North Texas Businesses

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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What’s the Good News for September?

DHL3DHL expands in North Texas.  The shipping company just moved into its new 50,000-square-foot warehouse in Carrollton, adding 70 new jobs to meet demand for international commerce.  Now, the company has two facilities handling incoming and outgoing packages in North Texas. Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express, said the company wants to make DFW Airport an international gateway for packages from as far away as Asia and Europe, and the company is in talks currently with DFW Airport customs officials.  The freight carrier also wants to open a third warehouse in Fort Worth, and they are currently searching for real estate to make that a reality.  DHL’s current facility in north Grand Prairie near DFW Airport was at capacity, prompting them to open the Carrollton facility. The new location off Interstate 35E is centrally located for their delivery routes in the eastern half of the Metroplex, Hewitt said.  DFW Airport is already a cargo hub which handled 829,019 U.S. tons of cargo and mail in 2016, up 12.7% from the previous year, according to the airport.

NICHE4North Texas fared well in Niche.com’s 2018 Best Public High School in Texas list. Niche.com, a website that analyzes neighborhood and schools data, recently released its 2018 Best Public High Schools in Texas list.  Of the top-100 ranked high schools in Texas, 38 are located in North Texas.  Frisco Independent School District had the most high schools on the list, with six.  And the best high school in North Texas? That distinction belongs to Dallas Independent School District’s School for the Talented & Gifted.  Carroll Senior High in Southlake ranked #12 overall, while Coppell came in at #14 and Flower Mound High at #26.   

Pecan Square Master Planned Development to begin construction later this year. The town of Northlake, along the Alliance I-35W corridor, is surrounded on three sides by the regional growth surge: Fort Worth to the south, Denton to the north, and Flower Mound/Argyle to the east.  Northlake is building - 6.jpgapproximately the same total size(32-square-miles) as the Town of Flower Mound to its east. Opportunities for future development are limited, however, because almost 1/3 of its land is in a floodplain, plus the existence of gas wells and distribution lines further limit future development.  Pecan Square is a Hillwood proposed mixed-use, master-planned development– made up of three tracts (Young, Gibbs and Thompson).  The proposed Pecan Square development will include a mix of commercial and residential uses with a mix of lot sizes and densities, located on 1,157-acres west and south of the I-35W and FM 407 intersection, across 407 from Harvest.  The zoning requests were approved in April 2017, and the Pecan Square development is expected to begin construction later this year, with models open by spring 2019.  The number of homes have yet to be finalized but could exceed 3,000.

Nordstrom4A Nordstrom that doesn’t stock clothes?! Innovation continues in all sectors of the economy.  In Q1 2017, Nordstrom experienced a 6.8% decline in retail store sales, and an 11% increase in online sales.  Then in Q2, online sales were up 20% year over year. The department store announced 09/11/17 that its new concept, Nordstrom Local, will be a 3,000-square foot store (their retail stores average 140,000 square feet) where customers can do things like try on clothes with a stylist, get manicures, and order coffee — or even wine or beer. Nordstrom said this location won’t stock accessories or clothing itself, but that people can order items for same-day try-on and pickup at the store.  The store will feature in-store tailoring and alterations. The goal is a personalized, faster, easier shopping experience.  Their advertisements are catchy – a Nordstrom’s that doesn’t stock clothes?  And they don’t mention anything about lower prices.  The first location will open in West Hollywood, CA on October 3rd.

DFW Airport to add Wow Air in May 2018. Wowair.com is an ultra low-cost carrier that has announced it will fly passengers nonstop from DFW to Reykjavik, Iceland, for $99 one way.  The CEO of Wow says he wants many to experience his homeland.  The airline will also offer $149 one way fares to Paris, Frankfurt, London and Barcelona, which will then connect passengers to 22 destinations in Europe on the airline. While the fares are cheap, Wow Air charges fees for additional services – for example, on a flight from New York to Iceland, a carry-on bag costs $40, checked luggage costs $50, a seat assignment in the front of the plane costs $10 and snacks and water cost extra.  DFW will be Wow Air’s 13th destination in the U.S., the latest in the Icelandic carrier’s growing network. Wow Air is the first budget carrier to service DFW. Wow Air said it will use an Airbus A330 aircraft on the route to Iceland that will depart DFW three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

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What’s the GOOD News for July

Good News1July 25, 2017

Uber Freight – Uber’s going big into trucking and nowhere bigger than Texas. This spring, Uber launched Uber Freight, an app that matches truck drivers with loads of goods to pick up and deliver.  Texas, and routes between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, served as the test ground before the app’s launch.  Texas’ large truckingUber_logo.svg business made it an obvious place to start, since about 14%  of U.S. freight comes in and out of Texas.  About 70% of Uber Freight’s loads and drivers are based in Texas.  Similar to the ride-hailing app, Uber Freight allows truck drivers to pick up extra work when they want to. They also can find a job that fills up their truck on the way home.  Nearly 10% of the nation’s truck transportation workforce lives in Texas. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has the third highest number of tractor-trailer drivers, trailing only New York and Chicago, according a recent study by Dallas consulting firm Site Selection Group, so Uber Freight will continue to be active in the North Texas trucking industry.

