Westmount Realty Capital Adds Industry Vet as Managing Director of Development

With the addition of Kyle Russell, Westmount said it is strengthening its growing portfolio and focus on the industrial market through the restoration of its development initiative, focusing first on the Dallas-Fort Worth region with plans to progress and broaden further development into a national footprint.

Real estate industry veteran Kyle Russell has joined Dallas-based private real estate investment firm Westmount Realty Capital as managing director of development.

Westmount said it is strengthening its growing portfolio and focus on the industrial market through the restoration of its development initiative, focusing first on the Dallas-Fort Worth region with plans to progress and broaden further development into a national footprint.

“Kyle will be instrumental in driving our development business forward in the industrial space with his experience that goes beyond development analysis and planning, but also extends to the full project lifecycle including end-to-end construction fluency and consultant contracting,” founder and Chairman Cliff Booth said in a statement. “Westmount has been active in the industrial space since the late 1980s, and Kyle’s skillset will be a value-add for the industrial capabilities of the firm. We look forward to expanding our development activities nationwide.”

The company said that Russell leads its new development initiative, bringing more than 30 years of experience in development analysis, planning, and execution. He will boost Westmount’s industrial development capacity, providing another capability that aligns with the firm’s healthy industrial portfolio and solid reputation in the asset class.

Leading industrial development

Westmount said that Russell has managed diverse project teams, budgets, project schedule, and consultant teams for timely project delivery.

Before Westmount, he was vice president of development management at Dallas-based Dalfen Industrial where he led industrial developments across Texas, Arizona, Utah, and Pennsylvania. Prior to Dalfen Industrial, he was vice president of project management at Scannell Properties where he was the project lead in the Texas market for build-to-suit and logistics developments.

“I’m delighted to join this unified team of accomplished industry leaders and to leverage my expertise in the DFW metroplex towards the introduction of our latest industrial development projects,” Russell said in a statement. “I am eager to make meaningful contributions to Westmount’s unwavering dedication and triumph in the industrial sector, as well as to its valued partners.”

Westmount president and COO Brant Brown said Russell’s background will benefit the firm.

“We’re confident that Kyle’s strong development expertise and track record will propel our future growth in an asset class we have invested in for decades, as the firm has been a longtime believer in the value of infill industrial and cold storage facilities,” Brown said in a statement. “We believe the timing of our new initiative is prime for today’s market fueled by industrial demand, and we look forward to seeing the impact Kyle will make at Westmount.”

Planning for growth and innovation

Russell told Dallas Innovates that he was drawn to Westmount because of its proven track record spanning over the last 35 years in the industrial and multifamily asset classes and its promising outlook toward expansion.

“While the initial focus on industrial developments is a natural point to resume our industrial development growth, the future expansion into other markets outside of DFW is in our view for the future,” Russell said.

He added that his previous jobs have prepared him for his new work at Westmount.

“In my previous roles, it was crucially important for me to be involved in the growth of those organizations. As we plan for similar growth, I draw from all my previous roles and the experiences that have equipped me to take on this challenge,” Russell said. “My background as an architect, tenant, third-party consultant, and developer have provided skills that I use constantly to understand and bring together teams to complement each other and deliver successful developments.”

Russell added that technological advances, especially in artificial intelligence, automation, and electric freight vehicles, will impact his industry.

“I believe the first chapters of the AI story are still unwritten, but we are already anticipating greater electrical demands from users to service future automation systems and electric freight fleets,” Russell said. “More robust infrastructure, photovoltaic panels and enhanced ventilation are the types of accommodations we are planning into our base design to accommodate and encourage the innovations that will shape the manufacturing and logistics industry in the next 20 years.”

Focusing on in demand locations

What does Russell see ahead for the industrial real estate market in 2023?

“We see vacancies and leases being consistent for 2023 and the development pipeline shrinking on average,” he said. “In this environment, we are focusing our development efforts on infill sites that are differentiated by their location and central to where we see the demand from tenants.”

Active in the industrial space since the 1980s, Westmount Realty Capital continues to capitalize on the market.

“To date, the company has built a portfolio of over 15 million square feet of industrial properties. Westmount has always actively managed the portfolio to maximize the buildings’ value for prospective tenants,” he said. “One industrial highlight is Westmount’s 2012 purchase of a six-building industrial park in Garland constructed in the 1970’s. The team saw an opportunity to upfit the existing building to meet the modern needs of national brands with extensive investment beyond what many of our peers would undertake.”

He said that investment in raising the structure and conversion of dry warehouse space into cold storage was a true redevelopment of the existing building to modern specifications in an already irreplaceable location.

“That type of tenacity—running down every scenario and exploring every opportunity—is what inspires me to take Westmount’s time-tested culture into the ground up development world,” Russell said.

Russell told Dallas Innovates that while the company has some notable upcoming Westmount development projects, “We are not to the point where we’re prepared to make announcements on our first industrial developments, but we’re looking forward to a string of announcements coming soon.”

Russell received his Bachelor of Architecture from Texas Tech University and said it’s an important part of his professional life.

“My time practicing architecture is special to me, and I bring that eye to everything I build.” he said. “In fact, it possibly has made me more sensitive to the quality of the buildings we intend to develop because I see them from a design and ownership perspective simultaneously.”

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.  

R E A D   N E X T

  • Dallas-based architecture and planning firm Merriman Anderson Architects announced that Amanda Hendrick is its new director of strategy and development. Hendrick joins the firm's leadership team as an associate principal and brings 15 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry to her new role. “Building on 40 years of impact, we are thrilled to welcome Amanda to the MAA family and are confident she will help the firm innovate thoughtfully and strategically as we enter a new era in commercial real estate,” MAA President Milton Anderson said in a statement. “Amanda joins us with a keen understanding of…

  • Fifteen community-oriented developers have been named to the Community Developers Roundtable, which addresses gaps in the community development ecosystem by offering a long-term, developer-led structure with ongoing feedback and accountability to community-oriented development projects. The program features a projected $1 million dedicated pre-development fund, staff capacity stipends, and financial resources for technical assistance, including professional coaching and project feasibility studies.

  • The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas has provided more than $3.1 billion in funding toward the development of cancer-fighting therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, and tools since 2010. It's now issued a call for startups and early-stage companies to apply for product development research grants for the 2023 fiscal year. “CPRIT’s mission is to invest in the research prowess of Texas institutions while expediting breakthroughs in cancer cures and prevention,” CEO Wayne Roberts said last May.

  • The Dallas City Council recently approved up to $31.4 million in tax increment financing for the first phase of the Dallas-based developer's planned mixed-use development near the UNT Dallas campus. University Hills could ultimately include 1,500 multi-family units, hundreds of single-family homes, 1.5 million square feet of commercial properties, and more than 50 acres of green space.

  • Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas is expanding its impact in helping girls dream big and learn skills for life-long success with help from Capital One.