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Forest Park Medical Center: More Like Krispy Kreme, or a ‘Gold-plated House of Popsicle Sticks’?

After writing about it for our business magazine and online for D Healthcare Daily, which he edits, D CEO Senior Editor Matt Goodman has become the go-to guy for reporting on the head-spinning collapse of the Forest Park Medical Center chain. Now Matt’s insights have been tapped by Lauren Silverman at KERA News, which ran a good synopsis of the luxury-hospital fiasco this week.

Likening once-fast-growing Forest Park to a “gold-plated house of Popsicle sticks,” Silverman quotes a Minnesota healthcare analyst who says the chain’s meltdown reminded him of what happened after Krispy Kreme opened several stores in the Twin Cities: “There was a huge amount of buzz, there were reports about cars lining up blocks long to get Krispy Kreme donuts and after a few months the excitement died out, [and] within about two years, all four stores had closed.”

6 Dallas-Fort Worth Real Estate Stories to Watch in 2016

Dallas-Fort Worth was recently selected by the Urban Land Institute and PWC as the country’s No. 1 real estate market for 2016. The highly respected ranking is based on expected performance in investment, development, and homebuilding. It credits DFW’s impressive employment growth for the market’s rise to the top—growth that’s supported by a business-friendly environment and attractive cost of doing business and cost of living.

The outlook for North Texas in 2016 is strong across all property types, in both investment and development potential. So, where do the greatest opportunities lie? Over at D Real Estate Daily, we’ve come out with our list of six things to watch this year.

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Quiz: How Well Do You Know DFW’s Business Elite?

You may have heard about our newest publication, the Dallas 500. Produced by the editors of D CEO (after months of research and hundreds of interviews), it includes insider tidbits about the most powerful business leaders in North Texas.

Over the next few weeks, we’re giving you the chance to test your knowledge about these movers and shakers.

Take the quiz below.

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Leading Off (1/6/16)

Two of Susan Hawk’s Former Top Employees Join Effort to Oust DA. The legal effort to oust Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk got a boost yesterday when two of her former top lawyers filed sworn affidavits that outlined her “bizarre behavior” and characterized her tenure as “paranoid and erratic.” The affidavits say the two lawyers even considered contacting the governor about their boss, a public official whose pupils sometimes “did not respond to light.”

Wyly Family Head to Court Today For Mega Bankruptcy Trial. Now that he has unloaded his personal art collection in a record-breaking sale, billionaire entrepreneur Sam Wyly and his sister-in-law Dee Wyly head to court today to begin what is shaping up to be one epic bankruptcy proceeding. Besides the high stakes – the Wylys are accused of owing $2 billion in back taxes, penalties and interest for hiding income in offshore trusts in the Isle of Man – the trial is expected to be incredibly long for a bankruptcy case (the judge has set aside four weeks). The IRS will introduce 1,270 exhibits in their effort to prove that Sam and his late-brother Charles masterminded one of the largest tax frauds in U.S. history.

Obama’s Gun Sale Surge. The president’s executive action on gun control has prompted a rush on gun stores, which have been selling weapons and ammunition like hot cakes according to a store owner in Garland.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Dallas Sports. Deron Williams hit a buzzer beater in the second overtime to push the Mavs over the Kings, and slumping superstars Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn were benched for the last 12 minutes of the skidding Dallas Stars’ loss to the New York Rangers. And here’s the latest solution to end the Cowboys’ misery from Jerry Jones, perhaps the greatest mind in the history of professional football general managers: “We need to draft another Troy Aikman.”

Why Are We Even Talking About a New East-West Highway Through Dallas?

Yesterday’s news that General Motors has invested $500 million in the mustachioed ride-sharing service Lyft, with plans for the building of a fleet of self-driving cars, is yet another sign of the massive transformation under way in America’s transportation systems.

As Goldman Sachs noted in a report last year, only 15 percent of Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000, the largest generation in our country’s history) consider it “extremely important” to own a car. Fully 30 percent of this cohort say they have no plans to buy a car in the near future. They are far more comfortable than pre-Reagan Era folks are with the “sharing economy.” They’re happy to rely on services like Lyft and Uber (as well as public transit) to get around.

GM isn’t the first automaker to read these tea leaves. BMW is behind car-sharing service DriveNow and Daimler AG has Car2Go.

So why is the North Central Texas Council of Governments continuing to operate as if its past assumptions about the growth of vehicle traffic on our roads remain valid? Isn’t talk about the need for a new east-west highway across Dallas ignoring important evidence?

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Leading Off (12/30/15)

Details Emerge from Ethan Couch’s Arrest. Good reporting here from WFAA. Couch and his mother were apparently arrested after one of them ordered pizza. They were reportedly staying in what looks like a rundown, cheap hotel, and Ethan frequented a nearby store where he would eat by himself in the back. And they may have had a going away party before they fled.

Tonya Couch Might Serve More Time Than Ethan. That’s according to Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson. Tonya will likely be charged with a felony that could come with 10 years in prison. But because Ethan Couch is still in the juvenile justice system — a hearing to move his case to the adult system is scheduled for January — his run South of the border will probably cost him no more than 120 days in jail. Read more about the Couch family’s background here.

Lawmakers Promise Action on Lewisville Dam. Representative Michael Burgess from Lewisville, along with Eddie Bernice Johnson and Pete Sessions from Dallas, met with the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News earlier this week and promised to make sure a giant wall of water doesn’t flood downtown.

