shopping bag

This is so marginally real estate, except that every Californian I know is sending me fun emails tonight, saying, why move to Dallas? You guys are getting more like us every day? Like this email:

Hey, I heard you guys just got a bag ban. When are you going to change your name to Texia? Get ready to stockpile bags and be a bag lady. Be careful, though, to wash your shopping bags. Some folks here have picked up Listeria from meat contamination of vegetables.


No Fan of the Ban: Why We Are Paying 5 Cents Per Bag Starting Jan. 1

bag-litter-575x323 If you went to the store yesterday, you probably noticed that you were charged 5 cents for each plastic bag you grabbed to bag your groceries. Even worse: if you use the auto check outs like I do, the system was still a little messed up as it tried to determine the weight of your personal bag and figure out if you needed to be charged for store plastic bags and if so, how much. I was against this bag ban from the beginning, and most shoppers I encountered yesterday were as well. Lord knows what newcomers here will think. The problem is really litter and sloppy people. Why not fine people for littering rather than cause all of us an inconvenience and re-configuring of systems? Here is the wonderful Teresa Gubbins’ (CultureMap) take: love this girl, but don’t agree with her 100%. Honestly, I did not know folks were trying to blame this on President Obama! I thought it was all Dwaine Caraway. True, about 150 other cities and the looney state of California already do this, but that also means a whole lot more do not: there are about 20,000 cities in this country, and 48 other states. Here are Teresa’s myths, with my two cents added in. Which is probably all it’s worth. (more…)

Dallas 100 Gives a Nod to Small Real Estate Brokerages



If it seems like the lists of top-performing companies in national business magazines are populated by industry mammoths and impossibly large corporations, it’s because they are. Sure, economies of scale can help a company realize success relatively fast, but these lists leave the real, tangible successes of small businesses in the shadows.

Recognizing that these regional brands deserve distinction, the Caruth Institute at SMU’s Cox School of Business came up with the Dallas 100™ Entrepreneur Awards. This list is populated by “the unsung heroes of our economy,” according to the Caruth Institute. Within this list of the 100 fastest-growing privately held companies in North Texas were two residential real estate brands that have been burning up shoe leather in their bid to succeed: Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty (No. 20), and CLAY STAPP + CO. (No. 80).

“The incredible growth and performance of the Dallas 100™ winners is a tribute to the dynamic and vibrant entrepreneurial community in which we live,” said Jerry White, director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at SMU Cox. “The Dallas economy has been driven by entrepreneurs since its founding. With today’s entrepreneurs, investors and supporting professionals, the economic future of our area and beyond looks bright indeed.”

We agree, and it’s fantastic for these two regional brands to see such growth. Perhaps North Texas has fully recovered from the economic downturn now that we’re seeing brokerages post big numbers? At any rate, congratulations to Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s and CLAY STAPP + CO. on your Dallas 100 win!

Dallas Public Schools: Committed, For Now


Last week, I wrote about the decisions we have coming up regarding real estate, and our son’s education. And I love, love, love all the reader feedback and comments. This week? This week I’d like to talk about our thought process thus far.

My husband and I are products of public schools – albeit not in Dallas, since we both landed here as adults. But in our time as a couple, we have kept a watchful eye on our adopted hometown’s education offerings, and once Tiny became a waving little alien on an ultrasound screen, we began, in earnest, discussing what we would do.

We’re kind of planners. OK, more accurately, I’m a raging planaholic, and my husband is a planner. But this now-ongoing discussion needed to happen that early because it involved real estate – which, as we all know, is something you try not to go into willy nilly.

So we first took a look at the school we would be assigned to for elementary school – Withers Elementary. As luck would have it, we have several friends and acquaintances with children who were attending at the time, and at least one whose children are now attending. Nothing but raves. A dual-language program that has benefitted hundreds of children. Robust parental involvement. Great ratings from the TEA, and compares well with  many of the elementary schools in the area of similar size and make up. (more…)

This is a Real Estate blog, but many of us have concerns — and maybe even some panic — over our home, Dallas, now being Ground Zero for treating and burying the first Ebola victim in the United States.

THR logoIn New York, airplane-cabin cleaners for a Delta Air Lines Inc. contractor at LaGuardia Airport have gone on strike, partly due to concerns about the risk of Ebola and other hazards.  (more…)

Dried up river

The latest issue of Governing magazine has a story that all Texans should read, and then read again. The story’s title is self-explanatory — “Drought-Plagued Regions Struggle to Conserve Water and Make Money” — an issue with which much of North and West Texas are intimately familiar.


Highland HouseUpdate 9:40 a.m. Here is what Allyn says the residents were asked over the phone. Do you think it was misleading?

The Trammell Crow Company is planning to build a new development between Haskell Avenue and Carroll Avenue on the east side of Central Expressway anchored by a one-of-a-kind Sam’s Club and featuring three restaurants and a new fuel station. This will create some much-needed excitement for a high-traffic, visible area that has been underutilized for years.

Based on this information, and what you have heard about the plan for the development at Haskell and Central, do you support or oppose the plan?

Eat your Wheaties, Thursday is a big day at Dallas City Hall. The wonderful Highland House development Luke Crosland is trying to develop in Preston Center will be debated, and Laura Miller plans to show up and give ’em hell. Why she is so against this development baffles me. I think it’s a huge plus for Preston Center and the City of Dallas. Does Laura fear that she and Steve might face more leasing competition for their condo at the Athena?

The City Plan Commission will also debate whether to revisit last year’s zoning decision that gave us the current Sam’s Club CBRE Trammell Crow Co. has on tap for the southeast corner of Central Expressway and Carroll Avenue. I drove the ‘hood last evening, noted the flurry of new development, the apartments, the homes that still need to go bye-bye, and a few women pushing baby carriages. Seems like gentrification is trying it’s best to peep up in those parts. I just think it’s a dumb use of land, though I’m sure the big box will prove profitable to CBRE Trammell Crow. That Sam’s Club will go up a whole lot faster than some multi-family mixed with retail, which I would personally like to see there. (more…)

NO-to-Transwestern-DealI went to a neighborhood meeting for an un-named neighborhood several months ago. Some of the residents wanted to close off streets to a busy, busy street nearby to put a halt to wild-driving trucks and cars crashing into structures and gouging lawns on corner lots. It’s apparently a huge problem. I went because I was thinking of maybe moving into the neighborhood, and also to get to know another part of Dallas for this blog. (more…)