Even COVID-19 couldn’t derail these blockbuster North Texas real estate deals

At my age, I usually don’t want time to move faster.

But 2020 was the exception. All I can say is a good release.

I’ve never been so happy to see another year in the rearview mirror.

While the pandemic bewitched 2020, it wasn’t all cursed news for the Dallas-Fort Worth real estate sector.

The recession and economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 failed to completely shut down arguably the hottest real estate market in the country early last year.

Here are my picks for the most memorable deals and market movers of 2020.

The $ 370 million sale of the Union Dallas skyscraper north of downtown was one of the largest Big D deals of the first half of the 20th century.(Steve Brown)

Biggest Sale: The Union

The latest mixed-use development in the Uptown Dallas area hit a record price in February.

A group of Korean investors paid more than $ 370 million for the project north of downtown.

Completed in 2019, The Union includes a 21-story office building and more than 85,000 square feet of retail space anchored by a Tom Thumb grocery store.

The office and retail buildings cost more than an estimated $ 730 per square foot – the highest price ever paid for such a property in North Texas.

The National, a 52-story building on Elm Street that has been converted into a mixed-use project with hotel rooms, apartments, retail stores, and offices in the old First National Bank Tower in downtown Dallas.The National, a 52-story building on Elm Street that has been converted into a mixed-use project with hotel rooms, apartments, retail stores, and offices in the old First National Bank Tower in downtown Dallas.(Tom Fox / employee photographer)

Biggest Revival: The National

The First National Bank Tower in downtown Dallas on Elm Street was an instant landmark when it opened in 1965.

In the 2000s, the once large skyscraper was empty and on its last legs.

A $ 450 million renovation of the mid-century modern skyscraper has restored the building to a Dallas landmark.

The elegant glass tower was renamed The National and now houses retail and office space, a Thompson hotel and luxury apartments.

Census data shows that 170,103 more residents than left moved to Texas over the past year - an average of 466 new Texans per day.
Census data shows that 170,103 more residents from other states than left moved to Texas over the past year – an average of 466 new Texans per day.
(Tom Fox – employee photographer)

Biggest reason for optimism: moving to Texas

The ray of hope in the dark economy of 2020 was the continuation of corporate relocations to the Lone Star State.

In the depths of the pandemic, large companies like Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Oracle Corp. as well as prominent business leaders like Elon Musk of Tesla traded their California homes for a new address in Texas.

And more big employers like Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Chevron are said to be keeping an eye on offices in the state.

The sales and prices of D-FW homes set records in 2020.The sales and prices of D-FW homes set records in 2020.(Vernon Bryant / employee photographer)

Biggest boom: D-FW’s real estate market

A global pandemic and US recession don’t seem like the ingredients for a hot real estate market.

But record-low mortgage rates caused a run on homes in North Texas as buyers took to the streets looking for new homes.

A shortage of homes for sale led to record home buying prices in the D-FW region and promised to keep the property market going through 2021.

Medical staff prepared and performed nasal swab tests at a COVID-19 testing site on the Eastfield campus of Dallas College in Mesquite on August 3, 2020.Medical staff prepared and performed nasal swab tests at a COVID-19 testing site on the Eastfield campus of Dallas College in Mesquite on August 3, 2020.(Tom Fox / employee photographer)

Biggest black swan of all time: COVID-19

Even the worst Debbie Downers chasing a reason for the real estate market couldn’t have imagined the 2020 pandemic.

COVID-19 surfaced in March, blocking the D-FW economy and sending workers home to hibernate. The coronavirus outbreak caused retail bankruptcies, store closures and hotel failures and is still moving into the new year.

Warehouse construction in North Texas is still growing as leasing increases sharply.Warehouse construction in North Texas is still growing as leasing increases sharply.(David Woo / employee photographer)

Hottest commercial property: industrial building

Warehouses have long been the ugly ducklings of the commercial real estate sector – no-frills boxes without the bells and whistles of trendy mixed-use developments.

But the pandemic has fueled demand for D-FW storage space and has led developers to start dozens of projects in north Texas.

The increasing need for home delivery and the ongoing migration of retail to the e-commerce sector have made industrial buildings a sought-after commodity.

Pedestrians pass the epic mixed-use development in Deep Ellum.  It is one of the properties in North Texas that has large blocks of sublet offices.Pedestrians pass the epic mixed-use development in Deep Ellum. It is one of the properties in North Texas that has large blocks of sublet offices.(Smiley N. Pool / Employee Photographer)

Biggest burden on the market: Subletting of office space

With almost 60% of D-FW office workers working from home, companies are flooded in empty office space.

The solution: Make the excess workspace available for sublet.

From the third quarter almost 9 million square meters of unneeded D-FW office space was offered for sublet – more than under construction.

The largest office buildings include more than 100,000 square feet of Uber offices in Dallas’ Deep Ellum, more than 225,000 square feet on the Plano campus of Liberty Mutual Insurance, and a 340,000 square foot corporate center at DFW International Airport, which once housed Braniff Airways offices .

Hunt Realty's 11-acre project north of downtown would include buildings over 80 stories.Hunt Realty’s 11-acre project north of downtown would include buildings over 80 stories.(Kohn Pedersen Fox)

Biggest New Project: Hunt Realtys Northend Development

The Dallas skyline is expanding significantly thanks to Hunt Realty Investment’s proposed 11 acre Field Street development.

The mixed-use project on the north side of downtown was designed with a handful of new skyscrapers surrounding a 1.5-acre Central Park.

The 3.7 million square meter high-rise project even includes an office building with a wooden frame – an old-new building trend in the commercial real estate sector.

One of Olerio Homes' new homes for sale in northwest Dallas is a five-bedroom, $ 1.995 million home located at 6711 Robin in the Two office buildings and a hotel are planned for the development of Trinity Groves in West Dallas.Low mortgage rates, demographics, and the pandemic all play a role in record home sales in North Texas.