Jeffrey Medici, Medici Development Partners founder and managing partner, discusses current trends in the Southlake submarket – Dallas Business Journal – Dallas Business Journal

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When the Dallas Business Journal called Jeffrey Medici, the first thing he wanted to talk about was the dragon. 
“I needed something that was going to attract people from all over, (something that) was going to make a name for District 114 and Medici Development Partners,” Medici said. “And that’s when I came up with the idea to build the world’s largest stainless steel dragon.” 
Medici is the founder and managing partner of Medici Development Partners, the group behind the Kimball Park development in Southlake, which houses the Offices at Kimball Park, District 114 and a Cambria Hotel. When the Offices at Kimball Park went up, it was the first class A multi-story office building to come to market in Southlake, he said. 
“I believed that we would have the demand,” Medici said. “And sure enough, we had 61,000 square feet leased before we even put a shovel in the ground and within 24 months we were at 98% leased.” 
Medici said he decided to become a developer in 2011 and within a few weeks, he was eyeing a 15-acre parcel of land that would become Kimball Park. The latest building is District 114, an approximately 95,000-square-foot mixed-use project. 
When creating District 114, Medici went so far as to build a five-foot lego model of the structure. 
“I’d never built a building like this before, so I wanted to see how our patrons would move throughout the building,” Medici said. “We actually, from this model, made significant changes in the building.” 
Medici spoke with the Dallas Business Journal about developing in the Southlake submarket and upcoming trends he sees in the area. 
What are the unique differences in doing business in a place like Southlake? 
You have a community that’s built from a bunch of smaller communities. So in Southlake, for example, we have some folks that live (near Farm to Market Road) 1709 that are used to all that traffic going up and down. We have other folks that live in more rural areas of Southlake that want zero development, they want something to stay exactly the way it was 30 years ago when they moved here.
Obviously, both need to be respected, but it’s a challenge… for developers, especially. A developer thinks ‘oh, I’m going to put this here, this location needs to be here.’ The city council listens to its residents. When the residents come out against something in their little community or their little neighborhood within Southlake, the city council listens. (A development) can live or die by the support that it has from those local residents… So I think you have to have an appreciation for the small little communities within your city… I think that is the biggest thing that I see here. 
How do surrounding submarkets interact with Southlake? 
We talk about the Southlake bubble, but the Southlake bubble is affected by surrounding communities, for sure. Southlake as a whole has been very negative on multifamily. I think as other cities around us increase the number of multifamily units, that can’t help but change market forces. As we get more dense around us, there’ll be a need for more services and support for those individuals…It’ll definitely affect us, I think in a lot of ways positively with respect to office and restaurant, retail. 
What’s next for the submarket? 
(FM) 1709 to Southlake Blvd. is completely developed, and that can be a big challenge when it comes to developers trying to come in there and do stuff, because it’s just, a lot of people get nervous driving on that road, it’s so busy. What I think is underdeveloped is the north side of (Texas Highway) 114. There’s still a lot of land left to be developed on the north side. And it shocks people when I tell them, how many restaurants do you think – standalone restaurants or in a development – are on the north side of 114 in Southlake? The answer is one. Chicken Express. There’s probably 500 in the south side, but there’s one (on the north side). I think it’s a matter of time before these parcels on the north side that are remaining get snapped up. And there’s something, hopefully very large and special, that ends up on the north side. 
This interview was edited for brevity and clarity 
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