Another mini city is popping up in North Texas.
A Dallas-based developer is bucking the downtrends of homebuilders with his plans for suburban Dallas.
Republic Property Group is proposing a 10,000-home development on an 1,800-acre site in north McKinney, according to the Dallas Morning News. The sprawling community would sit west of US Highway 75, next to the future US Route 380 bypass. The developer filed the case for its Honey Creek development with the McKinney city council in December.
Republic Property eventually wants commercial development, including offices that could attract corporate relocations.
“It really all starts with a proper framework up front and residential quality, and that’s what we would focus on going into the project,” Republic Property Group Co-CEO Jake Wagner told the council Dec. 6.
The area has zoning codes that were written in the 1980s, he said.
“You have a hodgepodge of a land use framework that would be difficult to use to create a cohesive place,” Wagner told the council.
Talks in December ended when the council agreed to endorse a municipal management district for the site, a move that will require approval by the Texas Legislature. A municipal management district can fund neighborhood infrastructure, services, and amenities, typically through commercial property tax liens. Unlike a public improvement district, however, these “quasi-political” entities are controlled by a district board rather than elected officials.
The company also plans to pursue a development agreement with McKinney to annex portions of the property.
Republic does not own the land outright, but has been in talks with the owner for several years about the property, formerly known as Cross F Ranch. The land is owned by entities affiliated with Santiago Jorba, founder of Creu Capital. Jorba is the son of Jaime Jorba Sr., who invested in Texas real estate and co-founded Bimbo Bakeries, which owns brands like Thomas’, Entenmann’s and Mrs. Baird’s Bread. Creu proposed a $300 million development for the site in 2017. He pitched the idea to Amazon as a potential second headquarters location that same year, but the e-commerce giant ultimately settled on Arlington, Virginia.
Home construction, including in North Texas, was on a downward trend through most of 2022. Going forward, many builders froze their land acquisitions to focus on unloading their current inventory before starting a new project. Even big names like DR Horton and Taylor Morrison are indicating they don’t plan to buy land any time soon.
Republic sees it differently.
“Communities of this nature are complex and take a long time to materialize,” the company said in a statement. “Republic Property Group believes in the future growth and demand for homes in D-FW and McKinney.”