Panelists Corey Clothier (Mobility e3), Rod Schebesch (Stantec), Kelley Coyner (Mobility e3) and Tom Yardley (Stantec)

We’re starting to see the impact that self-driving, autonomous vehicles will have on real estate development. It corresponds, interestingly ,with the same trends we saw in the recent WalkUp Wake Up Call for DFW: these will be two major real-estate-driven boons to our local economy that will change the landscape of our cities over the next few decades.
If you’ve been following the autonomous vehicle conversation, you know there are LOTS of different companies working on AV technology with a variety of different applications, from long-haul platooning to neighborhood delivery robots and everything in between. Experts from Mobility e3 & Stantec broke down the real estate impacts of AVs at a panel discussion hosted by Munsch Hardt law firm.
Bottom line, the AV technology with the greatest impact on local real estate development will be the AVs adept at navigating high pedestrian densities. That is, once the novelty wears off and people stop jumping out, playing with, and laying in front of them, making for a very long and jerky ride. There are a few companies honing this technology for high-density, mixed-use areas where originations and destinations are within relatively close proximity. Navya is one. It’s a French company that built one of the first driverless vehicles and has been operating a driverless shuttle minibus in Las Vegas. They just delivered a public bus fleet to Oslo, Norway.
All but one of the prototype vehicles in use in the U.S. now are small vehicles carrying 4-8 passengers.


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!


Jamie hugged her home today. That’s because it won’t be long before she has to say goodbye to it, forever.

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver and Larry Oliver are selling their very first home. While we all know that change is good, you’ve got to move on, that’s the way the dice rolls blah blah blah, we also know that some of us get very attached to homes, particularly the very first one we bought as newlyweds, notably one we poured not just our heart and soul into, but our backs and fingers. (And concrete!) For Larry and Jamie, it’s more than sweat equity: they purchased a brand-new town home in 2007, in the Cedars, an industrial-funky Dallas neighborhood south of downtown and I-30 undergoing an urban transformation with new townhomes, apartments, Dart’s Cedars Station, the loft/retail development South Side on Lamar, the Dallas Police Headquarters, plus Gilley’s Dallas and Poor David’s Pub. Jamie and Larry snapped up one of those townhomes, and it is the  understatement of the year to say they merely added some of their own touches. Their home looks nothing like the neighbor’s. Where to begin? They designed the custom tiles, the fireplace, stained the concrete floors and cabinets black, and added a vintage claw foot bath tub in the master bath. On the neat back patio is a massive concrete table that stays with the house — “we poured the concrete ourselves”. The table is so secure the couple hid under it during recent Dallas storm activity.

But they made a decision to move on because they need more space, and their home is on the market. They would like a large, leafy yard and, as Jamie says, Larry really wants a swimming pool, “that’s it in a nutshell.”

And they may be needing an extra bedroom or two someday, hint hint.

So where are they looking? Oak Cliff or Lakewood, mostly because of affordability. But Jamie says she really likes the vibe of Oak Cliff, how it feels like Austin, and has homes with great old bones that are not cookie cutter.

“Everything’s different and unique,” she says.

And they like the trees and rolling hills. Unlike most “turn-key” couples buying today, Jamie and Larry are creatives — they scout products and produce photo shoots for a living—Jamie as the art director for D Home and D Weddings and Larry as a designer for Neiman Marcus’ The Book.

“We don’t want something already done that won’t fit our taste,” says Jamie. “We want to make cosmetic, not structural changes.”

The budget is $400,000 or less, and here’s a house Jamie has found that she likes. No buying until the homestead is under contract. So, sweet readers, send us some help and listings. Let’s help Jamie and Larry find another home to hug!