Houston Developer Hines Hits the Mark with Dallas-Area Home Communities

You may need a map to find one of the biggest new home communities being built in North Dallas.

Just a couple of blocks north of Presbyterian Hospital on Meadow Road, the 300-home residential development is going up in a neighborhood once filled with tumbledown apartments.

Now one of the world’s best-known developers, Houston-based Hines, is turning the 23-acre redevelopment into a high-end home community.

“There are a lot of good places to live in D-FW, but inside Interstate 635, this is one of the largest master planned single-family developments done in a long time,” said Ben Brewer, Hines’ managing director. “To have something of this size in a location like this is rare.”

Called Merion at Midtown Park, the high-density community includes a central park with swimming pool and almost a dozen other small green spaces.

K. Hovnanian Homes, Coventry Homes and Chesmar Homes are building houses averaging about 2,200 square feet and starting around $450,000.

“The first phase is 100 homes,” Brewer said. “About half of what has already been built has been sold.”

The buyers so far have been a broad mix.

“We are seeing people who live in North Dallas and want to downsize,” he said. “We see young professionals that office in Uptown and want to own.

“We are even seeing some people who work in the CityLine project in Richardson.”

Merion is between DART’s two light-rail stations at Walnut Hill and Royal lanes, about 7 miles north of downtown Dallas.

“We are seeing a lot of people from Preston Hollow that want to downsize,” said Tammie Mabe of Chesmar Homes. “One builder just sold to a couple with kids.”

Chesmar’s townhouses have the master bedroom and a guest suite on the third floor. An optional elevator connects all the levels.

K. Hovnanian is building two- and three-story houses, with the smallest starting at 1,675 square feet.

“I’ve had two sales in the last two weeks,” said K. Hovnanian’s Tina Peterson. “It’s a product that can speak to buyers who are millennials and all the way up to the empty nesters.”

Midtown Park project

Hines’ Merion development at Meadow and Rambler roads occupies one of the largest portions of the 80-acre Midtown Park project.

Midtown Park started more than a decade ago when developers bought up thousands of old apartments in the neighborhood just east of North Central Expressway.

After clearing the land and rezoning the property, the original owners lost the high-profile property during the recession.

Dallas’ Provident Realty and Kroenke Holdings of Missouri and bought the vacant blocks in December 2011 after a foreclosure.

Along with Hines’ home development, three high-end apartment projects and a senior housing community are under construction in Midtown Park.

“There’s a lot going on now in the area,” said Provident CEO Leon Backes. “We felt having a single-family neighborhood in the project was a great addition.”

Hines, which has built everything from the Galleria shopping mall in Far North Dallas to skyscrapers at home in Houston and abroad, isn’t known as a single-family neighborhood builder. But in the last decade, the developer has constructed over a dozen residential communities in North Texas.

The largest of Hines’ communities under way is a 664-home project in Frisco. The Edgestone at Legacy community is aimed more at families, with larger homes priced from more than $500,000.

Hines has developed several home projects in Las Colinas.

“I was brought up from Houston in ’06 when Hines purchased 600 acres in Las Colinas,” Brewer said. “Our D-FW office is Hines’ largest single-family operation.

“We have really created a good market here.”