Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

D.R. Horton moves into a home of its own in Arlington

D.R. Horton has moved into its new four-story headquarters in Arlington as work continues on a fountain and landscaping outside.
D.R. Horton has moved into its new four-story headquarters in Arlington as work continues on a fountain and landscaping outside.

D.R. Horton is back in Arlington, announcing last week that it has moved into its new corporate headquarters built on the north side of Interstate 30 and across from Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium.

Construction continues on exterior features at the 6-acre site, including a fountain and landscaping. But drivers can now see the D.R. Horton logo perched atop the four-story brick structure east of Collins Street that fronts the service road.

The high-profile location will provide great exposure for the D.R. Horton brand to the thousands of people who regularly come to events at the ballpark and Jerry World, said Donald R. Horton, 68, the company’s founder and chairman.

The new headquarters marks the latest chapter in D.R. Horton’s impressive history, which started in 1978 when Don Horton came to Fort Worth from Arkansas and built his first home.

Today, D.R. Horton is the nation’s biggest homebuilder. Last year, the company sold 40,309 homes, 50 percent more than its closest rival, and generated $12.2 billion in revenue. Through the first six months of its current fiscal year, Horton had closed sales on 20,089 homes, up 16 percent from last year, and the company earned $436.1 million.

In an interview with the Star-Telegram earlier this year, Don Horton credited the success of the company to “people, people, people” — both his employees and the long-term relationships he has built with vendors and subcontractors.

“We definitely have a different culture here, and we’ve raised most of our own people,” Horton said, noting that the president of his biggest division, in Dallas, started with the company as an 18-year-old warranty tech making repairs in new homes.

The company has moved its headquarters several times over the years as it outgrew its space. It moved from Fort Worth to Arlington the first time in 1993 to a modest one-story complex it bought out of receivership after the S&L crisis.

Then, in 2004, it relocated to the top of a Sundance Square skyscraper in downtown Fort Worth that became known as the D.R. Horton Tower.

After the housing bust a decade ago, Horton was forced to shrink drastically, slashing its U.S. workforce from about 10,000 to 2,600 and leaving big chunks of its space atop the downtown tower empty. Now, for the first time, Horton has built a home for itself, customized to its needs.

About 500 employees have made the move to the new Arlington complex, which has a six-story attached garage in back.

Running his business conservatively has been a hallmark of Horton’s. The company has bounced back from the housing crisis by finding ways to build homes more efficiently. This year it expects to build nearly as many homes as it did in its peak year of 2006, with about 25 percent fewer employees. The company has been accumulating cash and paying down debt so that it is prepared whenever another downturn strikes.

Which gets us to the reason D.R. Horton wanted to give up a picturesque boardroom that overlooked all of Fort Worth and build a new headquarters along I-30.

“I didn’t want to pay rent anymore,” Horton said, sounding just like a new homeowner.

F-35 a ‘Go’ for Paris Air Show

Despite being grounded indefinitely by the U.S. Air Force after pilots complained of oxygen deprivation, the F-35A officially has received a “Go” and will make its debut appearance at an international air show Monday.

Two F-35As arrived in France last week for the Paris Air Show, the day after the Air Force extended an earlier decision to ground the planes at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. The air show is a premier event where aviation companies and military contractors from around the world showcase their wares.

The F-35As from Hill Air Force Base in Utah got the official “GO!” to fly last week, said Mark Johnson, a spokesman for the F-35 program for Lockheed.

The 56th Fighter Wing at Luke canceled F-35A operations after five incidents in which pilots experienced hypoxia-like symptoms, in which the body is deprived of oxygen. In each incident, the F-35’s backup oxygen system operated as designed. Only the F-35As at Luke were grounded.

Initially, the order to stand down was to last a few days, but the Air Force later extended the cease operations order indefinitely while a team of engineers and aeromedical specialists continues to investigate and narrow down potential causes, Defense News reported.

Lockheed Martin, which is building the F-35 at its plant in Fort Worth, has not commented on the hypoxia situation and is referring all questions to the Air Force.

The Air Force did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Clearfork announces more eateries

A Dallas-based Crú Food & Wine Bar and Washington-based Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar are among more new restaurants coming this fall to the new Shops at Clearfork center in southwest Fort Worth.

A Dallas-based rise n°3 soufflé restaurant already had been announced, along with Dallas-based Malai Kitchen, Houston-based B&B Butchers & Restaurant, Florida-based Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen and Chicago-based City Works Eatery and Pour House.

The restaurants join shops such as Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton in filling in around a new Neiman Marcus in the 270-acre development on the former Edwards Ranch.

Crú Food & Wine Bar, 5188 Marathon Ave., has been a 15-year anchor in the West Village shops in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood. Founded by restaurateur Patrick Colomo of Sfuzzi, it’s also a corporate cousin to former Sundance Square tenant Ferré.

Twigs Bistro, 5289 Marathon Ave., founded in Spokane, Wash., specializes in 36 signature martinis and a menu of entreés, pastas, flatbreads and sandwiches such as a roasted garlic-Gorgonzola burger.

B&B Butchers and Malai Kitchen are expected to open in mid-September.

Rise n°3, a favorite of former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, only gives “fall” as the opening date for its location at 5135 Monahans Ave.

Other restaurants have tentatively set a November opening.

Bud Kennedy

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko