New North Texas communities on the way will bring sites for thousands of homes

Nathan Law

New owners of the historic Veale Ranch west of Fort Worth expect their planned development could eventually total $5 billion in value. Dallas-based PMB Capital Investments just bought the 3,800-acre cattle spread, which is about 11 miles west of downtown Fort Worth. PMB Capital plans to add the property — […]

New owners of the historic Veale Ranch west of Fort Worth expect their planned development could eventually total $5 billion in value. Dallas-based PMB Capital Investments just bought the 3,800-acre cattle spread, which is about 11 miles west of downtown Fort Worth.

PMB Capital plans to add the property — which had been in the same family since the 1930s — to its growing list of North Texas residential community developments.

“We’ve long felt the West Fort Worth market would come alive,” PMB Capital’s Taylor Baird said. “It’s taken some time, but the area is on every homebuilder’s radar now.”

PMB Capital’s Veale Ranch play is just one of a growing number of huge residential developments in the works in North Texas. With buyer appetite for new homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at an all-time high, land developers and homebuilders are scrambling to find locations to build.

PMB Capital already has large communities underway east of Dallas and northwest of Fort Worth in Wise County.

Next door to the Veale Ranch, the developer is building the successful Ventana community, which is planned to have 1,800 houses.

“We’ve been working on Ventana since 2014, and that was the first project we did as a company,” Baird said. “When we purchased the land, it didn’t have water, sewer and roadway access.

“But we were pretty convinced it would be successful given it’s 12 minutes from downtown Fort Worth.”

Baird said that all of the home sites in Ventana are spoken for by builders.

“This is an area that is underserved by new homes that meet market demand in the $300,000 to $500,000 range,” he said.

Veale Ranch buyer PMB Capital Investments is building the adjoining Ventana community west of Fort Worth.(PMB Capital )

With success at Ventana, PMB Capital reached out to the neighboring owners of the Veale Ranch.

The ranch, which is in both Tarrant and Parker counties, was offered for sale a few years ago for $95 million but was never traded.

“The family watched what we did next door and saw the quality of what we are going to build,” Baird said. “It gave them the confidence that PMB would be the best steward of this asset.”

Unlike Ventana, Baird said, the Veale Ranch development will have a major commercial building district on the north side of the property toward Interstate 20. Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian is looking at a potential assembly plant site in that area.

“For us, this Veale Ranch will truly be a mixed-use commercial and res community,” Baird said. “As much as a third of the land could be commercial when we are finished — that would include retail, office and industrial.”

Previous studies indicated that the Veale Ranch development could eventually have a population of 30,000 people. Baird said there will be up to a year of the planning and entitlement process before construction can start.

Developers have almost doubled the number of home lots they are constructing in the D-FW area.

At midyear, annual home lot starts totaled more than 57,000 — up from about 30,000 starts a year in 2017, according to Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies.

“We have a shortage of lots,” Residential Strategies principal Ted Wilson said. “A little over two years ago, we were starting around 35,000 homes and we had 69,000 lots on the ground.

“Since then it’s climbed to over 57,000 home starts and yet our lot supply has shrunk to between 64,0000 and 65,000,” he said. “In only three of the last eight quarters have we delivered more new lots than we‘ve started new houses.”

Developers with new community projects coming out of the ground don’t have any trouble selling their home sites.

New York-based JEN Partners and Dallas’ Oxland Advisors plan to build almost 3,400 homes in their Painted Tree development in McKinney. In early 2020, the developers purchased 1,100 acres for the project from Brinkmann Ranches.

The first home sites are under construction north of U.S. Highway 380 on Lake Forest Drive.

“The demand is so crazy we are doing 1,200 lots in our first phase,” said Tom Woliver, co-president of Oxland Group. “That’s probably the biggest first phase of one of these communities I’ve done times two.”

Painted Tree has already sold construction sites to Trophy Signature Homes, Normandy Homes, CB Jeni Homes, Tri Pointe Homes, David Weekley Homes, Highland Homes and Drees Custom Homes.

The community developers have done deals with rental housing and apartment builders, too.

Construction is now underway on roads, utilities and other infrastructure to support the new neighborhood.

Woliver said the first home sites should be handed over to builders early next summer. The smallest townhomes planned for Painted Tree will probably be priced just under $300,000, Woliver said.

“There is a lot more demand from builders than we thought,” he said. “We are looking at doing additional home sites on the northern piece of the property.”

The almost 3,800-acre Veale Ranch is about 11 miles west of downtown Fort Worth.
The almost 3,800-acre Veale Ranch is about 11 miles west of downtown Fort Worth.
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