“The Big D” gets a solid “A” for its resilient economy, anchored by a high concentration of Fortune 500 companies, abundant tourist attractions, and a larger-than-life retail presence. But one key factor has kept it going strong in the past few years: its ability to cushion the blow of (and quickly bounce back from) the Great Recession.
The 1980s saw a boom in the Dallas real estate market, and included the construction of several of Downtown’s skyline structures. Between the late 1980s and the early 2000s, though, the market steadied. Texas managed to avoid the housing bubble that rocked the rest of the nation, thanks in part to less mortgage distress, and was thus spared much of the hardship of the Great Recession. In recent years, Dallas has emerged as a major force in the global real estate economy. CBRE’s Global Investor Intentions Survey 2015 ranked the city #7 on its list of top ten cities internationally for commercial real estate investment.
That may come as a surprise to those whose only exposure to Dallas comes from the decades-old television series of the same name. But for residents, it’s simply the logical culmination of the city’s numerous competitive advantages.
First and foremost, Dallas offers a convenient, centralized location. Its position in the Central Time Zone can be helpful in maximizing communication opportunities on both coasts. In addition, it’s less than a four-hour flight to all of North America’s major cities. DFW International Airport, the second largest airport in the U.S. and the sixth busiest airport in the world, leads the city’s stellar transportation infrastructure. Dallas also links to the global community via two Class I railroads, five interstate highways, a regional transit rail system (DART), and a second major airport at Dallas Love Field.
The growing number of residents in the Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington (DFW) metro area signifies an upturn in the economy here. In fact, one-fifth of all Texans live in this region, making it the third most populous metro area in the nation. Small businesses make up nearly 80% of the 60,000+ companies in Dallas, while 100 corporate headquarters also call the city home. Fortune 500 companies in the area include AT&T, American Airlines, ExxonMobil, Frito-Lay, and Southwest Airlines.
Businesses reap the benefits of the 44 million visitors that flock to the DFW area annually. An abundance of retail shopping centers — more per capita than in any other U.S. city — draws in customers from near and far. The State Fair of Texas brings in approximately $350 million to the city each year, while professional sporting events and the 2,000,000-square-foot Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas attract visitors and residents all year ‘round.