Tornado Damage Estimated at 1.2 Billion Dollars. Early estimates from insurance companies say claims from the horrific storms could total more than $1.2 billion. In some places there is utter devastation and ruin. Senator Ted Cruz is expected to visit later today.

Leading Off (12/17/15)

DART discusses new downtown line today. Two public meetings today will be held to talk about the second downtown Dallas light-rail route. Which path the route will take is still up in the air: Dallas City Council and the DART board prefer one along Jackson Street as opposed to another proposed route along Young Street. Wood Street is a third option. May the best light-rail route win.

Former Oak Cliff teacher accused of assaulting 7-year-old girl. 65-year-old John Graham Leddy, a former Oak Cliff charter school teacher, was arrested by DPD on the charge of sexually assaulting a girl, 7 at the time, earlier this year. Leddy, who taught bilingual classes at Life School, confessed to the abuse. He met the girl while tutoring her 10-year-old brother after school and assaulted her in different classrooms after bribing her with candy bars. Absolutely vile.

New arts district tower in the works. Lincoln Property is breaking ground on an office high-rise, 25 stories tall, at the corner of Woodall Rogers and Pearl, right next to the Meyerson. It will be 260,000 square feet of metal and glass and is set to open in 18 months. The building will include restaurants, retail areas, and a whole lot of office space—another ironic addition to the Arts District.

Salvation Army receives 95 silver dollars, or $1,400. A Salvation Army red kettle outside a Mansfield Kroger got a larger-than-usual donation this week. Between two trips, a woman gave 95 silver dollars, the equivalent of $1,400, to the outpost. She told the bell ringer that the dollars were part of her husband’s estate. When compared to the Salvation Army’s average net of $300 a day per red kettle, this was a particularly generous gift that will go toward giving Christmas items to those in need.

Another Week, Another Abominable Story About a Historic Teardown

Is there even a point in getting angry anymore? I mean, there have been so many stories about Dallas erasing its past that the immediate spike in my blood pressure that came after reading about the latest pending tear down of a historic structure seems like a complete waste of energy. I thought this city was beyond this, all the trashing of itself for the sake of the stupid. But apparently not.

The latest? Well, one of my favorite buildings in the city, the Meadows Building on Central Expressway, is going to have one of its wings “amputated.” To be fair, it’s not a Dallasite to blame. The Chicago real estate company GlenStar Properties wants to tear down the three story section of the Meadows that runs parallel to Greenville Ave. Why? The ugly-as-hell Davaco/Energy Square building that sits behind it is tough to get to, so GlenStar is going to tear down a chunk of the Meadows to make a driveway.

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The Texas Rangers Are Punking Us, Right?

There’s a presser this morning about the new $200-million boondoggle fever-dream development announced for the land near Globe Life Park in Arlington. The big reveal? They’re calling it “Texas Live!”

This is a joke, right? Or is it 1986 again and no one told me?

So much to dissect in that logo. The exclamation point! (They maybe should’ve asked “Jeb!” how well his has worked out.) And there’s the mix of the Rangers official fake-old-timey font with the word “Live” looking like it was scrawled in lipstick on the cover of a Jackie Collins novel.

We should all be able to agree with this, though: “Texas Live!” is a better name for a dog than “Story.”

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So This Explains That Talk About Texas Rangers Moving to Dallas

Over the weekend we learned that the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and the city of Arlington are working on a “public-private partnership” (read: $50 million in tax breaks) to spur a $200 million mixed-use development on land near Globe Life Park.

Of course, we’ve been down this road before when it comes to grand new pictures being drawn of shiny buildings at that location teeming with restaurants, shops and foot traffic. When George W. Bush and co. convinced Arlington voters to provide $200 million in public subsidies (not to mention permit the massive, government-sanctioned land grab that building the stadium necessitated), the promise was that much of the surrounding real estate would be developed. Didn’t happen.

In 2006, the next owner, Tom Hicks, drew up his own set of renderings for a project dubbed GloryPark. Didn’t happen.

Does it expose my skeptical, cynical heart that I assume this news explains why we had that spate of stories in October speculating that the Rangers might pull up stakes and move to Dallas? The team was just quietly laying the groundwork to get the best deal possible from Arlington?

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There Wasn’t That Much Good News at SMU Economic Forecast Session

While the North Texas economy continues to be relatively healthy—especially in the real estate sector—the outlook is much bleaker for the country as a whole. That was the consensus of a group of business-school academics at today’s eighth annual SMU Cox Economic Outlook Panel at Southern Methodist University. The panel’s tone was set by Albert […]

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Oak Cliff Ice House Demonstrates Need to Expand City’s Registry of Historic Places

Before it grew into the global corporate behemoth known as 7-Eleven, the Southland Ice Company was founded in a little shack at the corner of Edgefield and 12th in Oak Cliff. As the convenience store chain grew, it expanded operations, eventually constructing a much larger ice house on the corner of Page and Polk streets just a few blocks south of the original location. The building was started in 1908 and completed in 1915. Through the late-1990s and 2000s, the old Southland Ice Company ice house served as a cultural center. Since then, the building has sat vacant. And you know what we do in Dallas when historic buildings sit vacant: we tear them down.

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Will New Arts District Plan Fare Better Than Sasaki’s Original Vision?

The Dallas Arts District, the nonprofit organization that advocates for the northeast corner of downtown, put out a press release this morning announcing that it had selected design firm NBBJ to create a new Community Development Plan.

Whatever NBBJ comes up with will replace the Sasaki Plan, which has been the district’s planning guide since 1983. How much of Sasaki’s vision has come to fruition? Well, here’s the firm’s description of Flora Street:

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