A large new development is coming to Southern Dallas—one that community leaders hope will spur further growth in an area that’s historically seen a lack of investment.
Local investment group Hoque Global has announced plans to acquire a 270-acre plot of undeveloped land next to the University of North Texas at Dallas campus. Hoque plans to create new housing, commercial buildings, and green space in the development, which it calls University Hills.
“A large scale, mixed-use, multi-phase development in this location will rewrite perceptions of investing in and moving to Southern Dallas,” said Mike Hoque, CEO of Hoque Global, in a statement.
Dallas Innovates has previously written about Mike Hoque’s career, which has encompassed multiple restaurant developments; buying the 1950s-era Adolphus Tower in downtown Dallas for renovation; a bid for Amazon’s proposed HQ2 headquarters; redevelopment plans for The Cedars south of Downtown Dallas; and more.
Homes, apartments, offices coming to Southern Dallas
Hoque Global, which focuses on developing in underserved areas, said it’s been working with leaders and stakeholders from the community to create plans that will ultimately include 1,500 multi-family units and hundreds of single-family homes, along with more than 50 acres of green space.
In addition, the development includes plans for 1.5 million square feet of commercial space. Hoque says it is seeing demand for offices, flex spaces, and life science facilities from businesses working in the southern part of the city, as well as from those businesses’ partners.
Historically, new developments in the city have focused on the northern sector. According to the City of Dallas Economic Development Policy 2022-2032, Southern Dallas is home to 45% of the city’s population, but only 15% of its tax base. Hoque said it hopes that University Hills will generate future investment in the area.
“The area needs projects that create jobs, good housing and high-quality retail,” said Bob Mong, president of UNT at Dallas, in a statement. “We remain very hopeful about this project.”
‘We hope University Hills will be the first of many’
The first phase of the project, which has been reviewed by the City Council’s Economic Development Committee but has yet to receive council approval, would include 500 single-family units, 250 apartments, and close to 200,000 square feet of office and retail space. In late June, the Dallas City Council approved up to $31.4 million in tax increment financing for the initial phase.
“This is a huge step for Dallas in helping end our racial and financial segregation in the city; lots of opportunities for homeownership and building of wealth in Southern Dallas,” said council member Cara Mendelsohn, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The land, which was bought by current owner Centurion American Development Group in 2016, sits near the intersection of Interstate 20 and Lancaster Road, along the DART’s Blue Line. Centurion’s plans for the region also included a mixed-use development.
“We hope University Hills will be the first of many community-driven and neighborhood-building developments bringing much-needed quality jobs and housing for the area to grow,” Hoque said.
This story, originally published on June 7, 2022, was updated on June 27 at 12:37 p.m. to reflect the Dallas City Council’s approval of up to $31.4 million in tax increment financing for Phase One of Hoque’s University Hills project.
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