a $1.5B, 433-acre mixed-use development in The Colony where Nebraska Furniture Mart opened in 2015 — still has plenty of land available for development.

“All that synergy makes the region attractive to us,” ZOM Vice President Jason Haun said.

DFW Airport

Mark Bulmash, senior vice president of development overseeing the central region for Howard Hughes Corp., said his company is also bullish on the corridor.

Howard Hughes Corp. controls about 270 acres at the southeast quandrant of 121 and U.S. 75, the far eastern edge of the corridor. Its project, called Monarch City, is expected to be a 9M SF mixed-use development with corporate office users, hotels, restaurants and urban living, all surrounding a central park that will provide open space for workers, residents and visitors. There is no timeline for development, but JLL is shopping the market trying to nail down Monarch City's first big corporate user.

“There is a great quality of life out there,” Bulmash said. “Allen keeps getting mentioned in Money and Forbes as one of the best places to live.” 

“You see all this stuff that has happened up at Legacy and Frisco and Richardson. It is all moving toward us along the highway, and we have this iconic site — a gateway into Allen and into the northeast Dallas area."

To learn more about what's in store for the 121 Corridor, attend Bisnow’s Road to Riches! The 121 Corridor, 7:30 a.m. Aug. 23 at the Sheraton McKinney Hotel.