IMG_8912I was in San Francisco last week for Inman Real Estate Connect. Loved it, as ever. Saturday, I got a Change.com petition launched by Rob Hahn (a Texan, Houston, and a pretty smart guy) to change the location of the conference OUT of San Francisco’s Tenderloin to somewhere else:

ICSF is a great event held in a horrifyingly bad location. Whether we’re getting more sensitive, or the vagrants and panhandlers around the Hilton are getting worse, things have never been as bad as they were this year. We are now actually afraid and worried about our physical safety. Networking with our industry peers should not have to include fending off a half-dozen super aggressive panhandlers, or getting screamed at by mentally unstable homeless people, or dealing with sexual harassment from vagrants. It’s time. Move the ICSF conference out of the Tenderloin.The homeless problem in San Francisco is bad and getting worse

Naturally, I said come to Texas. Just not in August.

I’m debating whether to sign the petition. I can definitely relate. I, too, heard a lot of complaints. Clay Stapp and James Bohan-Pitt saw gals shooting up heroin on the street, which is an everyday occurrence. Another exhibitor told me he had all his brand new Apple computers stolen out of his car the very first night of the conference, resulting in a scramble to get new computers overnight in order to stock his booth the subsequent days. A lot of agents complained about stepping over the homeless and their garbage/pee. I was horrified to see it’s no longer men and pets panhandling but women cradling infants with begging cups. And the day I arrived in San Francisco — after a super early morning flight, lost luggage, no food and little sleep — I learned real estate is not the only inflated commodity. (more…)

Victory Park is poised for a renaissance, and a new residential tower could help fuel new growth. (Photo: Victory Park)

Victory Park is poised for a renaissance, and a new residential tower could help fuel new growth.

Our appetite for high-rise residential evidently knows no bounds, as Richardson-based Genesis Real Estate Group has announced yet another high-rise project planned for the urban core. This project, a 28-story high-rise at Hi Line Drive and Houston Street inside Victory Park, was designed by Houston-based architecture firm EDI, according to Dallas Morning News reporter Steve Brown. Genesis is the 30-year-old firm that brought the 603-unit 3225 Turtle Creek, AKA The Renaissance, online.

Brown says that there are other high-rise projects in the works by Greystar, Novare Group and Lennar Multifamily. One has to wonder if we are perhaps biting off more than we can chew with all these new high-rise condo developments. Still, I’m optimistic that this project could usher in more foot traffic to Victory Park, which has so much potential but lacks the critical mass of residents to support a lot of retail and restaurants.

What do you think?

 

 

Addison7

The iconic roundabout namesake of Addison Circle. The story of its design, below…

By Amanda Popken
Special Contributor

For a whirlwind four days, hundreds of the world’s top urban planners, engineers, developers, and real estate professionals descended on Dallas to share best practices, data, and ideas about making our cities great. Attendees of the Congress for the New Ubanism‘s #CNU23 tend to seem a bit crazy for walkable neighborhoods, but in truth they respect a healthy balance of all densities and development types. Problem is, there’s far more demand for walkable places than there are walkable places. Especially in D-FW, where 68 percent of residents would like to live in a walkable neighborhood at some point in their lives, but only 4 percent of the real estate in Dallas is in a walkable environment and only 1.5 percent of D-FW is walkable.

This year’s most inspiring conversations included a call to action to build equitable and sustainable places, to be the innovators and thought leaders who will invent the “Just City.” A conversation about “Public Spaces People Love” highlighted Southwest Airlines’ Heart of the Community program in partnership with Project for Public Spaces to support the development of places people love in SWA destination cities.

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Blue-Walkable Places Ad-CNU-smallest

 

The Congress for the New Urbanism’s 23rd annual Congress (CNU 23), is in Dallas-Fort Worth this week, today through Saturday. CNU is the nation’s leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development; sustainable communities; and healthier living conditions.

This year’s theme, “Meeting the Demand for Walkability,” was coined after learning that 68 percent of D/FW residents of all ages want to live in a walkable neighborhood at some point in their life, yet only 4 percent of the Dallas market and 1.5 percent of the greater D/FW market offer a home in a walkable area. The idea isn’t that Uptown is for everyone, but that the demand for Uptown is so high because the supply is so low. (You see the opportunity here — great walkable neighborhoods all over DFW.)

If this piques your interest, there are a few ways you can join the conversation for free. Jump to find out more

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Alex Gavin Yale

I don’t know about you, but when I have to make a pretty vital decision, I try to get as many opinions as possible. As many educated opinions from people far smarter than I. Maybe we need to do this on the Trinity Parkway/Tollway/Parkway?

Thursday night in New York City (where I am attending Inman Connect NYC), I attended a lecture by Alexander Garvin, a noted American urban planner, educator, and author. He has a private architectural practice at Alexander Garvin & Associates in New York City, and is an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Architecture. He also happens to be the man responsible for Atlanta’s greenbelt system. We saw the system in action at NAREE a year and a half ago when the conference was held in Atlanta. Basically, Atlanta had this railroad track running almost a circle around the city, and it was Garvin who suggested turning it into a connected greenbelt. When I told him how we had toured the Ponce City Market (an old Sears Roebuck warehouse turned multi-use foodie nirvana), he was charmed. I told him how I saw joggers utilizing those trails and how they were inspiring private development real estate projects. He, in turn, told me that his book, The Planning Game: Lessons From Great Cities, has a picture of our own Katy Trail in Dallas, which he admires. That too, I told him, is stimulating development.

planning game (more…)

Dense apartments

141% since 2000? This according to a study by UCLA researchers, who say it is the highest price increase in the nation.

Without adjusting for inflation, other cities to see jumps are Washington, D.C. at 105 percent, San Diego at 101 percent, San Francisco at 89 percent, New York City at 73 percent, Seattle at 67 percent, and Chicago at 25 percent. Dallas barely squeaked onto the list at 39%, but at least we nudged out other Texas cities. Plus all these cities built more housing units than Los Angeles did during this time frame. (more…)

BA Norrgard is taking her tiny house on tour, but the Dallas native is hoping living small will catch on in her hometown.

BA Norrgard is taking her tiny house on tour, but the Dallas native is hoping living small will catch on in her hometown.

We’ve been following BA Norrgard and her quest to live small — tiny even! — in a hand-built home after divesting herself of her mortgage and working to help people simplify, simplify, simplify. And as much as I love her mission, I have to wonder if Norrgard’s work is ever going to pay off. Can the people of Dallas, a place whose very motto is “Big Things Happen Here,” live small?

Perhaps the real question is this: Can we appreciate time outside, putting more emphasis on experience and less on material things? That’s what Katie Arnold asked in her essay for Outside magazine:

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Uptown Then and Now

For the longest time, the story of how Uptown came to be successful centered around greedy developers wanting to build towers and condos for only those who could afford it. But Patrick Kennedy of “Car Free in Big D” paints a much more nuanced picture of how Dallas’ most walkable neighborhood came about.

Jump for an excerpt.

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