One of North Texas' best-known apartment developers has signed on to a Dallas riverfront project that could help remake the city.
Columbus Realty, which built the apartments at Plano’s $3 billion Legacy West development and other successful Dallas-Fort Worth projects, has joined with the owners of a 47-acre site on the Trinity River.
The 505 Riverfront Boulevard property sits at the foot of the iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and is one of the city’s largest riverfront development sites.
The property northwest of downtown is owned by a partnership that includes Houston businessman George Bishop, founder and chief executive officer of GeoSouthern Energy.
Developers have previously eyed the key central Dallas site for a high-rise, mixed-use development including apartment towers, shopping centers, hotels and office space. The property has been planned for up to 4 million square feet of construction.
Columbus Realty CEO and founder Robert Shaw said his firm got involved in the property because of its potential.
“I love the proximity to the [planned Trinity River] park and the trail system,” Shaw said. “That site is adjacent to the pedestrian bridge and connects down to the trail system and the river.”
The proposed development site is about half the size of Victory Park, which is just across Stemmons Freeway.
Planning for the prime property has been underway for several years and is likely to take a while longer. “Projects like that take a long time to plan and work on,” Shaw said.
Columbus Realty has built thousands of apartments in West Plano’s Legacy business park. The developer has also built rental communities just across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in the Trinity Groves project on Singleton Boulevard.
Shaw is credited with kicking off the apartment building boom in Dallas' Uptown neighborhood.
In 1991, he and partner Roger Staubach built the first modern rental community in the area just north of downtown. The 130-unit Meridian apartments off McKinney Avenue were the first of several such projects Shaw built in the neighborhood.
His newest project is the 17-story Twelve Cowboys Way residential tower in the Dallas Cowboys' Star in Frisco mixed-use project. Columbus Realty teamed up with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the luxury rental project.
While most of his recent projects have been in the suburbs, Shaw said he is still a big proponent of central Dallas. “I’m optimistic about the in-town market and we want to be a part of it,” he said.