All Eyes On Fairview With Billingsley Development To Open Up Highway 75 Commercial Corridor
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With a population of roughly 10,500 citizens, Fairview is a place North Texans can drive through without ever realizing they’ve been there.
The sleepy Collin County suburb, which occupies only 8.7 square miles, hopes to keep this unassuming, small-town vibe going even as it plunges forward with plans to develop a highly trafficked, commercial mixed-use project bordering U.S. Highway 75 and State Highway 121.
Only 450 acres are left in Fairview’s Highway 75 corridor, and developer Billingsley Co. and its partner landowner, the Petefish family, plan to build out a major chunk of that — Billingsley is gearing up a 242-acre mixed-use development at the intersection of U.S. 75 and State Highway 121 near Highway 5.
The site is just north of Fairview's bustling Fairview Town Center mixed-use development and near the cities of Allen and McKinney.
“We know the basics [of the development] will be primary office and multifamily, and other uses [such as] retail and potentially a hotel,” Billingsley Co. partner Lucy Billingsley said.
Billingsley sees it taking 12 to 24 months to get the infrastructure overlays established for the project to truly begin.
Once that happens, the development will launch its first residential concept, followed by other uses, like retail and office. The area is zoned to phase in the build-out of 2,000 apartment units over time, Billingsley said.
“This property is going to get more and more valuable as the years go by, so what we hope to do is begin with the wonderful mixed-use residential and create a place with a real heart, and then launch the office,” Billingsley said.
Fairview: The Anomaly
For a North Texas suburb, Fairview remains somewhat of an anomaly, given its focus on being a small town with residents who boast big-city incomes and above-average property values. The suburb’s median household income is $78K per year and its median property value hovers somewhere around $350K, according to U.S. census data.
Even though Fairview prides itself on not growing to epic proportions, it hasn’t escaped the North Texas population surge. The town has a modest population of about 10,500, but most of those residents have arrived since the turn of the century; the 2,000 U.S. census found only 2,363 people in Fairview.
While Fairview always fights to keep its population stable, the city’s leadership first envisioned office and commercial development alongside the 75 Corridor two decades ago, interim Fairview Economic Development Corp. Community and Economic Development Manager Dave Quinn said.
The partnership established between Billingsley Co. and the Petefish family is the ideal foundation for Fairview's Highway 75 Corridor, Quinn said, given Billingsley's reputation as a quality sponsor and the Petefish family's prime land at the corner of two major Collin County highways.
“Obviously anytime you can have a partner with the Billingsley name or develop alongside that type of name with [Billingsley’s] credibility, it’s exciting,” Quinn said. “This has been the vision since 2000. The city leaders envisioned the commercial corridor in Fairview for this exact purpose: a mixed-use live-work-play active lifestyle center.”
He sees the Billingsley-Petefish development as an asset to taxpayers once the office and multifamily contribute to the small town’s tax base.
“Obviously, that corporate commercial tax base will help drive and keep our residents' tax base low,” Quinn said.
He also envisions a final office product that pulls in significant tenants, possibly even tech-oriented companies with workers living in neighboring communities.
“We have twice the national average of IT workers in a 30-minute drive time, so the talent pool that live in and around Fairview lends itself to that type of worker,” Quinn said. “It’s similar to what you are seeing across Collin County as a whole, so we definitely see ourselves as a player there.”
What Fairview doesn't expect is rapid population growth as the corridor builds out. Fairview simply doesn't have room to become a major suburb, but it does have the location to take advantage of population growth in neighboring suburbs like Allen, Frisco, McKinney and Melissa.
“We like the larger home lots ... except for in the commercial corridor,” Quinn said. “What we say is [Fairview] is where opportunity meets community. We know we are not going to be an Allen, a Frisco or a McKinney that’s 300,000 people.”