NexPoint’s $4B Plano life science campus wins local approval

Will transform vacant 1.6M-square-foot former EDS campus

Plano Approves NexPoint’s $4B Life Science Campus
NexPoint's James Dondero with rendering of 5400 Legacy Drive (NexPoint Advisors, Getty)

NexPoint Advisors is closer to fulfilling its vision of transforming Dallas-Fort Worth’s largest vacant office property into a thriving life sciences campus. 

The Plano City Council greenlighted Nexpoint’s plan to redevelop the 1.6 million-square-foot former Electronic Data Systems campus at 5400 Legacy Drive into a $4 billion life sciences and medical center, the Dallas Morning News reported

Local officials’ support of the project is no surprise, as the vacant campus accounts for the largest office vacancy in all of North Texas. In total, the West Plano-Upper Tollway area had over 10 million square feet of empty office space through the third quarter. Among DFW submarkets, only downtown Dallas had more, by about 30,000 square feet. 

Dubbed the Texas Research Quarter, the 99-acre redevelopment is slated for more than 4 million square feet of lab, office and therapeutic space, possibly generating 2,000 jobs in the first phase. It’s also set to include a 300-room hotel and 775 apartments surrounding a 9-acre park.

Despite its scale and transformative potential, the addition of apartments has faced some opposition. The lone vote against was from councilmember Shelby Williams, who is opposed to more multifamily development in Plano.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

NexPoint, which bought the property for an estimated $125 million in 2018, contends that a residential component is crucial for the project to be a success, the outlet reported.

“Because of the amount of jobs we are going to create and the impact we are going to have we have to make sure we have enough housing,” NexPoint’s Frank Zaccanelli told council members. “We need it in the land plan, because companies want to know there will be potential housing on the site.”

The redevelopment further solidifies North Texas as one of the nation’s premier life science hubs. In September, a $2.5 billion federal biotech research agency committed to Dallas’ 26-acre Pegasus Park as one of its three headquarters locations. Hundreds of life science companies have expanded or relocated to Dallas-Fort Worth since 2010. 

—Quinn Donoghue 

Read more