Dallas’ Chief of Economic Development Raquel Favela Resigns

Favela

(Photo courtesy City of Dallas)

Raquel Favela, Dallas’ Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services, has given City Manager T.C. Broadnax her resignation, the city announced yesterday. Her resignation is effective Sept. 3.

Under her tenure, which began April 2017, Favela oversaw the city’s first data-driven Market Value Analysis framework, which helped city leaders, residents and others better suss out the local residential real estate market. That framework would also be valuable in crafting housing program policy.

A few months into the job, she told the Dallas Morning News about her first glimpse at the existing city housing policy, saying that as she examined the policy, she found “a disconnect from the policy statements and these programs and the realities on the ground.”

In the publication NextCity, Favela explained the framework’s value to the city’s housing policy.

“It lays the groundwork of what the current conditions are as it relates to real estate,” Favela said. “In concept, the idea of place-based investment is great, but you’ve got to know which place to select, it has to be based on some kind of analysis, that there is some market potential there.”

Between the data and the heart, Favela worked with council members and community members to craft a comprehensive housing policy that, the city said,  will “help the City achieve its goals of creating and maintaining available and affordable housing throughout Dallas, promoting greater fair housing choices, and overcoming patterns of segregation and concentrations of poverty through incentives and requirements.”

Favela also was involved in negotiating economic development projects the city said will create more than 2,000 new jobs and retaining 2,300 or so jobs. Those projects include the revamping and rehabbing of Red Bird Mall, Nokia’s new North American headquarters, Hillcrest Village Shopping Center, Becknell Industrial, and Vistaprint Manufacturing Texas, as well as a new manufacturing operation for WWF Operating Company.

In a letter to the city council and Mayor Mike Rawlings, Broadnax said that Favela “has continuously demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the quality of life for Dallas residents.”

“Under her leadership we have been able to strengthen our focus on fundamental neighborhood services, and identify short-term and long-term solutions to address revitalization efforts and economic development due diligence and strategies essential to the sustainability of our community,” he continued. 

Broadnax said he would be working on making adjustments to the organizational structure as Favela prepares to leave, and will begin a search for her replacement.

On Facebook, city council members Philip Kingston and Scott Griggs both reacted.

“Not sure quite how upset to be about this yet, but there’s no way to spin this as positive,” Kingston said. Griggs shared Broadnax’s letter to the council, and added that “one of TC’s rockstars has resigned.”

D Magazine’s Frontburner blog obtained Favela’s resignation letter, which indicates that she may have an opportunity to do the work she did in Dallas on a larger platform. She outlined the things she accomplished and added that all of this was done with the specter of Amazon’s decision about its second headquarters looming.

“All of this was done while leading the City’s response to the HQ2 RFP since September 2017, landing it as a finalist currently under consideration,” she said.

“I am proud of these and other accomplishments for the City, and I’ve enjoyed working on these very challenging tasks and building community partnerships to achieve win-win solutions,” Favela concluded. “As I now have a chance to do this on a national platform for other communities struggling with similar issues, I must seize that opportunity.”