Archive for October, 2011

DFWREimagined Stories 10-11-11

Posted by    |    October 13th, 2011 at 5:15 am

Quote for the Week — Out of the million folks who work in Dallas city limits 727,000 are suburbanites who come for work then scoot when it gets dark

US Rate of Home-ownership Continues to Decline
Sprawl is Holding the Recovery Back
Lagging Construction Jobs (signal the end of sprawl-induced growth)
Cutting Car Use at the Neighborhood Level
Congestion & the real value of public
Pedestrians at Risk in DFW
Minorities Transform Metro Areas, Inch Closer to Majority
The real face of poverty in Fort Worth
Texas still targeted by EPA (more…)

Pedestrians at Risk in DFW

Posted by    |    October 9th, 2011 at 5:15 am

North Texas, particularly Dallas and Fort Worth, always has been big on vehicular traffic. One person, one car; and forget about carpooling.

Turns out that might be the result of self-preservation.

According to a study recently released by Transportation for America, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington region ranks as the 10th most dangerous U.S. metropolitan area for pedestrians. The organization’s statistics show that, on average, 1.6 people per 100,000 are killed each year while walking.

The study, called Dangerous By Design 2011, placed the greater Orlando, Fla., area at the top of the pedestrian-fatality list with three people out of 100,000 killed annually.

Houston nudged Dallas for the No. 9 slot with two pedestrian deaths per 100,000 population.

Read more at NBCDFW

Minorities Transform Metro Areas, Inch Closer to Majority

Posted by    |    October 9th, 2011 at 5:15 am

[from Study below -- Dallas had an 83% gain in Hispanic population and a 29% increase in Asian/Indian population from 2000-2010]

Minorities comprise in 2010 more than half the population in 22 of the largest metro areas in and 98 percent population growth in large metro areas from 2000 to 2010, a recent report by The Brookings Institute shows.

The report “The New Metropolitan Minority Map” uses 1990, 2000, and 2010 decennial census data for the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

“This paper shows how the rapid growth of Hispanic and Asian origin groups and new internal shifts of African Americans are transforming the racial and ethnic demographic profiles of America’s largest metropolitan areas ahead of other parts of the country,” says Michael Frey, senior fellow of the Metropolitan Policy Program, on the Brookings website.

Read more at Brookings

The real face of poverty in Fort Worth

Posted by    |    October 9th, 2011 at 5:15 am

It’s Monday. You are a single mother with three children living in Fort Worth. You are up at 4:30 a.m. to keep the house in order. You start the laundry, pack lunches and make payments on a few bills.

You wake up the children at 5:30 to feed them and get them ready for school. By 6:30, you have to head out because your work shift begins at 7. You take the children to the apartment next door so your neighbor can take them to the bus stop at 7:15. You start your car and leave for your eight-hour shift as a housekeeper at a hotel downtown.

At 3 p.m., you’re off to your second job, at the local grocery store, taking only a 15-minute break in between.

You clock out at 7:30 p.m., pick up the children from the extended child care you’ve paid for and bring them home. You whip up something fast and filling for them to eat, try your best to get them to do their homework at that late hour and put them to bed at 9 p.m. You fall asleep on the couch at 10 p.m., exhausted. You repeat that schedule Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

On Saturday you wake up, still worn out from the week, trying to work on your budget before the kids awake. Sixty hours a week at minimum wage — your weekly income is $435, or $23,000 a year. You stare at your budget with tears glistening in your eyes. You are doing everything you can to take care of your family, but it is just not enough.

Your children are almost awake. Your youngest is supposed to attend a friend’s birthday party. You know you are going to have to break her heart and not allow her to go because you can’t afford a present and cannot bear the humiliation of showing up empty-handed.

That is the real face of poverty in Fort Worth.

Read more at the Star-Telegram

Texas still targeted by EPA

Posted by    |    October 9th, 2011 at 5:15 am

As the Obama administration pulls back on a broad rule to combat ozone pollution, a different rule that would also reduce smog-forming chemicals in Texas remains on track.

To the delight of conservatives in Texas and nationwide, the White House announced on Friday that ground-level ozone levels would be reviewed in 2013 rather than tightened immediately. But the controversial “cross-state pollution” rule, which aims at tightening emissions from power plants in Texas and 26 other states, remains scheduled for implementation in January. The cross-state rule targets nitrogen oxides, an ozone precursor, as well as sulfur dioxide, which is not an ozone precursor but can also cause lung damage.

“The cross state air pollution rule is final,” Betsaida Alcantara, press secretary for the Environmental Protection Agency, which crafted the rule, said in an email.

