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PRODUCTS and Custom Builder mag editor Nigel F. Maynard sits down with Oaxaca Interests LLC President and Developer Brent Jackson to discuss an experimental production-home project in Dallas, TX.

Designed by architecture firm Lake Flato, the Haciendas in West Dallas are single-family homes made to redefine urban living, says Oaxaca Interests.

The Haciendas has buyers saying, "I've never seen anything like this in West Dallas!" Why? Watch and find out.


NM: When most people hear the term “production housing,” they probably think of suburban examples that look like these, but not all production housing is the same. One developer, Oaxaca Interests, is in the midst of a cutting-edge development called the Haciendas, a Dallas project that focuses on design wellness, lifestyle, and neighborhood. Today I talk with company president Brent Jackson who will walk us through the project and give us a glimpse of what it took to pull this off.

Brent Jackson: We started the company, or I started the company, in 2007. As I say, it really was sort of a two-edged sword that it taught me to be pretty frugal in a time where the market was pretty, pretty hectic or, you know, it's about to get really hectic. 

And so raising capital in 2007, 2008, 2009 was pretty harrowing but it did tell us a lot about frugality. It also gave us an opportunity and some insight into where and how to find opportunity. and so we found a part of a town that we believed in and it has proved to be a wonderful place to do business and that's West Dallas. 

Some of the fundamentals of our company, in fact, the mission of our company is three-pronged and they're equally important. That’s financial yield, world-class design, and community impact. 

And they very much impact each other, so that we don't believe that we can get the financial yield we aspire to have if we don't have legitimate genuine community impact, and I should say  community, our world class design and so, consequently, we treat each one of those legs of the stool equally.


What Makes the Haciendas Different

NM: Tell us a little bit about what the Haciendas is and where you are in the process right now.

BJ: The Haciendas are designed by an architectural firm named Lake Flato. Lake Flato is an architectural firm here based in Texas. I would wager they're the number one architecture firm in the state of Texas and and probably top five or 10 in the country. Their accolades speak for themselves.

The thing that I've enjoyed working with them on is they recognize my attention for art. In fact, my undergraduate degree was a BFA at UT for painting and sculpture and so having that lexicon and that jargon and that appreciation for what's artistic has formulated a strong bond and strong relationship.

So working with them over 10 years now really afforded me the opportunity to to approach them about something they've never done before, which is essentially designing a product that is hitting a price point that is compared to their other product, which is essentially between a three and five million dollar product we're now building. Product that's a fraction of that, five hundred and six hundred thousand dollar product, or less than six hundred thousand in many cases.


Landscape First, Then Construction

BJ: One other sort of piece of the puzzle, or two other pieces of the puzzle, but the next one up is the landscape architect and that's Hocker Designs. They go by Hocker now. 

Hocker’s well on their way to being equal stature of Lake Flato. They've been around as long, as they haven't had a chance to get there as quickly, but they are on their way and they’re certainly an internationally recognized landscape architecture firm based here in Dallas.

David who's my peer essentially we are the same age and both grew up here in Dallas, we really work hand in hand on starting with landscape first and appreciating the power of landscape prior to the actual structure and so it's a little bit of a reverse order when you look at who my competitors are in building homes. Most people have the landscape as an afterthought or a mid-thought, we start with landscape.

NM: How many units are at the Haciendas and is the project completed?

BJ: Yes, so we currently own 84 lots in the West Dallas area and so the first four were really sort of our betas to understand not only just from a construction ability standpoint some of the R&D that you learn when you first build a new product, especially one that's this dramatically different or departure from the standard construction type and standard design in the Dallas area.

We had a lot of learning curve elements in the first four but we've completed the first four we've got three of the four under contract, or sorry, one sold and then two are under contract and we've got our fourth one that  we hope to have a contract pending here pretty quickly.

We've been pleased with the market's feedback. I was just at the at the Haciendas yesterday and talked to a potential couple, potential buyers, and almost to a T, they've all said the same thing: this is nothing like anything they've seen in the city of Dallas.