Posts Tagged ‘Development’

The Votes are In. I’ll drink to that!

Posted by    |    November 3rd, 2010 at 9:44 am

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Election Night Watch Party hosted by the Keep the Dollars in Dallas Campaign (KDID).  If you aren’t familiar with KDID, they are the group that was formed to support the petition and election effort to change the current alcoholic beverage sales laws in the City of Dallas.  And, if you haven’t heard, the voters elected to pass both of the wet/dry propositions on the ballot.

KDID committee members celebrate at an election watch party at Pappadeaux on Oak Lawn

What does drinking have to do with real estate (wow, that’s open to lots of interpretation)?  But the main theme here is that changing the antiquated wet/dry laws in the City of Dallas will help create a level playing field for all developers, brokers, restaurants and retailers in Dallas.  And the local commercial real estate community, having a lot at stake here, got involved with the cause early.

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Home on the Dallas Range

Posted by    |    August 25th, 2010 at 11:07 am

Little did I know that when researching the history of retail in Dallas I would come to find oodles of history about all parts of the city.  A couple of the nuggets I found explain the history of some of Dallas’ early residential neighborhoods.

One of the earliest suburbs of Dallas was Oak Cliff, first settled around 1837 by William S. Beaty and the Leonard and Coombes families (www.oakcliff.com/history.htm).  Then along came William and Mary Hord who relocated from Tennessee and opened a boarding house.  Not long thereafter, the area became known as Hord’s Ridge. 

The first known permanent residence in Oak Cliff was a cabin built in 1845 by William Hord.

The area began to slowly expand with the completion of the Cleburne and Rio Grande Railway in 1880.  Oak Cliff was more formally originated in 1886 when  John S. Armstrong and Thomas L. Marsalis shelled out $8,000 to buy a 320-acre farm on the south bank of the Trinity River.  The two began dividing the acreage into 20-acre blocks, and, according to the Handbook of Texas Online, “Armstrong and Marsalis began to develop the land into an elite residential area, which by then end of 1887, had proved to be a tremendous success with sales surpassing $60,000.”

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Transportation feeds development

Posted by    |    August 16th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

After the Dallas retail boom brought on by the railroad, yet another mode of transportation pushed retail to the suburbs.   Streetcars, which began to spring up in Dallas in the late 1800s, boosted the decentralization of downtown and mobilized consumers around the city.

Before automobiles became commonplace at the homestead, streetcars were the main mode of transportation in urban areas.  In fact, according to Robert A.Rieder in the Handbook of Texas Online, “The electric streetcar represented the most significant development in city transportation.”

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The Long Road to Retail

Posted by    |    August 11th, 2010 at 8:33 pm

The Jewish immigrants who wrote some of the most important retail stories in Dallas history (Neiman Marcus, Sanger Harris, Volks Brothers) took root in North Texas via varied routes of entry.  Until the early 1900s, nearly all Jewish immigrants began their U.S. journey by sailing into Northeastern ports.  Beginning in 1907, however, Galveston became their main port of entry.  But why the switch from the traditional ports of entry to a port thousands of miles to the south?  The Galveston Movement, of course!

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Dallas Truly is the “Shopping Center”

Posted by    |    August 9th, 2010 at 11:33 am

If you were ever in doubt that the city of Dallas gave birth to retail in the United States, doubt no more!  Did you know that Dallas is the home of the very first planned shopping center in the country?  Moving on from the concentration of retail department stores located in downtown buildings, area developers were coming up with new ways to bring retail to the masses.

Highland Park Village (HPV), which received its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 2008, was conceived by Edgar Flippen and Hugh Prather in 1928 and opened in 1931.  According to the designation record:

“…Highland Park Shopping Village represents a pivotal point in the evolution of the shopping center as a distinctive building type in 20th century American architecture.”

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First-Hand Account: Priceless

Posted by    |    August 5th, 2010 at 9:46 am

So we now know about the European immigration that brought retail to Texas.  Let’s look a little closer at the roots of retailing in Dallas by exploring the history of one of the first major merchants to set up shop downtown.

Emanual Meyer Kahn (dba E.M. Kahn’s) was born in 1849 in Alsace-Lorraine, France.  According to the publication Pioneer Jewish Texans, he arrived by ship in Georgia and began working as a merchant.  From Georgia he moved on to Mississippi and then Dallas.

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