Bill Brokaw wants to transform the Dallas skyline—from Turtle Creek to Uptown, to Victory Park, to the heart of downtown.
Brokaw, senior vice president of Hillwood Urban, was lured back to the Perot family three years ago to create new, desirable hotel and office addresses that Hillwood could develop, lease, manage, and own for the long term.
Demand is high in downtown Dallas and areas north, while vacancies are low. It’s the perfect recipe for Hillwood Urban, which already has all the ingredients ready to go. The company was waiting for the right time to pounce.
“We’ve been ready for this timeline. We’re out in front and already own the land,” Brokaw says. “We’ve already spent the investment dollars in the design so that we’re that much further along. Our biggest strength is designing and owning sites outright, so we are ready when the need arises.”
Hillwood brought Brokaw back from Cushman Wakefield in 2015 to lead Hillwood Urban.
Brokaw started with the new Hillwood/Perot family headquarters on Turtle Creek Boulevard, which opened in 2017. Of everything he’s done over his career, this 170,000-square-foot campus is the one of which he is proudest.
“Looking at Turtle Creek today, you can see how a project like the new Hillwood/Perot Family headquarters is spurring additional investment to the surrounding projects and new development,” Brokaw says. “The Turtle Creek area is vibrant and, working there day-to-day, there’s a real buzz that something special is happening around us.”
That includes Hillwood Urban’s own 3001 Turtle Creek project, a 360,000-square-foot, multitenant office building. The project, across the street from the new family office, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.
Moving west to Victory Park, Brokaw says he’s excited about the potential for 2 million square feet of new corporate campus space spread over 11 acres. The largest piece will be 1 million to 1.5 million square feet adjacent to Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Victory Station. Brokaw said it’s the largest consolidation of land in Victory Park/Uptown Dallas that’s still undeveloped.
The timing is contingent upon preleasing tenants, but Brokaw says the first phase could deliver as early as 2021.
“We’re shovel ready,” he says.
Hillwood’s biggest proposal would be a 1.5-million-square-foot tower that could be as high as 50 to 60 stories at the southeast corner of Field Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
“It could be a real skyline changer for the city of Dallas,” he says. “It’s connected to Klyde Warren Park.”
When he’s not planning the future of the Dallas office market, Brokaw volunteers at The Real Estate Council. He’s been involved in the organization since the mid-90s.
“My best memories came from being involved in the ALC [Associate Leadership Council],” Brokaw says. “It’s a great way to meet other young people. We’re still great friends today. It’s almost like a pledge class that spends years of their time together and becomes friends forever.”
There are plenty of opportunities for charity and helping others, while learning what the challenges are in the city, he says. But TREC plays another important role, as North Texas strives to attract new corporate headquarters, now that Amazon selected Northern Virginia and New York City for its new headquarters.
“The city is starting to rely more and more on TREC as an economic development partner as we continue to recruit other people to the city,” he said.
TREC is involved in traffic studies and looking at infrastructure, while also helping young professionals network and learn about the community.
“Our No. 1 priority is to continue to improve our transportation and infrastructure to support our growth as a Metroplex,” Brokaw says. “We continue to need the nuts and bolts to make sure we’re an easily accessible area.”