As Mike Rawlings told the Dallas Morning News editorial board recently, he’s “a numbers guy.” So anchoring all the puffery in his new mayor’s letter was one solid factoid: “According to a recent Forbes study, Dallas is now the fourth fastest-growing city in the country.” Wait, what? I mean, without even checking, I instinctively knew that wasn’t true, not by a long shot. What was this claim doing here? I had to get to the bottom of this.Full Story
Stumbled on this interesting report from a few of months ago that looks at what cities attract college graduates. According to data assembled by the think tank City Observatory, “The number of college-educated people age 25 to 34 living within three miles of city centers has surged, up 37 percent since 2000, even as the total population of these neighborhoods has slightly shrunk.” Why is this significant? Well, because the movement of young people and the places that attract them can help provide “a map of the cities that have a chance to be the economic powerhouses of the future,” the article asserts.
The economic effects reach beyond the work the young people do, according to Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of “The New Geography of Jobs.” For every college graduate who takes a job in an innovation industry, he found, five additional jobs are eventually created in that city, such as for waiters, carpenters, doctors, architects and teachers.
“It’s a type of growth that feeds on itself — the more young workers you have, the more companies are interested in locating their operations in that area and the more young people are going to move there,” he said.
So what cities will be the economic powerhouses of the future? Not Dallas, apparently.Full Story
Reading this article by Richard Florida about the mobility of the creative class mostly made me realize how little I know about Richard Florida and his “creative class” theory. Sure, I’ve heard the general takeaway: that knowledge-based workers drive economic development and urban growth. But here he talks about a recent study that drills into details, breaking apart this “class” into three forms: synthetic, analytic, and symbolic. Each segment shows different patterns of movement. Dallas comes close to the top in two categories.Full Story
Last night the Dallas Morning News held a
campaign event panel discussion hosted by Mayor Mike Rawlings at Adamson High School in Oak Cliff to discuss financing and investment in Dallas’ southern sector. What brought me out, in part, was Dallas Fed chair Richard Fisher, who was to speak. But I was also intrigued by the promise of looking at issues of poverty, race, and southern Dallas development within the context of the financial services industry, an important, though often overlooked, ingredient in the legacy of blight and disinvestment in the southern sector.
The stage was set: the Three Generals of the Trinity Toll Road — former City Manager Mary Suhm, former city council member Craig Holcomb, and North Central Texas Council of Governments transportation director Michael Morris — in the same room as a council member who rides bikes with Better Block’s Jason Roberts and the guy who launched the campaign to tear down I-345. And all five were going to have a moment on the mic — all in front of the rapt, gracious attention of an old-school Dallas business association. It sure felt like a potential moment.Full Story
The special flight left Virgin’s former home at DFW International Airport and soared high over Dallas for about an hour. (It’s normally a five-minute flight, but Virgin wanted to stretch things out.)Full Story
Just over five months ago, Dallas residents and the City Council were surprised to learn that the city of Dallas had secretly commissioned a study that supported city staff’s determination that the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division had erred when it determined that Virgin America, rather than Southwest Airlines, should receive the two American Airlines gates that American had determined it no longer needed.
Cheered on by the city of Fort Worth, here and here, Dallas city staff proceeded to throw all sorts of roadblocks up against what should have been a straightforward lease approval. The process quickly devolved into a national farce, possibly because the idea that allowing one airline to control 90 percent of the gates at an airport would serve competitive interests is ridiculous on its face. Council Member Vonciel Jones Hill featured prominently, arguing that the city (she?) was in a better position than both the contracting parties (American Airlines and Virgin America) and the Department of Justice to determine what was best for the citizenry. Finally, after weeks of opaque, behind-the-scenes machinations at City Hall (during which time Virgin was compelled to launch a high-cost public relations campaign, and Sir Richard Branson was compelled to interrupt his vacation for a trip to Dallas to beg for the gates as part of an effort that directed critical international spotlight to what appeared to be crony capitalism at work), Virgin was finally given the green light by city staff to actually take possession of the gates that appeared to have been rightfully its own from the outset.
