The growth and transformation of Allen
Despite the ups and downs of the national economy, the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex expands. I find it hard to believe that at the beginning of the tech boom in the 1990s, our job base totaled 2.6 million versus 3.7 million today. At that time, our telecom corridor was rapidly expanding and Legacy was in its toddler years. Those 1.1 million new jobs fueled the expansion and creation of many business hubs.
As we look around DFW today, new development continues to flow into established areas to accommodate our growth. Other areas, however, are also emerging as potential new submarkets. One of those is Allen. Currently, Allen and McKinney are included in the broader Richardson – Plano submarket. Although that combination makes sense today, it probably doesn’t in the not too distant future.
Of all the next tier suburbs in the path of development, Allen looks to be positioned for transformative growth. Currently, the Allen corridor has about 3 million square feet of office space. All of that is located along a two mile stretch between Bethany Drive and Exchange Parkway.
While some space existed back in the 1980s, predominantly in community-scale office and medical buildings, the first notable wave of business space was developed in the mid- to late-1990s. These included Enterprise Office Center, Allen Office Center and Allen Tech Center. But after the tech bust, Allen fell quiet until the mid-2000s.
At this point, DFW’s strong economy returned and the northward progression of new development along the Tollway and I-75 continued. Development in greater Legacy picked up quickly. Trademark also started planning Watters Creek in Allen. The initial phases of Watters Creek opened in 2008 and served as a “seed,” much like Legacy Town Center’s office and retail did back in 2002.
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