WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS? May 2014

A study Good Newspublished April 25, 2014 shows that DFW is the top retail construction market in the nation. About 2.6 million sf of shopping, retail and entertainment space was under construction at the start of the year, putting the area above Las Vegas and New York City, the number two and three markets on the list. Additionally, the study showed that about 97% of what’s being built in the area is already leased.

Restaurants created 450 jobs in Trinity Groves last year. Trinity Groves at the western end of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, has become a popular West Dallas draw, with its array of startup restaurants and entertainment events. The project is being called a dining theme park and a restaurant incubator. Would-be chefs and restaurateurs take their project proposals to Trinity Groves, and the company backs them with funding and advice in exchange for a percentage of the business. And now plans have been announced for 1,000 apartments to be constructed, with 300 apartments in the first phase beginning construction in early 2015. The concept is the area as a destination, that also offers living spaces that facilitate walking & biking to work.

Developers in Frisco have begun construction of an urban-style mixed-use village that will have almost 2,000 homes. The $500 million Canals at Grand Park development on Legacy Drive will have a variety of apartments, houses, townhomes and senior townhouses built around landscaped parks and waterways. Work has begun on the 152-acre project at Legacy and Cotton Gin Road. The first homes should be ready next year.

High-tech firm Coriant is opening a new North American operation this week in Coppell. The 25,000-square-foot office is located on State Highway 121. The new facility will be a central point for Coriant’s sales, customer service and training operations in North America, the company said Monday. Operations include customer service, logistics and engineering. Based in Germany, Coriant has more than 3,500 employees in 42 countries that provide networking, telecom and software services.

Soon-to-be Plano-based Toyota Motor Corp. reports that it hit an operating profit record for the business year ended March 31, with a net profit of $17.9 billion during that period. That’s an operating profit jump of 74% according to the Wall Street Journal. The profit reports follow a year of record sales for the corporation.
Toyota announced last week that it will move its U.S. headquarters to Plano from Torrance, California and has signed its first lease at the Campus at Legacy.

Ben Hogan golf clubs are launching a comeback in Fort Worth. During the brand’s heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, the business employed as many as 500 workers in Fort Worth. In 2003, however, production moved out of state and then ceased. Perry Ellis International and Eidolon Brands, a Victoria golf club manufacturer, announced a deal on Tuesday to introduce a new set of Ben Hogan-branded golf clubs in 2015, which would mark the first new Hogan clubs on the market in seven years. The Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Co. will be based in Fort Worth and re-launch the company’s focus on high-quality irons. The new company will employ 40 – 60 people for now, and is already receiving a great response to their new online presence at benhogangolf.com.

The National Association of Home Builders has released the results of their March 2014 survey of the most requested features in new construction across the US. The top priorities for consumers were “convenience, livability and energy efficiency.” Specifically, the most requested items were: a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, low-E windows, a laundry room and a great room. NAHB reports that while owners of older homes spent 78 cents per square foot per year on electricity, new homeowners spent 65 cents, and consumers are making this a priority. NAHB is now reporting that this supports the idea that consumers are focused on more practical and budget-friendly priorities and away from entertaining as a priority.

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