Ranks Downtown Dallas as No. 3 Boomtown in America

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The Deep Ellum district in downtown Dallas is home to a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Photo: Steve Rainwater via Creative Commons
The Deep Ellum district in downtown Dallas is home to a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Photo: Steve Rainwater via Creative Commons

We used to hear it all the time: “Nobody lives in downtown Dallas!

Well, that’s definitely not true anymore. In fact, has noticed the upswing in residential occupancy in downtown Dallas, ranking our urban core as the No. 3 fastest-growing neighborhood in America.

But what areas do count as “downtown Dallas”?

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 1.43.37 PM’s analysis calls the 75201 Zip code “downtown Dallas.” As you see, this area covers much more than just downtown Dallas as we normally consider the area, which is bounded by the Interstate 30 canyon on the south, Woodall Rogers on the north, Interstate 35 E on the west, and US 75 on the east. Several pockets of Uptown are also included, as well as a sliver of Deep Ellum and, interestingly enough, Fair Park. Hot areas such as the Farmers Market and Main Street area are included, as is the Dallas Arts District.

But the point is driven home by an interesting trend toward adaptive reuse of existing downtown Dallas infrastructure, which goofed a little bit, saying that the Dallas High School campus on Pearl and Bryan streets will be “replaced.”

As a next step, a long-vacant 108-year-old high school will be replaced by a new office and retail building, which should bring in employment and visitors.

Actually, that 108-year-old building is a huge success for both preservationists¬†and developer Matthews Southwest, who is investing more than $50 million to convert the historic building into retail and office space. The building, which is perfectly situated right across from the Pearl Street DART rail station, was in a state of extreme disrepair. It’s poised to become the crown jewel of the downtown rail gateway.

Another cool project that is actually gaining steam is the redevelopment of the First National Bank building, recently purchased out of bankruptcy by Maxwell Drever for a cool $240 million. The George Dahl-designed building at 1401 Elm has had a long-ish list of owners with big plans for the site, but Drever is doubling down on the building’s redevelopment, even going the eponymously named route of calling the complex The Drever.’s report says that it estimates the downtown Dallas will see a 14.9 percent increase in household growth over the next five years, tied with Miami. So there’s that.

With all the hubbub in our urban core, would you consider living downtown?

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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

Reader Interactions


  1. Downtown SOBs - aka Steve, Oliver, Bill says

    We considered living downtown 12 years ago, S&O selling a condo in Uptown and B a home in Bryan Place, and purchasing units in the heart of Downtown at Elm & Akard, 1505 Elm. We love it. S&O sold their first condo in the building and purchased a larger unit when it came available. Downtown is a true community where we have an extended family of real people. A place where age doesn’t matter, what you have doesn’t matter, what you drive doesn’t matter (because we walk everywhere or walk across the street and get on DART at the Akard Station OR take E-Frogs). It’s HOME!

    • mmJoanna England says

      That’s fantastic! I’ve always wanted to live downtown, but I’ve fallen in love with living by White Rock Lake and can’t imagine being anywhere else.

  2. dormand says

    There is a an opportunity to appropriate some of the arts magnetism of Manhattan that drives tourism and the compelling desire by those of us without one iota of talent to live amongst those in the performing arts.

    Performance companies in NYC are losing their practice lofts to companies who are willing to pay as much as five times the current rent to get space now used by the companies.

    Those who have made the commitment to try to break through into the arts accept that they will have to be in poverty until they break through into their chosen field, assuming that they do not have overly indulgent parents.

    If Dallas could establish an overriding goal to become a meaningful power in the performing arts in this country, it could transform industrial and commercial space that is now vacant into practice space with nearby and very low cost living quarters. Air conditioning would be essential, given the projected increases in temperature for Dallas.

    As areas become established as preferred locations for the creative arts performers to live, well established real estate patterns have proven that these are sought out by those who prefer to live in the proximity of artists.

    This, in turn, increases real estate values, so it is a continuing process to continually find low cost sites for artist accommodations.

    When one looks at the global tourism that is driven by the performing arts in NYC, it is easy to see that this could do wonders for the future of the DFW area, particularly given our critical mass of world class museums and air travel infrastructure.

  3. Ryan Cox says

    Downtown, I love it so. I want to live Downtown so bad, but the wife isn’t convinced yet with 3 kids in school. Jo, we are doing a beautiful renovation on our Casa View Haven home that we’ve owned for 10 years (hoping to be your Tuesday $200k in the next month or so) and I want to reinvest in a Downtown condo, looking at the more affordable 75202.

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