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The Jim Cantore of CRE

Dallas-Fort Worth
The Jim Cantore of CRE
Our past few issues prove we're similar to the Weather Channel star in our headline: we love forecasts across the Metroplex. Only a few more to go, but when there may be positive  indicators, its hard to put the ol’ dog down.
Village Homes co-founder Rob Sell

At the Tarrant County Commercial Real Estate Forecast, Village Homes co-founder Rob Sell said infill residential shows signs of life: increases in affordability; interest rates inching upward after historic lows; equity market rebounds restoring confidence; and consumer confidence trending upward, with DFW well ahead of the national trend. But, with the good comes the bad: job losses; frugality being in fashion; and tightened lending parameters and regulation restraining demand in the condo market.

The Jim Cantore of CRE

The Westside market features continuing movement and Bisnowdrove through the Arts District and down West Seventh St to snap the up-and-coming homes. The ArtHouse at So7 by Hughes has 54 condos complete with 28 sold and 11 gallery homes complete with nine sold. Cost: from the $200s to the $420s. Luxury senior living can be found (but not until 2011) at The Stayton (developed by Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation), a few blocks south of So7. With 200 units planned, the project already has 150 pre-sold.

Montgomery Plaza

Across the street is Montgomery Plaza, which Rob calls the beacon project of West Fort Worth. The historic building was repositioned from a dying Montgomery Ward shopping center into 240 luxury residences with 178 contracts in place. Completed in May 2009, the units are priced from the $210s to $1.45 million(depending on if the room comes with HBO). We snapped this pic and even bypassed Gloria’s despite the urge for a pupusa or refried black beans. Rob’s predictions for 2010: a strong buyers market as excess urban inventory and tighter lending restrictions absorb and curb demand well into 2011; and conforming mortgage rates rising 2% by Oct. 1.

Makens Company prez James Makens

Makens Company prez James Makens’ reminds us we're lucky to live in Texas—last into the recession and going to be the first out. Interesting retail tidbit: DFW has a larger concentration of Wal-Marts than any major US metropolitan area. Since 04, it has been the #1 grocer in the area, too. His good news: We’re leading the nation in population growth; unemployment has declined from previous months; cost of living is 9.1% lower than the national average, fifth lowest in the US; and no income tax.

Belk at Alliance Town

It was strictly business that lured us to the state’s top performing Belk at Alliance Town Center, currently 94% leased. The neighboring JC Penney has been the best performing store (out of 1100)nationally for the last two years. James calls Montgomery Plaza (mentioned above) a pioneer among FW lifestyle centers, at 93% occupied, losing only one 2k SF tenant in 2009. His 2010 predictions: sale prices fall, as do rents and occupancy; CAP rates rise; no new construction except grocery anchored centers; and assets that sell early in 2010 will bring higher prices than later in 2010.