Photo courtesy Patrick McDonnell/Downtown Dallas Inc.

Photo courtesy Patrick McDonnell/Downtown Dallas Inc.

If the last year is any indication, 2015 is shaping up to be another banner year for real estate development in Downtown Dallas.

This is according to downtown advocates, urban planners, and real estate and development experts, who gathered Friday to talk about city living in downtown at a panel, sponsored by the Dallas Business Journal.

Moderated by John Crawford, President and CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc., an advocacy group for Downtown Dallas, the panel shared candid insights into past successes, lessons learned, and where the area is headed in the future.

“There’s a pretty distinct spirit and energy in Downtown Dallas and we’ve reached a point of permanency, as far as what downtown has become,” said Crawford. “Residentially, we continue to be about 94 percent occupancy in all the buildings that have been converted and the new construction and depending on who you talk to, we have between 6,000 and 8,000 units under construction from 2015 to 2017. There’s an urban lifestyle that is continuing to catch on down here.”

Panelists included Theresa O’Donnell, Chief Planning Officer for the city of Dallas; Yogi Patil, an Associate at HKS Architects Inc.; Steve Shepherd of the Downtown Residents Council; and Michael Tregoning, President of Headington Company. Jump to read more!

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Thanksgiving Tower 02Update, 4:48 p.m.: My source tells me there were 20 people in suits watching and three bidders. The whole thing lasted about 7 minutes. Some guy was on his cell phone updating his office on auction pricing. The pricing started at 55mm, went up in half million increments.

Sources tell me that Thanksgiving Tower just sold for $58,500,000 at the Dallas County courthouse steps foreclosure auction, bought back by the bank.

I was just thinking wowzers, that’s less than the Hicks Crespi estate, and I sure hope they had umbrellas down there today.