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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If you are going to buy investment property, you want a place where your home/land etc. is going to appreciate, right? And we all know the messages received across most of the country is fat chance, bubba. Sure, real estate in (drowning) Phoenix and Vegas is so cheap you can buy a home once listed at $1.5 million for $500,000. But here’s the thing: what are you going to do with it? Lease it, OK, to who? Where are the jobs, where are the people moving in to work and lease from you. I told a client the other day, if you want to invest in real estate, at least buy in Texas where we have decent job growth, universities, and a youthful age demographic.

Now comes word that Fort Worth, Texas grew 38.6 percent in the last decade, beating the bejesus out of every other Texas community. Even Houston, which is not too shabby, and San Antonio, where I have had zero problems leasing a rental property — multiple calls per day. Here are the stats from the Fort Worth Star Telegram of the largest counties in Texas: Tarrant county is third, behind Harris and Dallas. The way I see it, I want to buy investment property where people are moving and working, so I may be looking for some good buys in Fort Worth. Holler if you see any.