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Hillwood plans $600 million development in Little Elm

Profile image for By Steve Brown / The Dallas Morning News
By Steve Brown / The Dallas Morning News

Driven by the strong demand for new homes, developer Hillwood Communities is building a $600 million residential community northwest of Frisco.

The almost 800-acre Union Park project will have about 2,400 new houses, and is located on U.S. Highway 380 in Little Elm.

The master-planned residential community will have a 30-acre central park and other features to attract homebuyers.

Construction will start this spring, said Fred Balda, president of Hillwood Communities.

“We hope to break ground in March or April and kick it off with 300-some home lots,” Balda said. “We were fortunate to find a well-positioned tract of land.

“That market is very tight,” he said. “We are light in supply and there is a big demand right now.”

Dallas-area housing analyst Ted Wilson with Residential Strategies said the U.S. 380 corridor in Collin and Denton counties is one of North Texas’ strongest new home markets.

“Since 2000, there have been about 6,500 new home closings in various neighborhoods located along the U.S. 380 corridor,” Wilson said. “The high quality of community that is inherent to Hillwood’s development process will go a long way in attracting these families to Union Park.”

Balda said the first homebuilding sites in Union Park should be ready by the end of this year, which will allow builders to have sales in the spring 2015 market.

“We haven’t selected our builders yet but we will probably have three or four,” he said.

Home prices at Union Park should start above $200,000 and go to about $350,000.

The large central park in the community will have ponds, trails, an amphitheater and a community center.

“People really want open spaces more than anything else in a master-planned community,” Balda said. “We were very deliberate in building this community around more than twice the required green space to promote a small-town feel and encourage socializing.”

Union Park will be the second new residential community that Hillwood is kicking off early this year.

The developer is also building 1,000-acre project in suburban Houston, and just opened its Harvest community in southern Denton County.

“We are two years into a pretty decent recovery,” Balda said. “There is good demand for new housing.”

Hillwood Communities is a Perot company that has built 70 U.S. residential communities since 1988. The company now has operations in seven states.

Follow Steve Brown on Twitter at @SteveBrownDMN.