Flag_of_Plano,_TexasFrontgate –  On July 21st,  the choices for furniture shopping in North Texas improved with the opening of the flagship store of Frontgate in Plano’s Legacy West.   The luxury lifestyle brand already has more than 20,000 catalog customers in this area.  In total, today Frontgate sends monthly catalogs to 10 million affluent households, and its website has 25 million visitors a year.   The store has 21,337-square-feet with a covered 2,500-square-foot outdoor patio.  Inside, there’s a bistro area where customers can have a complimentary glass of wine, an espresso or a snack.   Frontgate has a another store in Atlanta similar to this north Texas store, and also has a handful of outlet stores.

 3.eia.logoElectricity Prices declining in Texas! – Shopping for electricity is becoming cheaper for most Texans, according to a new study from the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power.  About 85% of Texans can purchase electricity from several providers in a deregulated marketplace, while the remaining 15% must buy power from a single provider in their area.

The report from the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, which advocates for cities and local governments and negotiates their power contracts, pulls information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to compare prices for Texans in the two models. 3.electric-632731_960_720Most Texans could begin choosing their electricity provider in 2002.  Between 2006 and 2015, average residential electric prices for Texans in a competitive market decreased by 17.4%, while average prices increased by 5.5% in the regulated areas.  Overall, the average price of electricity in Texas — including the price in the deregulated marketplace, for the third time in four years — was below the national average in 2015.  A separate study from Rice University – one that looked at different and more recent data – found that in 2016, both regulated and deregulated parts of Texas had electricity prices that were decreasing year over year, and cheaper than the national average.

4.homebuildersBuilders answering the demand for lower priced homes – Dallas-Fort Worth builders started 8,812 houses in the second quarter — the greatest quarterly building total since fourth quarter 2006, housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. reports.   Builders sold 8,244 homes in the second quarter, up almost 13% from a year earlier, scaling a new peak in quarterly sales since the summer of 2007.  Starts during the period were 12% higher from second quarter 2016 — most of the rise in home construction came for houses priced under $300,000.  With the high demand for more lower priced inventory homes, the median price of new homes started in the area fell to $344,094, down from almost $352,000 a year earlier.  Higher land and materials costs, and a shortage of labor have inflated the price tag on new houses, however with brisk demand at prices under $500,000, builders are answering the need.  The biggest increases in starts during the quarter were in Celina, Southwest Fort Worth, Forney, Wyly, the Colony and Princeton.

 5.DFW.airport.parking.termDDFW Airport parking prices not expected to rise – For the first time in five years, there are no new parking rate increases planned at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.   The airport’s parking revenues are expected to remain flat in its next fiscal year as more customers choose to use services like Uber and Lyft instead of parking their cars at the airport. Currently, terminal parking costs $24 a day while parking at the express and remote lots costs between $10 to $15 a day.

DFW Airport receives fees from the car-for-hire services, which is becoming a larger percentage of the airport’s ground transportation revenues. The fees have grown from 6.5% in 2015 to an estimated 11.5% for 2018.

KW | Dallas Metro North outperforming NTREIS!

Keller Williams Dallas Metro North is outperforming NTREIS!! Look at our figures: We’re selling $25,552 higher per home, taking 3.2% more listings and selling them 20 days faster in June 2017. Call us today for help with your real estate needs!

LORE JULY

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What’s The GOOD News?

Good News1

June 20, 2017

Toyota2

Toyota Plano – Starting May 15, 2017, the first wave of Toyota employees — mostly in facilities and information systems management — began working in the new 2 million square foot North American headquarters in Plano.  By December 11, 2017, about 4,000 Toyota employees will work in the 100-acre development.   The company plans to move in employees in waves of about 250, with a peak of about 350 during the summer. Construction is expected to officially end in October and the project is reported to have remained on schedule.

Forbes1Forbes 2017 Global 2000 List – The Forbes 2017 Global 2000 list of the world’s largest public companies was released in late May.  The list features public companies from 58 countries that together account for $35.3 trillion in revenue, $2.5 trillion in profit, $169.1 trillion of assets, and have a combined market value of $48.8 trillion. All four metrics are up from the 2016 ranking, with market capitalization up 10% from last year. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank are the #1 and #2 largest public companies in the world, with the top five rounded out by three American financial institutions: Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

AT&T has leapfrogged Exxon Mobil in Forbes’ 2017 Global 2000 list, taking over the perch as the largest public company in Texas.  The Dallas telecom giant moved up a spot to 11th in this year’s edition of the rankings, with Exxon dropping down to 13th from 9th in 2016.  Japanese automaker Toyota Motor comes in at the 10th spot on the list. Round Forbes4Rock-based Dell Technologies Inc. landed at No. 608 overall and No. 14 in Texas on Forbes’ list.  Dell has been privately owned since a 2013 buyout led by CEO and founder Michael Dell, but it has a tracking stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “DVMT.”  Overall, the U.S. earns 565 of the top 2,000 spots, with China grabbing 263 and Japan taking 229.   The three countries account for more than half the list.

