Update: The latest on 4 of the biggest US mixed-use developments
Developments have skewed toward mixed use for the past few years, and Construction Dive has covered some of the biggest. Here's an update on some of the largest projects we've covered. Some are making progress with much of the construction complete. Others will have to wait a little longer for their happy endings.
City Place, Santa Clara, CA ($6 billion)
Gaining approval from the Santa Clara City Council for this mega project was only the beginning of a long, arduous legal process that wrapped up last month. Developer Related Companies, of Manhattan's Hudson Yards fame, set out for city officials a vision of a 40-acre, village-style development, all on top of a landfill — but concern has come from outside Santa Clara.
The City Place development will feature retail, hotel and residential components, as well as sprawling corporate campuses on the rest of the 240-acre parcel. However, in California, environmental groups, or anyone really, are armed with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which allows them to stall a project for long periods. Using CEQUA as the basis of a lawsuit against Santa Clara and Related, the city of San Jose claimed that the project would damage the environment.
Early last month, however, a San Mateo County Superior Court judge ruled against San Jose, finding that the City Place project met the statutory environmental requirements necessary to move forward with construction.
$5 Billion Mile, Frisco, TX ($5 billion)
The $5 billion mile refers not to just one project, but a collection of mixed-use developments lining the main drag of this North Texas town. The Dallas Cowboys kicked off the rush to build in Frisco by relocating the team's headquarters and practice field there, the anchor for its Star in Frisco entertainment and sports complex. Both the Star in Frisco and Frisco Station developments will include residential high-rises and hotels.
This summer, an Irving, TX, developer, JPI, announced plans to build a 440-unit apartment complex in the $700 million Gate development. The project's two five-story buildings are expected to begin construction in 2018.
In October, a representative for two Frisco landowners announced that they would also build a mixed-use development in Frisco, a $1.5 billion, 81-acre project called the Railhead. According to an Oct. 24 The Dallas Morning News report, the developers are seeking investors, and plan to build office and retail space, a hotel and a residential component.
The latest news out of Frisco, however, is that construction at the $2 billion Wade Park, tagged by some as the centerpiece of the $5 Billion Mile, stopped earlier this month due to claims of unpaid bills totaling about $7 million. According to the City of Frisco, Atlanta-based Thomas Land & Development is in the process of securing the adequate financing to move forward.
Heartland Town Square, Islip, NY ($4 billion)
In February, the Suffolk County (NY) Planning Commission approved the first 10-year phase of the $4 billion Heartland Town Square project, a 460-acre, mixed-use development on the site of a former psychiatric hospital.
The initial phase includes 3,000 new apartments, 400,000 square feet of retail and 300,000 square feet of new office construction. Developer Jerry Wolkoff has said it will take approximately 30 years to complete all phases, at which time the Heartland project will offer 9,100 apartments, 1 million square feet of retail and 3 million square feet of office space. Project officials said Heartland will generate 1,500 temporary construction positions each year that building is going on and 26,000 permanent jobs.
The project also received zoning approval from the Islip Town Board in July, but, since then, a civic association and local attorney have filed a lawsuit challenging it on the grounds that the correct legal procedures were not followed during the authorization process. Children living in the Heartland development would attend Brentwood, NY, schools, and district officials there have also filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the project, claiming that the anticipated extra 7,000 to 8,000 children would negatively impact the quality of education their schools currently provide. Wolkoff said the number of children that the district would have to absorb is closer to 1,800.
The Wharf, Washington, DC ($2 billion)
Set on the Potomac River, this $2 billion mixed-use project boasts Pier 4, the first pier-top office building in Washington, DC. The 28,000-square-foot building, located next to a 3.5-acre park, extends 260 feet over the water. The first phase of The Wharf features 870 residential units, 225,000 square feet of office space, three hotels and 175,000 square feet of retail. Opened in October, the Wharf also has the district's first ice skating rink on the pier, according to The Washington Informer.
The second phase will include buildings designed by SHoP Architects, WDG Architecture and Rafael Viñoly Architects, and will feature, according to The Architect's Newspaper, an additional 1.2 million square feet of development. In store for the Wharf's next chapter is more office and residential, a new pier and marina and additional green space.
Unlike many huge developments, progress on The Wharf wasn't sidelined by legal challenges, and the first phase opened on schedule. In fact, The Wharf has been a boon to other developers, according to Bisnow, and is considered an amenity for investors in inland projects in Southwest DC. This includes mixed-use commercial and affordable and senior housing multifamily projects.
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