News Article | 2/5/2004

Hillwood Takes Over Twin Creeks

Allen American02/05/04


By: JASON HEID , STAFF WRITERHillwood Development Corp. has purchased the remaining residential property in the master-planned community and plans to get the next phase of development under way by April.The residential division of the company founded by Ross Perot Jr. bought the remaining 400 acres of Twin Creeks residential land from Dal-Briar Corp., in a deal that closed Friday.Hillwood is responsible for several high-profile developments in the Metroplex, including the American Airlines Center in Dallas and Alliance Airport in Fort Worth. The company’s residential arm has developed communities throughout the area, including Stone Brooke Crossing in McKinney and The Chase at Stonebriar in Frisco.Fred Balda, president of Hillwood Residential, said the company plans on making its additions to Twin Creeks feel like part of the same neighborhood.”Twin Creeks has done such a great job with what they have. We just want to put a new spin on it, improve on it,” he said. “We don’t want to create a new neighborhood that’s disjointed from the others already there.”To achieve this continuity, Balda said Hillwood will create the same style of entryways used throughout the existing Twin Creeks community, as well as other similar amenities.Hillwood hopes to break ground on the development of new residential lots by April, with an eye towards having lots ready for home builders by the end of the year. Balda said the company plans to create three or four new “villages” this year, enough to accommodate about 300 new homes.The first phases of the new development will begin along McDermott Drive, on land west of existing Twin Creeks homes and south of the Twin Creeks Golf Club. Hillwood plans on creating a new entryway off McDermott, similar to that at Twin Creeks Drive, with its pond and landscaping.Balda said it was the amenities already in place in the community, including the golf club and trail system, that made Twin Creeks an attractive investment for Hillwood.”It just seemed like a good fit,” he said.There will be some differences between the new Twin Creeks projects and those already built. Hillwood plans on working with builders to offer a wider range of house-types than those already built.The homes will range in value from about $200,000 to some worth more than $1 million. Among the first group in the works will be “luxury patio homes,” designed for couples whose families have grown.With somewhat smaller lots and many planned to front along the golf course, the homes are designed for couples who want to have less property to worry about.”It really is more of a maintenance-free type of environment,” he said.More traditional homes and custom homes are also in the plans, with several builders already on board once the lots are ready. During the next eight to 10 years, Hillwood expects 900 homes to be added to Twin Creeks.While last week’s purchase is the first time Hillwood has entered the Allen residential market, the company has already been working with Twin Creeks for several years. Hillwood markets the commercial property in the Twin Creeks property, the area east of the present homes to U.S. Highway 75, for Dal-Briar. That relationship will continue, Balda said.And last month Hillwood purchased the Twin Creeks Golf Club, in partnership with Heritage Golf Group of San Diego, Calif. Balda said its unlikely that Hillwood would develop a private country club on its Twin Creeks land, because of the quality of the existing club.David Hoover, the city of Allen’s director of planning, said Monday that Hillwood has the resources to develop the area properly.”Hillwood is in a position to do the infrastructure that needs to be done to the development going,” he said.Later phases will build homes north of the golf course, towards the planned extension of Exchange Parkway. Hoover said the city is negotiating a land swap with the developers to allow Exchange to curve north, west of Alma Drive, where it will intersect State Highway 121.