Growing, Changing Dallas is a Real Estate Challenge and Opportunity

Not too long ago, the real estate buzzwords were location, location, location. Now, you’re just as likely to hear about walkability and the 24-hour city.

Property investors and developers are all about the urban experience and making cities more friendly to business and residents.

Dallas is doing a good job in the competition to lure new business and urban dwellers, top industry economist Hugh Kelly said last week at a local gathering of the Counselors of Real Estate.

“Since 1980 Dallas added nearly 3 million people,” Kelly said. “Dallas is growing and changing — it’s one of America’s fastest growing cities.”

The new urban developments are both downtown and in the suburbs.

“In the two or three years since I’ve been here last, downtown Dallas has been an extraordinarily positive source of change,” Kelly said.

He doesn’t think that what’s happening in new suburban boomtowns like Legacy West in Plano and CityLine in Richardson detracts from central Dallas.

“Those cities that have the strongest downtown cores support the greatest number of prosperous edge cities,” he said.

Dallas and other U.S. cities must prepare for even more density and more population in the years ahead, Kelly said.

“We are expecting to have a U.S. population of about 40 million more by the time we get to 2030,” he said. “Most of that population is going to be in metropolitan areas.”

That growth will be an opportunity and a challenge for Dallas and other big cities, he said.

“By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be in cities,” Kelly said. “What a real estate opportunity.”