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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Allen’s Farm is booming with condos, offices and play spaces


The first condos at Allen Farms are nearing completion.

The developer has just opened up a new entertainment venue.

An office building and retail are also under construction at the 135-acre mixed-use development on State Route 121 at Alma Drive.

almost three years Since JaRyCo Development and the Allen’s Johnson family who own the land announced plans for the farm.

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“The first people will start moving into our apartments in July,” said JaRyCo President Bruce Heller. “We’re excited about the apartment opening because it changes the character of the place when people live here.”

Wood Partners is building 325 rental units in its Alta at the Farm community.The Atlanta-based developer has purchased the land Phase II construction.

Bruce Heller is the president of JaRyCo Development, developer of The Farm. (Jason Janik/Special Contributor)(Jason Janik/Special Contributor)

apartment adjoining hub, An alfresco entertaining and dining venue spanning nearly 3 acres is one of the development’s pillars.

Opened last November, the center welcomes visitors for dining, live entertainment and big-screen sporting events. Around the central courtyard are restaurants and caterers with tables and seating.

“Evenings and weekends are huge and packed with people,” Heller said. “We wanted something that would draw people in — something family-oriented.

“Building mixed-use is not building buildings,” he said. “It’s the people space that’s created. You have to keep that excitement and energy going.”

Last week, construction began on another event center at the farm, a two-story complex Austin-based High 5 Entertainment.

The nearly 70,000-square-foot, two-story entertainment complex will feature a miniature golf course, a 24-lane bowling alley, a laser tag arena, ax throwing, escape rooms, and a restaurant and bar. High 5 will open early next year.

The Allen Center features outdoor dining and entertainment spaces. (Jason Janik/Special Contributor)(Jason Janik/Special Contributor)

headquartered in kansas city Chicken Kimchi The company, which operates a chain of bars, restaurants and an indoor pickleball court, has purchased nearly four acres at The Farm for its second North Texas location. “They’re going to start construction this fall and take up the entire block,” Heller said.

In addition to the condominium and recreational projects, JaRyCo plans to begin construction on a 100,000-square-foot office building on the south side of SH 121 soon. office project delayed Office leasing has plummeted as workers have been sent home during the pandemic.

“About a year and a half ago, we were supposed to start the office building, but I said no way,” Heller said. “Instead, our focus is on getting more amenities here. We’re ready now, our office building is financed and we’ll start construction this month.”

Because the land is held by long-term owners, the farm is not under pressure to start construction, Heller said. The Johnson family acquired the development site in the 1960s. The estate along Waters Creek is one of the last major development sites on the northern edge of Allen.

“We can wait and get the type and quality we want,” Heller said. “The Johnson family wanted to do something special for the community.”

This includes setting aside more than 30 acres for parks and green spaces. The parks will feature farm-themed elements that honor the land’s agricultural history.

“A lot of people in the community don’t know anything about agriculture and farming in North Texas,” Heller said.

The first apartments are due to be completed at Allen Farms next month. (Jason Janik/Special Contributor)(Jason Janik/Special Contributor)

On the south side of the farm, Home Builders Ashton Woods Over 100 townhomes are under construction and available for sale.

“Based on the number of calls I get, they have a long list of interested people,” Heller said.

The street frontage on the east side of Alma Avenue will be used for restaurant and retail construction.

The developer plans to build five separate restaurants overlooking small ponds and water features.

“We’re in discussions with some unique operators,” Heller said. “I could have filled it now, but I was so picky.”

A 6.5-acre site on Alma has been set aside for a retail complex.

“I’m not interested in typical boutique stuff,” he said. “We’re going to have what I call everyday retail — specialty grocery stores, drug stores, dry cleaners, barber shops. It’s for the people who live here and work here.”

Flexible zoning allows the farm to make changes to the property mix, Heller said. A previous developer had planned to build the property into a large retail center and more offices.

“We changed the zoning to include more uses,” Heller said. “With 10 to 15 years of buildout, you have to be able to respond to the market.”

The developer is considering a seniors housing community on the east side of the property. There are also plans to add more retail stores and offices.

“We anticipate that most of the freeway frontage will end up as office buildings,” Heller said. “We’re talking to a couple of hoteliers. All things considered, I don’t have to sell hotel grounds this year or next year. We can wait until we get what we want.”

A shopping center, restaurants and offices are under construction at Allen’s Farm (The Farm). (Jason Janik/Special Contributor)(Jason Janik/Special Contributor)


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