On November 13, 2018, Dallas Fort-Worth’s leaders in Commercial Real Estate and technology came together at a joint press conference at Dallas City Hall between the Department of Economic Development, WiredScore, TREC, and Hillwood Urban, to announce the region’s commitment to advancing digital infrastructure and connectivity.
Courtney Pogue, Director of Economic Development for the City of Dallas, kicked off the event with remarks on Dallas’ advancements and announced the city as a the flagship market for WiredScore certification in the Southwest.
“We want Dallas to be on the cutting edge of new technology that makes the city competitive and continues to attract Fortune 500 companies to the Metroplex,” said Pogue. “WiredScore certified buildings will help lay the foundation for turning Dallas into a smart city. Technology is at the heart of any smart city, and the commercial real estate community has the power to elevate Dallas as world class smart city”
To date, WiredScore has certified 31 buildings across the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex totalling nearly 9 million sq.ft. We have partnered with 15 leading owners and developers, including Hillwood Urban, Stream Realty Partners, VanTrust Real Estate, and Gaedeke Group, among others.
At a time when commercial real estate leaders across the DFW Metroplex have observed connectivity and digital infrastructure impact business decisions, there are new technological developments driving exponential growth in innovation and progress. These include massive increases in computing power and AI, the world’s information becoming digital and universally accessible, and the Internet of Things.
“This entire region is at the beginning of an incredible era of opportunity. It is poised to benefit from this time of rapid innovation,” WiredScore CEO and Founder Arie Barendrecht shared. “Dallas has the fifth-largest tech labor force in North America and, in 2018, tech activity drove almost 30% of North Texas office leasing. That’s the largest share by a single industry group in the region. Of the 3.5 million sq. ft. of office space under construction at the end of last quarter across the region, 1.2 million sq. ft. is already pre-leased. But if there’s anything that Dallas and the region’s landlords need to get right to continue this momentum, especially during a time of rapid innovation, it’s a focus on digital connectivity.”
While large corporate relocations and HQ decisions tend to dominate news coverage, the innovation economy is growing with a new group of entrepreneurs and start-ups creating jobs. There are over 60 co-working spaces, three dozen accelerators and incubators, and more than 20 corporate innovation centers across North Texas alone. With the Metroplex’s status as a center for innovation, our decision to designate Dallas a flagship market for WiredScore certification was a logical step to align with the work the city has done to ensure its place on the world stage.
Connectivity is now recognized as crucial in creating a work environment centered around productivity and innovation, as highlighted by Linda McMahon, President and CEO of TREC:
“We’re looking for work environments that connect us all. Work environments that make us not only want to work harder and faster, but also work environments that are pleasant to work in. All these features rely on the foundation of a resilient digital infrastructure,” noted McMahon. “The commercial real estate community must adapt existing properties to make sure that they’re ensuring the critical requirements that all the tenants today require.”
The demand for office space in Dallas-Fort Worth continues to be strong, and this influx of new development and job growth has raised the region’s profile on a global level. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, the commercial real estate community must remain at the cutting-edge by delivering great digital experiences in office properties. Bill Brokaw, SVP at Hillwood Urban, echoed this sentiment in his statement:
“Customers don’t just want office space. They want an office building, a space that can help their business perform at the highest level and a building that can grow with them as technologies have all been changed. WiredScore is critical to helping users understand buildings that fit that premiere category. By adopting WiredScore certification, Hillwood is addressing digital infrastructure in commercial buildings in the same way we approach all of our projects, with an eye towards innovation solutions that support current and future technology needs.”
Across the Dallas-Fort Worth region, 15 commercial real estate owners and developers have committed to WiredScore certification for their office assets to date. They include: Apollo Global Management, Bright Realty, Buchanan Street Partners, Encore Enterprises, Gaedeke Group, Hartman Income REIT, Hillwood Urban, KBS, New York Life, Rosewood Property Company, Stream Realty Partners, Transwestern Development Company, UBS, Vanderbilt Office Properties, and VanTrust Real Estate. These early adopters of the Wired Certification program are pursuing Wired Certification for office assets in Dallas, Arlington, Irving, Lewisville, Frisco, Plano and Richardson.