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Downtown Dallas Has Another Decade Of Growth Ahead

Downtown Dallas isn't just poised to have another strong year in 2019. The area is ready for another decade of growth — like the last one — as the hub of an expanding major metro, according to three commercial real estate experts who will be speaking at Bisnow's Rise of Downtown Dallas event Jan. 24. 

Hamilton Properties CEO Larry Hamilton

There might be blips along the way, such as the impact of the next U.S. recession (which has to come sometime), but overall, Downtown has such momentum that any such slowdown would be temporary.

"It's hard to see how one could not be optimistic about the future of Downtown Dallas," Hamilton Properties CEO Larry Hamilton said.

Raw population growth is one factor. The Metroplex could become the nation's third-largest population center, ahead of Chicago, perhaps as soon as 2030. That will support urban core growth in Dallas.

There are more than 11,000 people living within Downtown, according to Downtown Dallas Inc. That is more than double the number of residents at the beginning of the 21st century. Within a 2-mile radius of Downtown — the organization calls this area City Center — there are more than 70,000 residents.

"Ten years ago, Downtown Dallas was a 12-hour neighborhood," Crescent Real Estate Managing Director John Zogg said. "Now we're approaching a 24-hour neighborhood. People are still moving Downtown, looking for live-work-play options. As more people move there, the more options there are, which attracts more people — a growth dynamic." 

Also, Downtown isn't just millennials, Zogg said. Both the rising generation after them, and the older generations before them, now have an interest in urban living.

But growth will mean more than people simply moving Downtown. It will involve the expansion of Dallas' urban core into a much more diversified place.

"The powerful growth within the freeway loop itself over the past two decades — plus the additional growth of the adjacent districts such as Uptown, Victory, Harwood, Deep Ellum and Farmers Market — will feed on each other to make Downtown Dallas a future colossus," Hamilton said.

Crescent Real Estate Managing Director John Zogg

Residential and office growth promise to support each other over the next decade in Downtown Dallas, as they have so far this decade.

"I'm optimistic about the demand for office space in Downtown Dallas," KDC Senior Vice President of Development Ryan McManigal said.

"Urbanization has been a trend since the Great Recession and I see that continuing. Downtown Dallas has seen a revitalization through several large office building renovations, as well as thousands of new multifamily units," McManigal said.

"An enormous amount of capital has been spent recently by the owners of Downtown Dallas properties," Zogg said. "That has gone toward various improvements, such as to lobbies and other common areas, and to upgrade underutilized buildings."

The improvements help fuel interest in working and living Downtown, Zogg said.

Parts of Downtown Dallas are also becoming more walkable — an important factor in the attractiveness of any urban core — especially as multifamily and office properties engage the street level in a way they never have before.

"Deep Ellum and Farmers Market have added a cool and walkable area close to Downtown, which helps create a strong office submarket," McManigal said.

"The voids in connectivity and walkability, Downtown’s major defect, are shrinking, making it even more attractive for development," Hamilton said. 

Hamilton, McManigal and Zogg will all be speakers at Bisnow's Rise of Downtown Dallas event on Jan. 24 at 501 Elm at Crescent West End.