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February 23, 2017 Comments Off on Connect Dallas: Celebrating the Good, Looking to the Future Views: 318 Texas News, Top Texas Stories

Connect Dallas: Celebrating the Good, Looking to the Future

by Amy Wolff Sorter

Anyone who lives in and around the Dallas, TX area understands that things are going very well, between the economy, jobs, housing and commercial real estate. At Connect Dallas’ debut conference on Feb. 22, 2017 power panelists and expert moderators shared what, exactly, is going on with Big D, and if the good times will continue.

In “Northward Bound: Cranes and Corporations,” the panelists provided information about why Dallas is so attractive to corporations. Reasons include affordable housing, good quality of living and business-friendly municipalities. But, without a major university or college feeding educated employees into the area, Dallas-area employers must continue to rely on strong in-migration. Additionally, “it’s a zero-sum game,” said Allen (TX) Economic Development Corp.’s David Ellis. “When employers need to hire, they have to steel from the competition. They have to compete,” he said. “It will put pressure on wages, which will go up.”

Panelists were bullish on the southern submarket in “South Dallas’ Development and Industrial Boom.” Jeff Thornton with Duke Realty indicated the submarket’s popularity is due, in part, to its unique freeway infrastructure. “You have the intersection of three very major interstates that service a huge population center,” he said. “Add to that the Union Pacific (Dallas) Intermodal, and you have a recipe for success.”

Speakers partaking in the “Growth, Infrastructure, and Transportation” acknowledged their organizations’ goals is to give people choices when it comes to getting from point A to point B. “We want to offer better choices,” said Travis Kelly with Texas Central Partners, which is advocating a bullet train between Dallas and Houston. “We found strong demand for more and better alternatives, especially for travel between the two largest metros in the state.”

After rocking their socks (#rockthesocks) in honor of Makenzie Cadmus’ first birthday, “Investing in Dallas: Shaping the City for Tomorrow” participants discussed capital stacks, loans and financing. Stephen Luik with Crescent Real Estate LLC, indicated that availability of capital, rather than interest rates, are a challenge to those interested in office investments. As a result, “when owners go to refinance, there could be some volatility,” he said.

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