When is status quo ever a good thing in business? When your firm’s “more of the same” looks like “continuous growth and change,” that’s when!
“Over the past six months, the firm has seen an 8% gain year-over-year in sales volume, and units sold are up more than 9%,” Burgert said. “No small wonder, when 1,000 people a day are moving into Texas.”
The forecast looks strong well into next year, he also predicted. Hardly status quo in the typical sense, and yet very much “status quo” for this dynamic Ebby company!
Up next was John Crawford, President and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc., a private non-profit organization serving as the primary advocate and champion for Downtown. Crawford spent his time encouraging the group by citing dream after impossible dream that has been realized in our beloved city. He started with an anthemic video entitled “A City Is a Poem,” which artfully captured how much Dallas has changed.
“We have successfully transitioned from a one-dimensional central business district to a multidimensional “Live, Work, Play” community, in every sense of the phrase,” Crawford said.
And he should know. He has served on the planning committee since its inception more than 30 years ago, so he has witnessed firsthand and been a critical player in how Downtown Dallas has blossomed — seemingly overnight to anyone still saddled with the misguided perception that nothing’s going on down there.
Today it’s is the only true urban center in North Texas, Crawford continued.
“Every possible existing building has been adapted for residential living — some 10,000 people now live Downtown — and we’re at a point where all that’s left to do is build. The demand will certainly support this,” Crawford said. (See Burgert’s jaw-dropping relocation statistic above.)
Since 2007, $5 billion has been invested in Downtown, he continued, and $3 billion more will be spent over the next five years. Within the 15 neighborhoods that make up the area, more than 90 developments are currently underway, including 5,000 residential units to be added, plus 60 restaurants and 40 parks and greenspaces/plazas. The current residential inventory is 90% leased. Staggering!
Areas for improvement, he added, include walkability, car/bike sharing programs and convention business. DART has played a huge role in making life without a car even a consideration – it’s now the largest light rail network in North America. And Downtown already has 70 bike racks to help make the bike-share idea come to pass. ZipCar is already here, but could be doing better. Crawford also indicated that if the bullet train to Houston raises full funding, the station would be just south of Downtown – another coup for the city. Convention Center improvements would also further enhance our economy, and are in the works.
“All in all, there’s much to be proud of,” Crawford said. “We’ve made a lot of progress on our strategic plan, but there will always be more to do.”
Ebby CEO Mary Frances Burleson concluded the meeting with an anecdote from a recent trip. At a recent Realty Alliance gathering, she said brokers from across the country expressed their envy of us and our relocation business.
“It’s a great time to live in Dallas. We all need to keep planning ahead, just like John and his team have done, and we’ll be alright.”