The ozone rule would have tightened requirements for pollution from a range of emissions sources like motor vehicles and even dry-cleaners, according to David Adelman, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law. The “cross-state” rule, by contrast, applies more narrowly to power plants, and does not deal with “volatile organic compounds,” which like nitrogen oxides are another ozone precursor.

The idea behind the “cross-state rule,” said Adelman, is that “power plants are big sources and their emissions cross state lines quite readily. So in one jurisdiction you could have ozone problems where a significant source of the nitrogen oxides would be out of state.”

Read more at the Star-Telegram

Elm Street Building Revival Needs $30 Million Subsidy

Posted by    |    October 9th, 2011 at 5:15 am

A revival plan for the former First National Bank Building at 1401 Elm Street seeks a City of Dallas subsidy of $30 million.

The City Council Economic Development Committee will hear the plan Tuesday.

When it opened in 1965, the building was the city’s tallest and it’s 50th floor observation deck was a big public attraction.

But newer office buildings stole away the best tenants and the building closed in January 2010 with expensive asbestos abatement problems complicating reuse.

The building between Field, Akard, Pacific and Elm Streets sits beside a DART Rail station.

City leaders consider reviving it to be a crucial step for the vitality of the downtown area.

“It’s a big piece in the middle of the puzzle, but it also takes the public and the private partnership in order to make this work,” said Economic Development Committee Chairman Tennell Atkins.

The renovation plan calls for turning most of the office space into 520 residential units. A portion of those dwellings would be set aside for low to moderate income families.

Also in the plans, the 50th floor observation deck would reopen to the public, a 9th floor patio would be restored to the original 1965 design and lower floors with public access would become retail shops and restaurants.

Read more and watch the video at NBCDFW

JLL Poll Predicts Stagnant 2012 for DFW

Posted by    |    October 7th, 2011 at 5:15 am

Taking the market’s pulse in Dallas/Fort Worth, Jones Lang LaSallehas discovered in a recent survey that 51 percent of more than 200 commercial real estate professionals believe business will remain flat throughout 2012.

The poll was conducted at JLL‘s annual forecast breakfast, featuring Anthony Chan, chief economist of Private Wealth Management at J.P. Morgan, who provided a global economic overview. Other 2012 survey findings showed three percent expect business will decline and 46 percent are predicting it will rise. In comparison, the 2011 poll, taken in 2010, showed seven percent believed business was going to decline; 39 percent expected it to remain flat; and 54 percent said it would grow.

Read more at CityBizRealEstate

Peter Calthorpe takes on climate change with his vision of urbanism

Posted by    |    October 7th, 2011 at 5:15 am

Peter Calthorpe is probably the most respected urban planner in the world, which has led municipalities from California to China to ask for his assistance in creating livable, sustainable cities. His new book, Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change, accepts that climate change is a real threat, with potentially catastrophic consequences that can only be averted if we radically reduce our energy consumption.

Calthorpe doesn’t believe that green technologies alone can meet the challenge. Conservation achieved by traveling less and walking more is key. But not everyone has to abandon the suburbs for city apartment blocks. A combination of revived downtowns, along with building pockets of walkable, village-like centers in outlying areas is part of the New Urbanism vision of “transit-oriented development.”

Read more at SACurrent

Just like that, Cesar Chavez becomes a six-lane boulevard

Posted by    |    October 7th, 2011 at 5:15 am

There’s been a good deal of concern over the plan to widen Cesar Chavez Boulevard downtown because it means tearing down existing buildings and creating what many see as a high-speed runway through the increasingly residential area.

Council member Scott Griggs spoke up against the plan today, saying it grinds against the city’s supposed support of streets that are sensitive to neighborhoods and pedestrians.

Griggs did praise council member Angela Hunt for making the plan much better than it originally was (read concrete desert).

Still, he and council member Delia Jasso voted against the plan even as the rest of the council voted for it.

Read more at Dallas Morning News

Donnie Nelson on Jack Matthews, Real Estate Investments, and South Dallas

Posted by    |    October 7th, 2011 at 5:15 am

The October issue of D CEO magazine includes a profile of developer Jack Matthews. The low-key Canadian is behind some of the most notable projects in Dallas, including SouthSide on Lamar, an expansive masterplanned community called The Tribute, and the new Dallas Omni Convention Center Hotel.

One of the sources I interviewed for the story was Donnie Nelson, president of basketball operations and general manager for the Dallas Mavericks, who also owns a 10 percent stake in Matthews’ company, Matthews Southwest. As part of RealPoints’ ongoing “Bonus,” series, below are excerpts from the interview that didn’t make it into the magazine article.

Nelson speaks candidly about his real estate investments, his partnership with Matthews, and why he has a special love for South Dallas. Enjoy!

Read more at DRealPoints