Fast forward to this past week: once again, residents and elected officials found themselves surprised to learn that city staff had taken action to thwart an airline’s ability to operate at Love Field.Full Story
While scrolling through my Facebook timeline the other day, I was startled by a post from something called “Dallas Economic Development” which trumpeted the “fact” that “Dallas is a top 10 city for affluent residents.” This leapt out at me, because I suspected it to be untrue, so I decided to dig further.
Checking the Facebook page for “Downtown Economic Development,” I discovered that it is sponsored by the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, which “supports existing and prospective businesses and the development and redevelopment of downtown and neighborhoods in southern Dallas.” Hmm … seemed legit, so far. To the extent I had any remaining doubts about the veracity of this “fact,” the Downtown Economic Development post referenced a Dallas Morning News blog post by Pamela Yip headlined “Dallas vaults into top 10 population centers for affluent.”
Hmm … I know Ms. Yip to be pretty careful when it comes to her writing, so I decided to press on. Her post made the claim that “Dallas and Houston were big beneficiaries of the trends, leading in the growth of high net worth individuals and wealth. The cities recorded the most aggressive rates of wealth growth among the affluent, both in 2013 and in the last five years, the report said. The cities also were the largest gainers in the growth of affluent residents.” Now I was definitely intrigued, as this simply did not square with the city of Dallas that I know.Full Story
We spoke with ADE Dallas Regional Manager Jack O’Neal, who will be leading the firm’s new office, about what we can expect to see from ADE going forward.Full Story
Eighty five percent of Dallas/Fort Worth-area chief financial officers plan to hire full-time professional employees to expand or fill vacant positions in the next six months, according to a study by staffing firm Robert Half.Full Story
Yesterday Gallup published a poll (see the map above) of the percentages of people in each of the United States who have a desire to move from their state. Texas was on the lowest end of the spectrum, with only 24 percent of us wanting to get out. Only Montana, Hawaii, and Maine (23 percent each) residents like where they are more.
It’s not surprising to see how many Texans are satisfied with their situation. With our relatively strong economy, relatively low cost of living, and our ridiculous sense of self-worth and belief in the exceptional nature of the Land of Friends, it’s to be expected.Full Story
The little town of Westlake, north of Fort Worth, boasts the highest average annual household income ($526,590) among all North Texas neighborhoods. That’s good enough for 12th richest in the nation based on an analysis by geographer Stephen Higley who’s ranked the top 1,000 based on 2006-2010 Census Bureau data.
The very top of the list is occupied by ritzy suburbs of New York, D.C., Miami, and Los Angeles. Only Chicago has an inner-city neighborhood in the 10 richest. “The Golden Triangle” of Greenwich, Conn., outdoes everybody with a mean household income of $614,242.
Here’s the entire list of the 35 Dallas-Fort Worth neighborhoods that appear in the Higley 1,000:Full Story
The United Kingdom is having its own debate about the costs and benefits of allowing natural gas drilling via hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking), so the Guardian newspaper came to the tiny Denton County community of Ponder to see what life next to gas wells is like.Full Story
Death Threats and Support in Texas. Lots of good Ted Cruz reading/watching here. Death threats. Texas support. Texas tour. And CNN’s interesting interview with the Republican Senator that aired Sunday. It discusses his “rock star” status in Texas, his reputation in Washington, his fascination with social media, and just who he believes is at fault […]Full Story
The Atlantic made itself a bar graph showing that between 2009 and 2012 (years of economic recovery from the Great Recession), Dallas and our often-moist neighbors to the south outpaced the rest of the 10 biggest metropolitan areas in the United States in terms of GDP growth. DFW’s economy grew 19.1% while Houston’s gain was […]Full Story