Photo courtesy of Steve Rainwater via a Creative Commons license

Photo courtesy of Steve Rainwater via Creative Commons

When I learned to drive in the 90s, my dad had two big rules: Don’t run out of gas and don’t drive anywhere near Downtown Dallas, particularly at night.

We were suburban dwellers, used to wide streets, manicured lawns, and regularly scheduled trash pickups. Much of Downtown Dallas was gritty and graffitied, all business by day, and practically vacant at night, except for the club scene in Deep Ellum and restaurants in the West End Historic District.

It’s not just downtown that was affected—for decades, people have been moving to the suburbs in Dallas and across the country. For example, nationally, the suburbs grew at an annual average rate of 1.38 percent, compared to 0.42 percent for primary cities between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau data and research by population analysts.

But that trend appears to be reversing in the past four years. Since 2010, primary cities with populations of 100,000 or more outgrew suburbs each year, according to research by William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.

Dallas is part of that trend. Certainly, many our suburbs like Frisco are seeing unprecedented growth. But our urban core—the 15 districts that make up Downtown Dallas—has seen a radical transformation as people and businesses move back downtown. 

Case in point: in 2000, the Central Business District population, one of those 15 districts, was just 14,654. It is predicted to grow to 33,139 residents in 2015, and 59,337 in 2030.  

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Cedar Springs Front

Sometimes I wish I was living in a townhome. They are great if you want more space but not so much maintenance. Some are semi-detached, some are fully detached, but the big upside to them is that you get the convenience of condo living without neighbors above and below, plus many townhomes come with tidy yards and balconies that make outdoor parties a breeze.

Cedar Springs Living

This townhome at 4830 Cedar Springs is just perfect for someone wanting to take a step up from a condo but not ready for the work of a fully detached single-family home. With two bedrooms, two and a half baths, and plenty of living space downstairs, this three-story townhome will give you room to spread out!

Cedar Springs Kitchen

It’s available for $1,900 a month — a good price considering its prime location and 1,500-plus square feet. It’s located in the heart of the buzzing Oak Lawn area, which has tons of great restaurants and shopping within walking distance. And since pets are allowed, you can put one foot in front of the other with fido and do some people watching, too!

Cedar Springs Master

If you’re not keen on walking everywhere, there’s a two-car garage with this property. Other amenities include hardwood floors, washer/dryer hookups, stainless steel appliances, and huge closets.

Find out more about leasing this property from Jason Lucas at Local Dwelling.

Cedar Springs Bath

Cedar Springs Front

Sometimes I wish I was living in a townhome. They are great if you want more space but not so much maintenance. Some are semi-detached, some are fully detached, but the big upside to them is that you get the convenience of condo living without neighbors above and below, plus many townhomes come with tidy yards and balconies that make outdoor parties a breeze.

Cedar Springs Living

This townhome at 4830 Cedar Springs is just perfect for someone wanting to take a step up from a condo but not ready for the work of a fully detached single-family home. With two bedrooms, two and a half baths, and plenty of living space downstairs, this three-story townhome will give you room to spread out!

Cedar Springs Kitchen

It’s available for $1,900 a month — a good price considering its prime location and 1,500-plus square feet. It’s located in the heart of the buzzing Oak Lawn area, which has tons of great restaurants and shopping within walking distance. And since pets are allowed, you can put one foot in front of the other with fido and do some people watching, too!

Cedar Springs Master

If you’re not keen on walking everywhere, there’s a two-car garage with this property. Other amenities include hardwood floors, washer/dryer hookups, stainless steel appliances, and huge closets.

Find out more about leasing this property from Jason Lucas at Local Dwelling.

Cedar Springs Bath

Terrace Rooftop Pool

If downtown Plano isn’t hot enough for you (is everything happening in Plano, or what???), perhaps this hip condo in Victory Park will whet your appetite for urban living. Located in the Terrace at 2323 N. Houston St., this two bedroom, two bath condo has tons of light, living space, and views that can’t be beat!

This unit, No. 604 to be exact, is available via LocalDwelling.com’s Jason Lucas for $1,900 a month. The minimum lease period is 12 months, which will give you plenty of time to figure out if high-rise living is for you.

Terrace 604 Kitchen

Victory Park is a great neighborhood for the stylish 20- and 30-somethings of Dallas who are looking for low-maintenance living in the heart of Dallas’ happening areas. Not only are you a stone’s throw from Uptown, you’re also right next to tons of entertainment including American Airlines Center, the West End, and great restaurants inside Victory Park.

Need to get somewhere? Ditch your car and buy a bike or get an annual DART pass, because you will be so close to everything it’ll be a hassle to park the Benz!

The Terrace Fitness Center

Along with fabulous decor and gorgeous hardwood floors, you also get in-unit washer/dryer hookups, a refrigerator, upgraded fixtures, access to the fitness center, and a rooftop terrace and pool! Love that!

What do you think?

Terrace Rooftop Pool

If downtown Plano isn’t hot enough for you (is everything happening in Plano, or what???), perhaps this hip condo in Victory Park will whet your appetite for urban living. Located in the Terrace at 2323 N. Houston St., this two bedroom, two bath condo has tons of light, living space, and views that can’t be beat!

This unit, No. 604 to be exact, is available via LocalDwelling.com’s Jason Lucas for $1,900 a month. The minimum lease period is 12 months, which will give you plenty of time to figure out if high-rise living is for you.

Terrace 604 Kitchen

Victory Park is a great neighborhood for the stylish 20- and 30-somethings of Dallas who are looking for low-maintenance living in the heart of Dallas’ happening areas. Not only are you a stone’s throw from Uptown, you’re also right next to tons of entertainment including American Airlines Center, the West End, and great restaurants inside Victory Park.

Need to get somewhere? Ditch your car and buy a bike or get an annual DART pass, because you will be so close to everything it’ll be a hassle to park the Benz!

The Terrace Fitness Center

Along with fabulous decor and gorgeous hardwood floors, you also get in-unit washer/dryer hookups, a refrigerator, upgraded fixtures, access to the fitness center, and a rooftop terrace and pool! Love that!

What do you think?

Lexington park

I always dreamed of moving into downtown Dallas, but there just doesn’t seem to be much in the way of family-friendly properties with the amenities I want in the price point our family can appreciate. Still, I love the idea of urban living, being close to shops and restaurants, and having quick access to mass transit.

Normally you won’t find things like this if you have an address in the suburbs, so color me surprised when we stumbled across the townhomes of Lexington Park at Rice Field.

Priced in the $200,000 range, these townhomes have excellent finish-out and tons of great features. There are five different floorplans available ranging from 2,126 to 2,351 square feet, including both 3/2/2 and 3/3/2 units.

I love the master bath in the model unit, which you can see in the very neat video above. Seriously, the Branch Team did an excellent job marketing this new development!

What do you think?

Here is a place the size of a second home that is actually a primary residence. In case you missed this story in Sunday’s New York Times, here is a cute, highly creative couple who live in a 375 square foot apartment on the Lower East Side. Two rooms, $2000 per month. (My son’s studio apartment is about the same size.) They do have a patio. The newly married couple reminded guests at their wedding that they lived in 375 square feet. Hec, I would have totally asked for cash for a down payment in lieu of crystal, silver or china!