Oilman J.R. Ewing was once the symbol of Dallas business around the world.

But these days, it’s high tech and financial services firms — not oil companies — that are gobbling up most of the offices in North Texas.

Expanding and relocating businesses are shopping for almost 20 million square feet of office space in the area, according to commercial real estate firm JLL.

About 40 percent of the office space prospects in the market are either in tech or financial services, a new study shows. Only 3 percent of the companies looking for Dallas-area digs are in the energy business.

Unlike in some other metro areas, no single industry dominates the North Texas office market.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” said JLL research manager Walter Bialas. “The diversity and the volume of companies looking from outside and expanding internally is a testament to our North Texas economic engine.”

Bialas said about 24 percent of the pending office deals are by companies that are unidentified.

“We don’t know about a big piece of it because of confidential projects,” he said.

JLL’s research shows that businesses looking for office space are casting a wide net.

More than 4 million square feet of deals are pending in Far North Dallas. About 3 million square feet of prospective office leases are floating around the Las Colinas area.

Downtown Dallas has about 1.3 million in office lease prospects, according to JLL.

“When you look at the breakdown of our Fortune 1000 companies, they are spread all over the place,” Bialas said.

JLL’s tally of prospective office deals in North Texas adds up to more than twice the amount of space now being built.

“The volume is still high,” Bialas said. “As we are looking at the last half of this up economic cycle we are in, I’m feeling good about being in North Texas.”

Of course, not all the pending office leases will make it to the signing table.

“Some tenants may choose to stay in space in their existing buildings, but they are looking around,” Bialas said. “It makes me feel good, given where we are in the economic cycle.”


Presented by Dallas Morning News, September 15, 2017

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