Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
IronTiger

Why is downtown so vacant?

Recommended Posts

I read that the vacancy rate in downtown Dallas is 30% vacant. I don't know if that's office space, tunnel space (their tunnels aren't quite so healthy), or what, but that's definitely troublesome. Comparatively, Houston has full occupancy. What's going on? Did they overbuild, or is there a bigger problem under the hood?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several things.

 

 

1(a):  Downtown Houston is the legal talent department of Manhattan's energy division.  The outsized agglomeration economies of locating your clerical team close to that nexus are successfully damping any other factors that would make it a subeconomic location.   

 

1( B):  Downtown Dallas is not at the epicenter of the middle class in its metropolitan area.  Neither is downtown Houston, and the long term trend is away from the southeast sides of both cities.  If you want a short commute from median household, you build farther and farther north and west in either case, but Houston's current boom is paying people enough that a lot of them can cough up higher rents to shorten that commute.

 

1©:  Someonesomewhere once said that Dallas and Houston are the tortoise and the hare.  Worth considering.

 

 

2:  Dallas supposedly built more office in the '50s than every city stateside but New York.  On the down side, this is reflected in a surfeit of asbestos-laced Class C space and smaller floorplates;  parking is also constrained;  on the up side, downtown has, by being full of that, somewhat fewer full block parking garages than other Sunbelt central cities.  Whether you have one or four or more structures to a city block, they tend to have as few doors to guard as possible.  This means a trophy office tower leaves a lot of dead perimeter, a lot of unbroken street wall.  Since DTD has more small old towers packed per block, it averages more entrances, too, and on paper at least this is a plus in the longer term, urbanistically:  The more perforated the walls of the street, the more handles for life to take place.

 

 

3(a):  More abstractly, according to the retired real estate VP I know, "Dallas is just a real estate town."

 

3( B):  Trammel Crow and Gerry Hines are the figureheads of those two real estate cultures.  Trammel Crow's company was the largest developer in the country, Hines' was the best.  It would be a mistake to generalize to 'quantity versus quality,' though. 

 

 

4:  Part of the reason Dallas was a real estate town is that Dallas was an investment town, by virtue (or vice) of being a banking and insurance town.  Dallas lost much more than Houston in terms of national headquarters/decisionmaking prominence when this sector cratered in the Eighties, and downtown in particular has never recovered from that ecosystem loss.  

 

n:  I have some other concrete notions, but need the data to back them up.

Edited by strickn
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read that the vacancy rate in downtown Dallas is 30% vacant. I don't know if that's office space, tunnel space (their tunnels aren't quite so healthy), or what, but that's definitely troublesome. Comparatively, Houston has full occupancy. What's going on? Did they overbuild, or is there a bigger problem under the hood?

 

Just wondering, did you read that recently?  Can you provide a link to the article?

 

post-12867-0-01597500-1393733460_thumb.j

 

This is a short article from last year, the image is taken from it.  The red shows the space not leased.  I'm sure things have improved since then, and Elm Place has recently been bought and the plan is to redevelop it into a residential tower.  

 

As a native Houstonian, I frankly know very little about Dallas, I actually never been there.  Perhaps someone from Dallas can better explain the true situation in downtown; I'm curious to know also.  My guess is job creation and other development projects are happening elsewhere, more so than in downtown.  Downtown Houston has had that sort of thing happen to it also, but thankfully for numerous reasons it hasn't been that bad at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is this person blog is about.  I think he read the wrong article!  It is Downtown Dallas is the one that is empty.  Houston's Downtown is 96% leased with brand new towers on the way.    :blink: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is this person blog is about.  I think he read the wrong article!  It is Downtown Dallas is the one that is empty.  Houston's Downtown is 96% leased with brand new towers on the way.    :blink:

No one said Houston's downtown is empty. (Note: this is the Dallas sub-forum, if that's what you're worried about)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is this person blog is about.  I think he read the wrong article!  It is Downtown Dallas is the one that is empty.  Houston's Downtown is 96% leased with brand new towers on the way.    :blink:

 

you may want to consider a course in reading comprehension - you're in the Dallas sub-forum.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...