April 21, 2023

Ground Breaking: Bright Realty’s Crown Centre Expansion Tackles Market Demand in Denton County

Ground Breaking: Bright Realty’s Crown Centre Expansion Tackles Market Demand in Denton County

By Lance Murray

Bright Realty is growing its premium portfolio in Castle Hills, a massive master-planned development that includes Crown Centre and The Realm. The company is investing $50 million in a Phase 2 expansion of Crown Center, which will feature a four-story, 147,000-square-foot Class A Value office building on the development’s remaining undeveloped land adjacent to the Sam Rayburn Tollway in Lewisville.

Bright Realty has broken ground on its new Crown Centre II project in Lewisville, part of the company’s long-term plan to invest in the city and continue to elevate the region’s economic development efforts.

The company said the $50 million investment brings a four-story, 147,000-square-foot Class A Value office building to the site right off Sam Rayburn Tollway.

Bright Realty’s Senior Vice President, Britton Lankford, says the company’s recent investment in the Crown Center II project in Lewisville, Texas, is part of a broader strategy to grow the company’s premium portfolio and meet market demand in Texas’ Denton County.

Lankford calls the expansion a positive step towards further developing the Castle Hills Community, where the project is located. “This is one of many recent investments aimed at growing the company’s premium portfolio and transforming the company’s offerings to meet market demand in Denton County,” Lankford said in a statement.

Primarily funded by Bank7, an Oklahoma banking corporation, and Sterling Private Capital LLC, Crown Centre II is the second office building in the development.

Crown Centre II will be neighbor to Crown Centre I, which was delivered in 2020 and is 89% leased.

Once completed, Bright Realty said that the Crown Centre development will include up to 2,000 multifamily units, 3 million square feet of office space, and up to 500 hotel rooms. It will have three open spaces with lakes and trails that connect its 35 buildings, outdoor event space, and 140,000 square feet of other nonresidential commercial uses including retail and open green space.

Last remaining undeveloped land in Castle Hills

The build partner for the project is Dallas-based Rudick Construction Group.

Clay Rudick, CEO of the 40-year-old commercial construction firm, expressed his admiration for the Bright family’s team of developers. The project represents a significant investment in the city of Lewisville, Denton County, and the greater DFW region, Rudick says.

“We understand the substantial impact this project will have for the people who live, work, and play here. It is a responsibility everyone on my team takes very seriously,” he said in a statement. “We will be good neighbors to everyone in the surrounding areas throughout the construction process.”

According to Bright Realty, the Crown Centre land is the last remaining undeveloped land in the Castle Hills community.

The master-planned Castle Hills has grown to include more than 4,500 single-family homes, six multifamily communities with more than 2,000 apartments and townhomes, condominium developments, a rental home community as well as hundreds of thousands of square feet in office, retail, and entertainment space.

The master plan includes two large mixed-use communities, Crown Centre and 324-acre The Realm at Castle Hills.

McAdams to double space at Castle Hills’ The Realm

Earlier this month, North Carolina-based engineering and design firm McAdams Co. announced plans to nearly double its office space in Lewisville with a move to The Realm development.

The company, which has had an office in the city for over 30 years and has around 65 employees in the area, is taking 30,000 square feet of space in the location that overlooks Lake Lewisville. The Realm also offers numerous amenities, including walkable retail options, restaurants, and single and multifamily residential communities.

Upon completion, The Realm will include over 5,000 multifamily units, 1.5 million square feet of retail, office, and restaurants, a boutique hotel, an extensive trail system, and an outdoor entertainment district, making it a $1.5 billion project, according to a news release.

Bright Realty CEO Parker Bright said the company aims to provide luxury amenities and unique retailers in the community. “According to a recent SmartAsset study, Denton County ranks 10th best for business growth,” the CEO said in a statement. “The population is projected to continue to increase.”

In line with this, The Realm at Castle Hills has just added three new establishments to its roster: Cheeky Monkeys, a play and birthday party center, 206 Luster Grill, a restaurant offering Seattle-style teriyaki-inspired dishes and sushi, and Cachet Salons & Spa, which provides salon professionals with lease space and a variety of salon and spa services.

Castle Hills annexed in 2021

A new chapter began in 2021 for the massive master-planned residential development, which began as 2,500 acres that was once farmland owned by the Bright family. In November of that year, Castle Hills officially joined the city of Lewisville, after years of planning and development.

There will never be an annexation of this size in Texas again,” said Lewisville Mayor TJ Gilmore in a town hall meeting that year. Gilmore’s comment highlighted not only the significant size of the Castle Hills community but also the evolving political landscape in the state that has made annexations more challenging.

The move was a result of a Strategic Planning Agreement signed in 1996 by Bright Realty and the city of Lewisville, which envisioned a mini city with homes, businesses, a private golf course, and parks. The area has been governed by various entities, such as water supply districts and homeowners associations, according to a report by Community Impact.

By becoming part of Lewisville, Castle Hills would gain fire and police protection, traffic patrols, health inspections, animal control services, public transit, and more. Lewisville could also from the annexation, as it will increase its tax base and population, per the publication.

During the planning stages of the annexation, the late Chris Bright, former CEO of Bright Realty, expressed his belief that it would benefit all parties involved. “It’s in my view a net benefit to Lewisville, a net benefit to the residents of Castle Hills, and a net benefit to Bright Realty,” he said at the time.

Bright Industries and its subsidiary, Bright Realty, were founded by the late H.R. “Bum” Bright in the 1950s. Bum Bright was a well-known figure in Dallas, having previously served as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys from 1984 to 1989. The Castle Hills name is a subtle tribute to the family patriarch, who had a fondness for Arthurian legend. Chris Bright, who passed away in July 2022, was Bum Bright’s son and the longtime CEO of both companies. Bright oversaw the companies’ day-to-day operations and advanced their prominence in the real estate industry.

As the full-service commercial and residential real estate division of Bright Industries, Bright Realty continues to be an important part of the Bright family’s legacy.

Full annexation of Castle Hills took place in Lewisville on November 15, 2021.

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