Behind the scenes of Dallas' newest high-rise

Adam Soto, a Partner at Woodfield Development, breaks down how the 21-story high-rise project came about, who is working on it, what it will cost, and what type of renter it will cater to.

Behind the scenes of Dallas' newest high-rise

Despite the possibility of a slowing economy, this $125 million-dollar story is compelling proof that it is possible.

This 21-story high-rise is located near the Dallas Farmers Market entrance. It offers unobstructed views of downtown, Fair Park, and Deep Ellum.

Adam Soto from Woodfield Development, a Dallas-based partner of the North Carolina firm, discusses the plans for the Dallas high-rise.

Discuss the project's name with me.

It's called Good Latimer, as we aren't sure what it will be called. Although the name GreenHouse appears on the architectural drawings it is not a brand we have yet to commit.

Who and when did you find the site?

Dosch Marshall Real Estate, an off-market multifamily land broker in the area, recommended us to this site. They have offices in Houston and Austin as well as Dallas, Dallas, and Phoenix. They are very useful to us.

In February 2022, we signed the contract for the land.

Did you need to go through the entitlement procedure?

The Farmers Market PD granted full rights to this site. According to the entitlements, we are allowed to build an unlimited amount of density, but not more than a certain height. The height limit was set at 30 stories.

Please tell me about yourself and the reasons this site is appealing to you and your colleagues.

Before joining Woodfield Development I worked with Crescent Real Estate Equities under John Goff. We were involved in a lot Dallas urban development projects, including McKinney & olive, The Luminary and 2401 Cedar Springs.

This site is a great deal because of my roots. It is located just off Highway 75, within walking distance of Deep Ellum, Downtown Dallas and Uptown Dallas and only two blocks away from the Farmers Market.

Who will be the architect on this project? Could you please tell us more about the design?

Corgan was selected to be our architect for this project.

Corgan and I began to have conversations, and Steven Lord was hired by them as their Multifamily Shop Manager.

James Adams is our project manager. He is a highly skilled architect. James and I have been working together for eight years and get along well. They were the first people I called about this urban site.

We eventually reached around 300 units and 21 stories through various design steps and different programs.

The tower facing south is shorter than that facing north. We wanted the effect to make them appear like separate towers but they are one. I think we achieved that effect.

Driving North on Highway 75 from Houston or South Dallas will produce this amazing effect. As you enter downtown, you will be able to see the Dallas skyline.

We wanted to mix the old and the new, but also to speak to contemporary architecture. We have a lighter fa├žade, a different brick color, and curtain wall elements which are new and modern.

This is a design that our team loves and believes it to be unique and special in the area. We believe it will appeal to the market.

How much does it cost to build a project such as this? Who will finance this?

After being satisfied with the design, the team went to the market to gauge interest in the equity- and debt markets.

When you make a bigger, more complex urban deal, the equity and debt pools shrink. JLL's Capital Markets team was engaged to help us raise equity and debt. We are currently negotiating terms for equity and debt.

It will cost between $120 million and $125 million.

Let me know about Woodfield's strategy on this site.

The site is in an opportunity area. This could be funded with money from the Opportunity Zone. We'll keep this deal for at least five years if that's the case.

Woodfield's strategy is typically merchant build. We build, lease up and then sell. If we fail to raise opportunity zone funds, the merchant build strategy will likely be the way we go.

When do you plan to break ground? Who will be the general contract for this project?

The first quarter of 2023 is our target. The date is still a moving target. We are currently in the process to submit our permanent set of drawings for the city.

Moss Construction is the only company we are talking to about being the general contractor on the project.

How does this lease-up work? What rent charges will you be making?

We fully expect a slower lease-up due to the high-rise nature the building. High-rises tend to lease up more slowly than other buildings because they have a smaller renter pool.

Our units are just right for the market, we believe. They average north of 900 square footage.

We recommend that rents start at $3 per sq. foot.

What kind of tenants will it house?

Target market tenants will be a little older and live in the Uptown or downtown core.

These people won't be young professionals straight out of college, but we do have some options for roommates with two- or three-bedrooms that could work.

What amenities will this project offer?

Here, we cater to high-end tenants.

We realize that many people will work from home, given the current times. Residents have access to a lot of co-working space within the building.

There will be several large breakout rooms and conference rooms available for people to take business calls and then close the doors.

There will be over 20,000 square feet in amenity space and a pool deck that is 20,000 square.

Who will be the property manger for this project?

We are talking to many because we need it for our underwriting. But that is something we will award a little later. Before we hire a third-party manager to manage this project, we'll still be in construction.