News Article | 12/21/2007

Victory, Glorypark play different positions in Dallas-Fort Worth

Victory Park has given a big boost to Dallas’ center city with its luxury residences, W Hotel and exclusive retail stores.

Glorypark in Arlington may do even more for the suburbs.

Victory Park and Glorypark are near sports venues, and Dallas investor Tom Hicks is involved in both. At first glance, they even look alike in drawings.

The Glorypark complex south of Interstate 30 is planned as one of the country’s most ambitious sports-anchored developments. The combination of shopping and entertainment, hotels, housing and office space is expected to cost more than $1 billion to build.

But Glorypark’s developers – Hicks Holdings and Ohio-based Steiner + Associates – want their 70-acre project to have an even wider appeal than Victory Park.

Mr. Hicks, who’s a major partner in Victory Park, explained one big difference.

“The personality of the developments will be that Glorypark will be more retail, and Victory will be more condos and residential,” he said. “That reflects the downtown environment vs. suburban.”

Rivaling a mall

With almost 1.2 million square feet of retail and restaurants, Glorypark will have as much shopping as a regional mall.

At the 75-acre Victory Park, more than 4,000 residential units are planned, most of them in high-rise buildings.

Glorypark’s planners are also aiming for a more diverse, widespread customer base.

“Victory is more of a sophisticated part of a broader downtown urban area,” Mr. Hicks said. “We recognize that Glorypark has a more regional draw.”

Victory Park hosts two major league teams but only one venue, American Airlines Center. Glorypark has an edge with two sports anchors, the Rangers Ballpark at Arlington and Dallas Cowboys stadium.

“It’s probably the only mixed-use development I can think of in the country that will interface with two world-class sports venues,” Mr. Hicks said.

Victory has proved the appeal of sports-centric projects, he said. “It creates an environment that is very attractive where young people like to be around.”

Industry analysts agree that Glorypark and Victory are different flavors.

“The one in Arlington will have much broader appeal,” said Rich Hollander of Fort Worth-based retail consultant Buxton Co. “I didn’t used to think retail would work in that location, but now I think they are getting it done.

“It’s more like a super-regional project,” he said. “There won’t be anything like this in the Southwest.”

Slow progression

Victory Park and Glorypark have taken longer to build than originally planned.

Victory developers wanted to start opening buildings in 2000, but that didn’t happen until last year.

Mr. Hicks began planning Glorypark in the late 1990s, but the project is just getting under way.

“Any development in today’s world takes awhile to do,” Mr. Hollander said. “It takes a lot of courage to go out and try and do one like this.”

Both developments are anchored by hotel-condo skyscrapers.

The 33-story W Dallas Victory Hotel & Residences, which opened in 2006, was an instant Dallas landmark. A planned 43-story hotel-condo tower will be anchored by a Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Arlington skyline

At Glorypark, Hicks Holdings and Steiner + Associates are creating their own skyline with a 36-story Westin Hotel tower that will have 300 rooms plus 85 luxury condos. An 18-story Aloft hotel next door will have 140 hotel rooms and 70 residential units.

“We are building a town,” Mr. Hicks said.

Architect Jeff Gunning is with the Dallas office of RTKL Associates, which did the master plan for Glorypark.

“We are building a little town center in a part of Arlington that didn’t have one,” Mr. Gunning said. “Victory is a higher-density place and adjacent to downtown.

“Glorypark is more spread out,” he said. “Most of it is five-story buildings.”

From the beginning, Victory Park’s developer Hillwood planned a neighborhood of towers that would extend Dallas’ central business district.

“This is an urban neighborhood, and it’s going to be high-density,” said Hillwood’s Bill Brokaw. “The goal with the master plan is to serve as a premier office location for corporate relocations in addition to companies that want to stay downtown rather than move out of the core.”

The first towers built at Victory housed residential space, but Hillwood is now ramping up plans for more offices.

After partnering at Victory Park and developing Glorypark, Mr. Hicks is moving ahead with two other sports-related real estate developments.

Elsewhere …

In Frisco, Hicks Holdings is developing land next to the Dr Pepper Ballpark.

“We are about to unveil our first office building in left field and a residential development in right field,” Mr. Hicks said.

And in Liverpool, England, where Mr. Hick co-owns the soccer team, he’s planning a mixed-use project on the site of an old stadium.

“That will be more like Victory than anything else.”