Each Friday, Robbie Briggs, CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, writes about luxury, trends, business and more in the advertising pages of the Mansion section of The Wall Street Journal. Below is his letter of August 27, 2021.
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE
One of my favorite parts of our virtual Monday-morning meetings — where the whole brokerage gets together to celebrate successes, talk about business and check in with each other — are the segments where we have guest experts tell us what’s going on in their worlds. We learn so much from them — and, I hope, vice versa.
We recently invited Evan Sheets, the V.P. of economic development and planning for Downtown Dallas, Inc., to give us an update on everything happening in the central business district. Some of the key things that Downtown Dallas, Inc. works hard on are fostering a vibrant, sustainable downtown, one that is culturally inclusive, and encouraging urban innovation, technology and economic competitiveness.
The numbers Evan gave us are astounding. Here are a few:
There is more than $4 billion in development happening downtown now, across 45 projects. There are more than 4,000 employers, and more than 135,000 employees.
About 13,000 people live downtown now — up from 300 in 2003, in the only residential high-rise at the time. For them, and all who visit, there are 500 restaurants and bars, 11 groceries and bodegas, 70 places to shop and 130 arts, music and cultural venues. On the green scene, there are 1,000 acres of parks and spaces, and almost 160 miles of urban hiking and biking trails.
Do you get the idea that downtown Dallas is a lovely place to live? It is, as evidenced by the 49 other residential projects that have joined that lone high-rise. Now, the penultimate place to live is HALL Arts Residences, at 28 stories tall and with homes that average a palatial 3,800 square feet. It is built with outstanding health-friendly features and jaw-dropping luxuries, including a wine room, wine cellar, catering kitchen, treatment room, dog park, pet spa and an open-air pool and putting green with the best views in Dallas.
Yes, downtown is on a roll — even through a global pandemic. Evan told us this eye-opener, too: “We saw no project that was planned before the pandemic stop or default during that time. That’s a really key factor that speaks to the health of the region.”