Walton Global Plans to Acquire 2,500 Acres in Texas this Year

Walton Global already controls swathes of land in North Texas, but the firm doesn’t have any plans of slowing down as it continues to make bets on the region’s paths of growth.

Walton Global is a land asset management company and global real estate investment organization. The firm originally acquired almost 34,000 acres in Texas. Of that, almost 19,000 were in Dallas, while about 2,000 were in Fort Worth.

According to the company’s own estimates, Walton Global’s existing portfolio could translate into over 100,000 new homes throughout Texas once the land has been provided to homebuilders. But the firm isn’t settling and has plans to acquire about 2,500 acres in Texas this year, which the company estimates could translate into 10,000 new homes.

“We’re going to be aggressive as demand is aggressive,” said Barry Dluzen, executive vice president of land at Walton Global.

In Dallas, Walton Global has sold about 1,800 acres, has about 5,300 acres under contract and about 11,000 acres still under management. In Fort Worth, the company has sold about 350 acres, has 1,200 under contract and about 500 still under management.

Dluzen said Walton Global is a path of growth buyer. Many builders aren’t looking for longer-term holds, which is where Walton Global excels and how the firm helps builders.

“We primarily, but not always, focus on the path of growth deals that our builders typically can’t pull on their balance sheets,” he said. “Really it’s a primary buy for us to help our builders out,”

The firm is refining its strategy for North Texas, but Dluzen said of the 2,500 acres the firm plans to acquire in the state, about 30% should be near the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. One area the firm has an interest in is north of McKinney, where it already has some existing holdings.

“We haven’t mined over there for a bit, so we’re looking to hopefully add some additional parcels there,” he said. “Our metrics show that there’s growth pushing out to the north towards Sherman,”

Of the acreage Walton Global currently owns or manages in North Texas, several large parcels are in Grayson and Ellis Counties. In 2014, the firm acquired the property known as Rock Creek Ranch, which sits on about 1,700 acres in Tarrant County. The planned mixed-use district is anticipated to have 3,800 homes in residential development alone.

Walton Global is also in the build-to-rent business. According to information provided by the company, the firm is targeting six communities for build-to-rent development across Texas in the next two to three years. This represents over 800 homes.

“We see it as a product in all of our assets, whether they’re existing or new,” Dluzen said. “When we’re looking at new assets, we’re always evaluating whether we can carve out a portion of the parcel we’re buying for build-to-rent.”

Outside of North Texas, Walton Global originally owned about 11,400 acres in Austin, about 1,400 in Houston and 162 in San Antonio.

“People want to be in Texas, and so it really is a strong indication that we should keep searching for those best properties and best locations in Dallas,” Dluzen said.