- Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News

Developers who recently kicked off new Dallas-area projects are pushing ahead.

They aren’t canceling projects but may face some delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mill Creek Residential is just starting work on its 14-story apartment tower on North Central Expressway south of Mockingbird Lane.

The good news is that the building isn’t set for completion until the end of 2021 or early 2022.

“In that and similar cases with new starts, the delivery time frame is so far out, we remain optimistic this unforeseen health crisis will have subsided and major construction delays will not materialize,” said Michael Blackwell, Mill Creek senior managing director. “Of course, labor and supply chain issues are at some level beyond our control, along with the infrastructure and processes for municipal approvals, so we’re certainly trying to contingency plan for those factors.”

Mill Creek builds apartment projects across the country in markets that have all been affected by the pandemic to some degree. “In the immediate term, as a national firm with broad exposure to rental housing in most major U.S. cities, we are very focused on the well-being of our residents, our associates in the field and our colleagues,” Blackwell said.

Billingsley Co.’s Cypress Waters development on LBJ Freeway northwest of Dallas has been one of the state’s most successful mixed-use developments.

The developer is working on plans for two more office buildings and an apartment community in the 1,000-acre project.

“We have just begun another multifamily project at Cypress Waters,” developer Lucy Billingsley said. “We believe that leasing will be strong by the time new office buildings are built and ready for tenancy.

“That would be 18 to 20 months after the commencement of construction,” she said. “As far as leasing, some deals are going forth as expected; some are new and moving fast; others have hit the pause button.”

Stream Realty Partners is finishing up plans for a major redevelopment of Uptown Dallas’ landmark Quadrangle retail and office center, adding an office tower and more restaurant space.

“While we are most likely pushed out a couple of months given the ongoing shelter-in-place orders, we continue to plan for groundbreaking this year,” said Stream Realty Partners managing director Ramsey March.

Developer Crescent Communities broke ground early this month on a 20-story apartment tower near the intersection of Oak Lawn and Avondale avenues.

“Construction is still progressing on Novel Turtle Creek,” said Peter Petricca, managing director for the Texas region of Crescent Communities.

“Right now, nationwide, construction is still moving forward across our portfolio.

“All of the general contractors have protocols in place and are working with full crews,” he said. “We are keeping tabs daily and would not be surprised to see a drop-off in field personnel if things continue to worsen.”

Developer Randy Heady has been through 50 years of economic cycles and is getting through the current crisis.

“We’re moving ahead slowly with caution,” said Heady, who has new projects in Plano, McKinney and Allen.

He said there is still so much uncertainty.

“How do companies today know in five months if they are going to be hiring or firing?” Heady said. “Fifty percent of them probably don’t.”

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