 DFW1DFW International Airport – More than 18 million passengers are expected to travel through Dallas Fort Worth International Airport during the 2017 summer travel period — a projected increase of 3.5% over last year.   More than 65 million customers pass through DFW Airport every year, making it one of the most frequently visited super hub airports in the world. The airlines serving the DFW offer a total of 163 domestic and 55 international nonstop destinations worldwide, including new DFW2nonstop routes to Rome and Amsterdam.  DFW Airport plans to spend $400 million on infrastructure, including an August 2017 start date for a new north entry cellphone lot, a better baggage handling system at Terminal B, passenger boarding bridges and more employee parking over the next few years.

TreeHouse – Home improvement retailer TreeHouse, which opened in TreeHouse4Dallas Friday June 2nd, is the world’s first retail store to produce more energy than it uses. A Tesla power pack battery wall stores harvested solar energy to redistribute when needed, and to put excess back into the grid. All of its plants are native species and watered from harvested rainwater. The store uses daylight as much as possible, and cools by using Big Ass fans.

The Austin-based home improvement store sells products that fall into 3 categories: Performance – meaning energy efficient merchandise,EKO_symbol_cmyk windows, roofing, insulation; Design including paint, flooring, cabinetry, lighting; Landscaping including decking, irrigation, gardening.  Many products come from recycled materials, are free of toxins, are more sustainable or integrate automation for ease.  Inside the store, customers will also experience a live kitchen with local chefs demonstrating smart-home appliances, and two to three classes each week on topics like native landscaping.  The location is at the northeast corner of Interstate 75 & Walnut Hill Lane. The store will span 25,000 square foot, including 5,000 to 10,000 square feet for an outdoor landscaping section.  TreeHouse has also announced it will open a second North Texas location this fall at the corner of Preston Road and Park Boulevard in Plano, adjacent to a Whole Foods.

EpicWaters1New Epic Waters Waterpark – A new Dallas-Fort Worth Waterpark is set to make an EPIC Splash! The city of Grand Prairie announces their new $75M recreational facility that is slated to open in November of this year.  Epic Waters indoor waterpark is an indoor-outdoor venue with a retractable roof that’s open year round.

EpicWaters3The park will have nine water slides, including an outdoor wave pool, a lazy river, an activity pool, a children’s area, and an arcade. There will be cabanas, a full-service grill/bar, and private party/meeting areas, both indoor and outdoor. It’s part of The Epic recreation center, which will feature fitness equipment, indoor tracks, a digital library, and recording studio. The complex will also have a 5,000-seat amphitheater, and more than two miles of trails. Epic is the final phase of the 172 acre Grand Central recreational development.

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today for assistance with your real estate needs!

Attention Flower Mound Foodies!

 

chefLocal “Foodies” are all smiles about the new eating and dining trends coming our way!

The Market at Lakeside, 2500 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 100 – opening this month, The Market at Lakeside is an independent grocery store, run by local owners Billy and Talitha Ledet. The neighborhood store will feature quality, unique, fresh food and ingredients to satisfy your everyday eating, entertaining and special occasion needs. In addition to offering basic staples, The Market will offer a variety of healthy grocery items, fresh produce, baked goods and deli sandwiches, as well as an assortment of wines and local craft beers. The Ledets strongly support local farmers and producers because they believe in the community they live in and serve. Curbside pick-up and delivery will be offered; outdoor seating is available to meet your friends and enjoy a Saturday morning croissant!

coffeeTrio Craft Coffee, 2650 Flower Mound Road (NE corner of FM2499 and FM3040) – After Carlos and Susan Palacio, owners of Trio, moved their shop down the road into a beautiful, larger new space, they wanted to bring to the community high-quality food prepared by reputable chefs. Carlos always believed that his pursuit of intentional, ingredient-focused coffee products was a natural pairing with cooking; to that end, the Palacios hosted their inaugural pop-up dinner on May 11 for 22 lucky diners.

A pop-up dinner is a dining trend in which diners are given a chance to try something new – like a meal eaten entirely in the dark, or a meal made entirely of food scaps, or in the case of Trio Craft Coffee, a meal that features coffee as both an ingredient as well as a meal pairing.

Trio plans to repeat the experiential dining experience with another pop-up dinner planned for the Fall.

Read more about Trio’s inaugural pop-up dinner: Dallas Observer

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