What’s the Good News for October?

1-MercerCrossingMapMercer Crossing Development to open in Farmers Branch. A $1 billion mixed-use development in Farmers Branch is bringing hundreds of homes/apartments and is planned for more than 3,000 residents.  The 370-acre Mercer Crossing development is on the north side of LBJ Freeway near Luna Road.  Mercer Crossing will include 93 acres of urban commerce and 174 acres of residential single-family homes; built by six premier builders, M/I Homes, First Texas Homes, Beazer Homes, Megatel Homes, Oakdale Homes, and Siena Homes.   The first 30 homes should be starting in November 2017, and there are a total of 660 home lots, with larger home lots being around the lake.  Houses in the development will start at price of more than $300,000.  All of the lots have been sold to builders, and the builders have committed over $10 million in earnest money. Centurion American has also sold land to Coppell-based apartment developer Western Rim Properties for 1,250 apartments, of a total 2,500 apartments planned.

2-Amazon.com4North Texas communities partnering to entice Amazon.com to the Metroplex. The Dallas & Fort Worth Chambers are working together to bundle area pitches into a combined, regional pitch which must be turned into Amazon before the October 19th deadline.  The 2 chambers are coordinating the north Texas effort to entice Amazon’s 2nd headquarters location to the DFW area.   HQ2 is expected to create more than 50,000 jobs and represent a direct $5 billion dollar investment into the local economy.  More than 12 North Texas cities, with 30 – 50 specific site proposals, made the internal deadline to be included in the regional pitch.  Lewisville has 2 development sites being proposed:  Castle Hills on the eastern edge of Lewisville is one of the areas to make a pitch and the 2nd location proposed by Lewisville is undisclosed, but thought to be in the southwestern portion of the city (Vista Ridge Mall site which was recently sold at auction?) Allen proposed 2 sites, one being included in a project there called The Strand.  Frisco is submitting at least 6 site proposals along the Tollway.  Dallas is submitting 4 including one put forth by the Texas Bullet Train group which would have them locate in the Cedars area of Dallas and help to create a super economy between Dallas and Houston. Fort Worth suggests 8 sites including on the banks of the Trinity River in Ft Worth.  Plano is pitching 6 possible sites including their historic downtown.  McKinney has a proposal, Arlington and Irving met the deadline as well.  Carrollton sent in 2 sites and Grapevine sent in a site proposal including land owned by DFW Airport.  Denton submitted 3 site proposals – one north, one south and one in downtown Denton.

3-Retire4Texas ranks as one of 2018 Best Places to Retire; Dallas is 11th in Nation! In U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Places to Retire in the United States, released on 10/02/17, the Lone Star state comes out smelling like a yellow rose. Six of the top 12 cities on the new top 100 list are in Texas, with Dallas coming in 11th in the nation.  The ranking measures included housing affordability, the job market, health care, retiree taxes and overall happiness.  Sarasota, FL showed up as the best place to retire in America and San Antonio came in at #1 in Texas, #3 in the nation.

4-Southwest1Southwest adds Boeing 737 to fleet, increasing area coverage and reducing emissions. On Oct. 1, 2017 , Southwest flew its inaugural flight on its new plane – the Boeing 737 Max.   Southwest is now one of the country’s largest domestic airlines, carrying more than 124 million paying passengers in 2016 and adding international flights to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  Looking at Southwest’s new 737 Max, it can be hard to distinguish it from its predecessor, the 737-800.  The Max has updated winglets and larger engines, but its dimensions are nearly the same. Inside, the Max has the same blue-clad interior, approximately 30 additional seats and the galleys have been updated.  Southwest is expected to have 9 of the new aircraft in service by year end 2017 and 36 total by year end 2018. In 10 years, Southwest could have as many as 391 of the aircraft, a figure that represents more than half of the carrier’s current fleet size of about 700 aircraft.  The aircraft’s engines burn an estimated 14% less fuel than the previous generation of 737s, helping Southwest save on its second largest operating expense while cutting down emissions.  Perhaps most important is the 500 nautical miles of additional range Southwest says the jet will provide, which will increase the routes that are possible operationally and profitably.

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